Back to Home

God & Science Forum Message

Forums: Atm · Astrophotography · Blackholes · Blackholes2 · CCD · Celestron · Domes · Education
Eyepieces · Meade · Misc. · God and Science · SETI · Software · UFO · XEphem
RSS Button

Home | Discussion Forums | God and Science | Post

Be the first pioneers to continue the Astronomy Discussions at our new Astronomy meeting place...
The Space and Astronomy Agora
Hi Tim: A Comment!

Forum List | Follow Ups | Post Message | Back to Thread Topics | In Response To
Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on August 3, 2003 18:38:09 UTC


I have not posted anything directly to you for quite a while as I have been waiting for you to comment on your opinion of what I have said; however, on reading your comments to others, I have a feeling (perhaps unwarranted) that you are putting too much credit for rationality into some very dishonest posters on this forum. Up to this point, I had thought the worst liar and misrepresenter of fact on the forum was Bruce; however, he seems to have been joined by another party who's main concern is also to use any misrepresentation he can think of to discredit my work, making no effort whatsoever to check the accuracy of his statements. I refer here to a Bud Bock.

Both of these people make every effort to imply that I deny relativity which I do not and never have. Both of them make much of my supposed effort to introduce "absolute" time which is a completely false statement. I have never made any suggestion that "absolute" time was a concept worth a second thought. I have in fact said that time is not a measurable thing. Somehow they both seem to think that the statement "clocks do not measure time" can somehow be morphed into a proposition that I am putting forth some theory of "absolute" time. I am not!

In fact, I have put forth a very simple definition of time! Time is a concept which divides the universe into two realms: the past (which constitutes what we know) and the future (which constitutes what we do not know). In my work, I use exactly that definition with no additional embellishments whatsoever. What I am saying is that, as aware individuals, we see the universe as if it were describable in terms of a parameter which identifies our personal transition from not knowing something to knowing that thing (the present) and we refer to that parameter (which does nothing except order our gain in knowledge of the universe) as "time".

This is my definition of time any I think the scientific community will find it very difficult to discover an instance where the common concept of time can be shown to violate that definition (except for one very specific case, that case being the idea that "clocks measure time").

There is nothing at all in that definition which, by any stretch of the imagination could be thought of as "absolute" time. And anyone who suggests there is, simply does not understand the definition I put forth.

The second place where these two individuals misrepresent the facts concerns the concept of relativity itself. First of all, I do not believe either of them have the first idea of what relativity is all about. Relativity has to do with how one transforms the laws of physics from one frame of reference to another. The concept, that the laws of physics should be independent of the frame of reference, was introduced by Galileo and was extensively used by Newton in many of his arguments.

Newton's "theory of relativity" was never introduced as a theory because it never dawned on him that it could be anything but true and thus, in his head, it was not a theory. It was based directly on the mechanical procedure of transforming the geometrical variables from one Euclidean frame of reference into another. Newton used his "theory of relativity" to show how some very simple rules explained a lot of complex phenomena.

I would like to step aside for a moment and point out something about Newton's "theory of relativity" which was quite impressive. Newton showed that there were some effects which were entirely due to the character of your frame of reference. If your frame of reference was not what he called a rest frame, the movement of that reference frame itself would produce some apparent forces which didn't really exist at all. They were actually the direct consequence of the fact that an object which appeared to be following a straight line or perhaps standing still (as in a rotating geometry) was actually following a curved path in the proper rest frame. These forces were called "pseudo" forces.

The commonest "pseudo" forces are centrifugal force and the coriolis force. The coriolis force is what causes winds on the earth to follow curved lines (in the earth's rotating frame of reference) rather than blowing directly from the high pressure area to the low pressure area. A good example of the coriolis force my be seen by trying to play catch while on opposite sides of a rotating merry-go-round. (Go to the park and try that sometime, it can be a lot of fun as it is real easy to throw a curve ball.)

The reason I brought up "pseudo" forces is that all "pseudo" forces obey a rather simple rule: they are always exactly proportional to the mass of the object being observed. That fact is a direct consequence of the fact that the forces are only apparent. The real cause of the effect is that the objects are trying to follow a straight line in a "correct" coordinate system (the term "correct" would be a Newtonian rest frame). That is, the acceleration of the object is due to the motion of the frame and not the motion of the object. Thus, in order to satisfy F=ma, since all objects must have exactly the same acceleration, the "pseudo" force must be proportional to the mass.

Well, since gravitational force was directly proportional to mass, it was thought by many geometrists that it too should be a "pseudo" force: i.e., that there should exist a geometry which would make gravity a consequence of "using the wrong geometry". This was a great impetus behind the development of new "non-Euclidean" geometries. Sometime back in the seventeen hundreds, a man named Maupertuis proved that there existed no geometry which would yield gravity as a "pseudo" force. (Central to his proof was the fact that objects moving at different velocities in a "gravitational field" followed different trajectories.)

This issue rises again with Einstein's introduction of his "general" theory of relativity and I will get back to it later.

Meanwhile, back to the Newtonian universe. In Newton's time, electromagnetic effects were not considered to be part of physics. Nevertheless, several very intelligent people examined these effects from an analytical perspective and produced a number of mathematical relationships which could be well defended in the laboratory (that would be Coulomb, Ampre, Volta, Faraday and others). Maxwell was the guy who put it all together with his introduction of "Maxwell's" equation.

The problem with "Maxwell's" equation was, though it explained all the electro-magnetic phenomena, was that it implied there was a thing call "electromagnetic radiation" which would radiate at a velocity which was fixed by measurements made at rest in the laboratory (the velocity was required to be a very specific function of some things called magnetic permeability and electric susceptibility). The velocity so calculated was almost exactly "the speed of light" (at least within the errors of measurement at the time). This is exactly the source of the idea that light was electromagnetic radiation. If that were true (which no one is going to argue with today) then the "speed of light in a vacuum" is a fixed number and has absolutely nothing to do with your frame of reference!

If the "speed of light in a vacuum" is a fixed number (and nothing else at all) then the correct relativistic equations between moving frames can be obtained by simple high school algebra. If you want to follow the algebra in detail, it can be found at

starting with paragraph six (just ignore my tau axis and you have exactly the problem introduced by Maxwell's discovery). Equation 3.6 shows exactly the form of the required relativistic equations. This was well known prior to Einstein's theory of relativity. That these transformations are the only transformations which maintain a fixed velocity of light is incontrovertible; it is a fact of life which any theory must take into account.

Einstein's "special theory of relativity" is an explanation as to why those equations are correct, not a derivation of those equations. (The fact is that, if his theory could not derive those equations, it would have to be wrong. Something any mathematician could show.) By the way, his original theory was called the "special" theory of relativity because it only explained the relativistic transformation equations required in the "special" circumstance where there was no acceleration. No one knew what the transformations should be if acceleration was involved because they did not know how to develop it (and it is still not a very straight forward issue). What any serious student of the subject must recognize is that the fundamental issue of Einstein's "theory" was that "space was described by a Minkowski geometry" (the "space-time" geometry you have all heard so much about).

I am not trying to depreciate Einstein's derivation of the transformation equations as his was the only theory available which accomplished that result which greatly enhanced his fame. The problem today is that everyone (and I mean everyone) jumps to the unwarranted conclusion that if you disagree with Einstein, you are claiming the proper relativistic transformations are wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It should be clear that Einstein's special theory was worthless unless it could be generalized to include accelerations. That is why Einstein worked so long and hard to develop a "general" theory of relativity. As you all know, he managed to succeed at that project. What most of you don't seem to be aware of is that the acceptance of his "general" theory of relativity was very strongly influenced by his ability to make gravity a "pseudo" force. It is held by the academy that Einstein proved that "a reduction of gravitational theory to geodesic motion in an appropriate geometry could be carried out only in the four-dimensional space-time continuum of [Einstein's] relativity theory". That is, in his geometry, gravity is a pseudo force.

Now, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence! I don't count his claim that, in his geometry, gravity is a pseudo force. That is a demonstrable fact. What I say is an "extraordinary claim" actually isn't even Einstein's claim, it is a claim made by the academy. That would be the claim that Einstein proved that his geometry was the only possible geometry to yield the effect. What is that claim based on? It is based on Maupertuis' proof that no such geometry existed taken together with Einstein's having found one!

It amounts to a proof of the form, "I can't figure out another way to do it so your solution must be the only one!" What Einstein actually proved to the academy (to their satisfaction) was that the problem was too difficult for ordinary physicists to solve. Since that was taken to be the "truth", they all stopped thinking about it.

I have never denied any of the experiments used to support Einstein. And that goes for the precession of the orbit of Mercury. Bruce goes out of his way to misinterpret something I said about Newton in order to suggest that I think a Newtonian solution to the orbit of Mercury it the correct solution. I believe the comment Bruce is depending on to support his bad mouthing is one I made about some minor problems Newton had with his theory of gravity when he first developed it. When he first developed his theory, there were a few discrepancies between his calculations and astronomical data in the archives available to him. Initially, he presumed he had made a mistake in his calculations; however, it was later shown that the data in the astronomical archives was incorrect. What I said was that it was later discovered that Newton was correct. Bruce decided to take that as my saying "Newton's calculations are the correct calculations" which takes the comment totally out of context.

It was only very much later that astronomers discovered that Mercury's precession could not be explained by their work. I say, "could not be explained by their work" because the assumption, even then, was that there was some information being left out, not that the theory was wrong. With regard to that, I would also like to point out that even today, astronomers know that the precession of Mercury is not explained by their work, using Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. There still exists a very small discrepancy which is currently credited to "some information being left out of the calculation" (it has been suggested that mass flows within the sun will clear the issue up). Again, the assumption is the same as it was in the past, that is that the theory cannot possibly be wrong!

So I will say, once more for all to hear, I am not denying any experimental result on the books anywhere. What I am saying is that I have run across another explanation of that experimental phenomena. What is interesting about my explanation is that it produces utterly no conceptual problems between quantum mechanics and the relativistic transformations. One may find many references to the conceptual problems between quantum mechanics and the relativistic transformations as per the conventional view of the universe. This is in spite of the fact that there are a great many members of the academy who hold very strongly that no such problems exist. Something is fishy here!

What is actually extraordinary about my results is the fact that, no where in my derivation have I presumed causality! The only requirement I have imposed on my conclusions is that the future (that which I do not know) must look a lot like the past (that which I already know). That is to say that the result of any experiment will be what ever was obtained in the past to the extent that the circumstance of the experiment resemble the circumstance observed in the past.

Compare this to the common scientific perspective: the result of any experiment will be what ever was obtained in the past to the extent that the circumstance of the experiment resemble the circumstance observed in the past "and a cause can be thought of to bring that result about". If you can't think of a cause, is that evidence that it cannot happen. The whole problem with "entanglement" is no more than a belief in "causality".

So extraordinary claims require extraordinary defense! Either one can derive that result from my definitions or one can not. Thus it is that my paper is my defense! The derivation is either correct or it is not and arguments with my definitions "being ridiculous" has utterly no bearing on the issue at all.

Have fun -- Dick

Follow Ups:

Login to Post
Additional Information
About Astronomy Net | Advertise on Astronomy Net | Contact & Comments | Privacy Policy
Unless otherwise specified, web site content Copyright 1994-2023 John Huggins All Rights Reserved
Forum posts are Copyright their authors as specified in the heading above the post.
"dbHTML," "AstroGuide," "ASTRONOMY.NET" & "VA.NET"
are trademarks of John Huggins