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    Thread: Figuring out relativity and the universal limits

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      Member Nefarious's Avatar
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      Figuring out relativity and the universal limits

      For quite some time now I am trying to understand Einstein's theory of relativity, but with all the videos I watched and articles I read on the subject none of the explanations fit into my system of understanding. I can say that I know the effects of relativity from acquiring the knowledge of their existence but I can't say that I understand them, and there is a big difference between knowing something and understanding it. For example I know that time is slowed for someone who is traveling at a speed close to the speed of light relative to someone who travels at a much lower speed, but I couldn't find an explanation on why is it so except for the space-time and frames of reference being relative and all which doesn't explain much to me. So I am trying to figure this out by myself. I am no physicist and I don't go deep into mathematics and formulas, I am trying to figure out the subject behind all the formulas from which all the math is extracted.

      The first big confusion in the theory of relativity is time. Time isn't defined in a way that I can understand it's role in the theory. First there is the time that we perceive and then there is the relative time and actual time. I had to think of a way to define time and this is what I came up with:

      First there is the time that we perceive and it seem to flow at the same rate regardless of our velocity, that is the person who travels close to the speed of light will feel or perceive the flow of time at the same rate as someone who is perceiving time on earth despite his actual time being slowed. I came to the conclusion that it is so because of something that I'd like to call the frequency of perception (I will elaborate on that later).

      And then there is the actual time. Actual time is the thing that makes us and everything else age and experience the events of the universe. This is my definition of actual time and it's behavior: Actual time is registered in our universe whenever there is a change or a ripple in the flow of events, it is closely tight to movement and disposition in space and thus we might perceive our universe as space-time. To understand what is a change or a ripple in a flow of events we need to define the term "Event":

      An "Event" is everything that happens during the process of a cause reaching and creating an effect.
      During an event everything that happens creates many other causes that reach and create other effects and thus more events.
      This process is forever ongoing in our universe and thus the flow of events. I will try to explain it with this graphic:

      A= Cause
      B= Effect

      A A A (A-------->B)__Event_}
      | | | |___________________} ---Flow of Events
      (A-------->B)___Event______}



      You can imagine the flow of events traveling like waves of information of what needs to happen next, and when it reaches a certain frame of reference or a sphere of space-time that point experiences the effects of actual time and what needs to happen happens. This wave of information reaching a reference point is what causes the ripple or change in the flow of events and registers time at that point. I like to think of this change or ripple as the perception of the universe of that certain point just like we perceive a certain thing. I think that we can assume that those waves of information travel at the speed of light which is also the speed of information. I think most events if not all of them are subject of movement in space, that is what happens during an event is that something moves in space.

      Once I defined things this way it became pretty clear why time is slowed for someone who is traveling close to the speed of light. It takes certain waves of information more time to reach someone who is traveling close to their speed, the speed of light. Those certain waves are responsible for moving your time measuring clock and your biological clock and many other things that are governed by time, the Actual time. Thus time is registered slower for someone who travels close to the speed of light. For someone who travels much slower the waves reach them almost instantly and time isn't slowed for them. As long as you travel at a speed slower than the speed of light you still register actual time because the waves of information will still reach you eventually. Those waves of information will always come from the rear of the direction of movement just as the cause (The information of what needs to happen.) will always come before the effect. (What needs to happen happens at the reference point.) This is why time can also be relative, perhaps there are certain points in the universe where certain waves of information simply can't reach or the waves are slowed by something like gravity before they reach those points and time registered slower at those points.

      This is all well and nice until the speed of light, but what happens at the speed of light and beyond? I thought about it and came to the conclusion that at the speed of light your point of reference does not register actual time because you travel at the same speed as the waves of information, however our universe still experiences your existence because your movement is a cause that alters the flow of events just like the movement of photons. You cannot perceive the universe while traveling at the speed of light because you do not register time and it stops your frequency of perception(I will get to it) just as it stops your clocks. Traveling at the speed of light makes you unconscious and stops aging. In other words at the speed of light you cannot perceive the universe however the universe can still perceive you.

      Beyond the speed of light is beyond our universe if anyone was looking for the edge of the universe this is it. The edge is not in space because wherever is matter that is limited to the speed of light there will be our universe, and if you would to travel to the edge you would simply expand the universe even more which is basically what is happening to our universe according to science. The universe expands because matter that is bound to the speed of light travels to the edges. Our universe just like us does not perceive matter that travels beyond the speed of light but it does not mean that such matter doesn't exist, we just haven't found a way to measure and confirm it yet because all our measurement tools just like us bound to the speed of light and information.

      Traveling at a speed greater than the speed of light would mean that you would be in a point where nothing happened yet (the waves of information didn't reach that point yet), which means you would be the only cause to what effect? Our known universe doesn't perceive you at a speed greater than the speed of light however an event still happened. What point will register time from this event? I am certain that going faster than the speed of light will not make you travel back in time because time is one directional as it is bound to the flow of events and an effect can't occur before the cause. But I can see from where this idea might have come. It is that you get to perceive the effect and then the cause reaching it with the wave of information creating a sort of rewind effect. I think that what would actually happen is that you will be in a higher dimension in the same universe where is the matter that travels faster than the speed of light and thus events on that dimension can occur faster than the speed of light. The perception on that higher dimension will be much different than the perception on our physical dimension that is bound to the speed of light.

      How is it even possible to travel beyond the speed of light? We can see that the only matter that travels at the speed of light is matter without mass like photons. Because any amount of mass would require an infinite amount of energy to accelerate only to the speed of light. Why can't we accelerate photons to a higher speed? First because even if it is possible we will not be able to perceive it nor will our universe and thus we won't be able to measure it. Second is that perhaps photons have some sort of energy just like mass that bounds them to the speed of light and any more acceleration would require an infinite amount of energy. We can see that to gain speed and thus reach dimensional limits we need to lose some sort of energy that bounds us to this universe in our case it is mass and it's equivalence.

      I can tell for sure that the amount of dimensions is limited because there is a set amount of energetic properties that you can lose before you turn into nothingness. That is after you lose mass and it's equivalence you get to go to a higher dimension, there you lose another energetic property to go even higher and so on until you got no more energetic properties to lose because you are nothingness. Maybe those higher dimension are like the Mental and Astral plane that ancient wisdom talks about, and the matter that exists there isn't bound to the speed of light and we can't perceive it physically. However it is still here in our universe just in a higher dimension a non physical one, and we can perceive it in a non physical way. But that is going far into spirituality and metaphysics, I am trying to close the gap between them and modern science though.

      Unlike a set amount of dimensions there is probably an infinite amount of parallel universes that are created during the flow of events a universe for every possible outcome in the flow of events. All the parallel universes would have the same amount of dimensions and the same universal rules. We can even claim that every point of reference is a parallel universe to another point of reference. Parallel universes may seem insignificant to our experience of the universe as it doesn't matter if we constantly step into a parallel universe with every event or treat a chain of events as one universe we still perceive only one chain of events, 1 set state. We can't even measure the amount of events that happen to us in every point of reference we can only divide them into groups with a clock device. During every clock tick aside from the event that moves the clock many other events occur, sometimes more sometimes less all relative to your point of reference. So it is pointless to measure the amount of parallel universes you jumped during every tick.

      However parallel universes have significance in time travel. From relativity we can see that it is "relatively" easy to move forwards in time by accelerating to close to the speed of light and then decelerating back to slower speed returning to where you begun. Time would move slower for you while you travel fast and it will move faster at the point where you begun moving, so you would return to the "future". However moving back in time has many problems and paradoxes, and most of them are solved by parallel universes. Like if you happen to move back in time you would never meet yourself because you created a parallel universe where you never existed prior to your arrival from the previous success of moving back in time. Time is one directional as it is the register of events and it is not possible to move back in time in one dimension. However I believe time intersects differently in higher dimensions with other dimensions, that is a point in time in a higher dimension is not the same point in time in a lower dimension. If you would travel to a higher dimension by reaching a speed greater than the speed of light and then decelerated to the speed lower than the speed of light at what point of time would you be? To know how it intersects we need to understand how higher dimensions affect lower dimensions. I do believe that going back in time would require crossing dimensional limits. In any case successfully going back in time would not happen in the same universe or in one dimension.

      My thoughts brought me pretty far I hope someone is still reading this

      About science these days it is very interesting to see what can modern science learn from experiments such as particle acceleration at the LHC. I heard they found some new particles that exist for a very brief period of time. I don't know much about it but perhaps when those particles disappear they return to move faster than the speed of light and can no longer be perceived and the very collision is what slows them down from the higher dimensions.
      Maybe the advance in quantum mechanics would shed more light on my theory of dimensional limits.

      About the frequency of perception as promised: I do believe that we have a sort of a device in us that registers events just like time is registered in the universe. this device also replays those registered events at a certain frequency and this is our conscious experience. It is governed by actual time just like a clock. As time slows it also slows the register however it still replays everything that is registered at the same rate regardless of the amount of events registered. Think about how we live, we live in the past it takes time for the information to reach our senses, and then it takes more time to process the information in our brain before replaying it as our conscious experience. The information that reaches the senses and is processed in the brain is what what this device registers and replays. Those registered events create an internal flow of events that we experience and thus is the time that we experience as opposed to actual time in space-time.

      A person who travels close to the speed of light will register less events than a person on earth in a certain amount of time at both points of reference. Because the person who travels fast will receive the waves of information more slowly than a person on earth who receives all of them almost instantly. However they both will claim that they felt time flowing at the same rate, that is because their device replays their registered events at the same rate regardless of actual time being slowed. And that is the frequency of perception. The universe just like us has a frequency of perception that is based on registered events and it replays the events into everything that is happening in the universe trough actual time. When you move closer to the speed of light you also shrink in the direction of movement perhaps this is how the universe perceives you, the faster you go the thiner is the perception of you until you can no longer be perceived.

      Frequency of perception can also be slowed or increased. Notice that you feel time going slowly when you are bored. And time going fast when you are busy and exited. This is you increasing and decreasing the replay rate of your events or your frequency of perception. However only actual time is what makes you age and what makes everything happen. The universe doesn't care about how you perceive your time. If you are unconscious at a low speed you do not register and do not replay any events because your frequency of perception is stopped and you do not perceive the universe however you still receive the effects of actual time and the universe perceives you. If you travel at the speed of light you do not register or replay any events and thus do not perceive the universe however you also do not receive the effects of actual time and the universe doesn't perceive you (Though you still affect it). How would you perceive something at a speed greater than the speed of light? Perhaps just as now you simply have a device and senses for higher non physical non speed of light bound dimensions.

      This is all very interesting to me I wish modern science would figure out this device and the frequency of perception in other words our consciousness, just like perhaps ancient civilizations did with what they called sorcery. And another branch of science would figure out higher dimensions and beyond the speed of light limits. If we would figure out what holds our consciousness and learn to transfer it to matter that isn't bound to the speed of light then we would be able to really travel the universe. Who knows maybe all of this is already possible through ancient wisdom and sorcery. It will take some time for science to reach it with it's ways. I do hope science will reach new limits and close the gap between spirituality and metaphysics.

      I hope someone will bother to read and understand this I don't have many people with whom I can talk about it but it is really interesting. I tried to write it as organized as possible. I am hoping someone can correct me if I got something wrong or share their thoughts on the subject.

    2. #2
      Xei
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      I think the main problem you've having is that you're looking for some kind of intuitive explanation of special relativity. You're looking for an explanation in terms of common concepts like waves and such. The fact is that there simply isn't any explanation; it doesn't require an explanation. Special relativity is simply a model of how reality is observed to behave. That is just how reality is. You may as well ask the same questions of Newtonian physics. Why does an object move with a constant velocity when there is no force on it? Why is time universal and absolute? These questions are probably nonsensical. There is no explanation. Some things must simply be the case.

      You can't really define time, in relativity. It means just what you think it should. Time is a concept we use to describe the ticking of a clock. If time is moving faster for somebody else than for you, that means that, to you, their watch will be ticking faster, their heart will be beating faster, and their brains working faster. There's no difference between 'perceptual time' and 'actual time'. There's just time, which we can only define by means of examples. You say that somebody will "feel that time is going at the same rate despite the fact it's actually going slower". I think you misunderstand the basic message of relativity: there is no single time. Their time isn't "actually" slower. It's just slower than yours. From their perspective, your time is flowing faster. It's called 'relativity' because it describes how individual people experience the universe, and explains that, unlike what was previously thought by Newton (and still most people today), these two experiences may not necessarily agree. Neither person is 'more right' than another; it's just that physics is relative.

      For the reasons I mentioned in the first paragraph, your attempt to 'explain' time dilation in terms of waves of information is misguided. Some things are simply facts without explanation, and special relativity is probably one of them; certainly there is no intuitive explanation. Also I fail to see how your explanation makes sense. Why does going very fast mean that these 'waves of information' hit them slower, anyway? If they're moving towards the waves, the waves should hit them faster. Time dilation doesn't depend on direction.
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      Member Nefarious's Avatar
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      Thanks for the reply.

      I was afraid of that kind of response. It's hard for me to accept this just the way it is. It is the same as saying yeah I know that but I don't understand why is it so and thus I can't really explain it. It's just isn't satisfying. It's like giving up on thinking in a certain direction because you can't overcome some obstacle in the way even though clearly there is something more.

      The "waves" will aways come from the previous reference point as they are the cause to the effect at the next reference point. Thats why they will always come from the rear of the direction of movement not from the front and they will hit the next reference point slower if it is moving at a speed closer to their speed, and thus slowing the effects at the next reference point. I used waves to describe it because it is somewhat easy to imagine and thus understand but it can be whatever it is just describing what actually happens.

      I believe holding firmly into commonly accepted facts and disregarding anything new might not help to expand science. I was hoping for something that would clearly state that I am wrong with my thoughts but what I perceived from your response is that I suggest something new that just isn't accepted but it isn't clearly disproved.

      In any case I do believe there is a clear distinction between the time we perceive in our conscious experience and the time that actually makes things happen. We can even take for example our dreams and the experience of time there compared to the actual time that passes for you in the so called reality.

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      Xei
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      I said literally nothing about discarding your idea because it was "new". I don't know where you got that notion. All I did was question it. Currently, I do not understand what you are talking about. I don't understand your definition of 'actual time' or 'event'. The word 'event' is used ubiquitously to refer to a singular occurrence with a location in space and time. Examples of events include Abraham Lincoln being shot and the toaster in my kitchen popping up just now. This seems to have no correspondence to what you mean by 'event', so perhaps a change of terminology would be useful. I don't know what a 'wave of information' is and I have no understanding of your explanations involving them. You need more exposition and crucially some examples to communicate what it is that you mean.

      Regarding the fact that things lack explanations: no, it's not unsatisfactory, and to think it is indicates a large misconception about the nature of explanations and human cognition in general. An explanation does not ever explain 'why' something is, in itself. An explanation simply describes how certain complex phenomena are the result of simpler phenomena. All explanations rely on assumptions. There is no such thing as an explanation of a fact which doesn't simply move the goalposts and rest on a different set of unexplained facts (if you disagree, try to think of a counterexample). Plainly the process of explanation must stop somewhere. You can explain why the wind blows if you take it as a fact that the sun heats the Earth; you can explain why the sun heats the Earth if you take it as a fact that fusion occurs in the sun; you can explain why fusion occurs in the sun if you accept some even more basic assumptions about atoms and their laws. But this obviously does not go on forever. In the end, you will have some rules about the way particles (or something more fundamental) behave, and no simpler concepts to explain them with. And there it stops. That level of reality, for all we know, simply exists, and there's nothing simpler you can break it down to. There's no explanation possible. This is counter-intuitive to most people (simply because most things on our level have explanations), but if you think about it, it's obviously true, and you can't raise any logical objection to certain objects and laws simply existing. Special relativity is so fundamental that it's probably a part of these unexplainable facts, if not very close to them.
      Last edited by Xei; 02-23-2013 at 06:08 PM.

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      Member Nefarious's Avatar
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      Alright then I probably misunderstood what you were tying to say, just as you misunderstood what I was tying to say.

      Anyway the point of an explanation in my opinion is to create a sort of a system of understanding from which you could extract additional facts that can be made useful. It is more or less how science works and why it attempts to explain certain phenomena. And yes it is based on making assumptions and accepting more simple facts, which is exactly what I was trying to do. I believe that a better explanation of relativity could lead to the discovery new useful facts on the subject.

      I can see your point about not giving enough examples I was all about abstract understanding. I don't think I can make my definition of an event any more simple, but maybe I can give some examples to better explain it:

      Like I said an Event is everything that happens from the reference point of the Cause(Which can be anything from movement of a particle to a chemical reaction) to the reference point of the Effect(Which is the result of the cause like fire or a collision of matter.) This everything that happens in this process creates many other causes that reach many other effects and thus more events. The problem is there are so many things going on during an event which we can't even know that affect so many things, it's pointless to try to name them all. But we can figure out that some of the events that are created in the flow of events are responsible for things such as moving the parts of a clock and thus making it tick.

      If we imagine these events move like waves from one reference point to the next and applying their effects on each reference point they pass, we can figure out that while moving from 1 reference point to the next a chain of events is following you at the speed of light/information and when they finally reach you, you would experience their effects and register actual time.

      Is that explanation makes it more understandable?

      I'm actually happy that you point out that my explanation isn't good this way I can either improve it or disregard it completely so please ask away if there is anything else I didn't explain well.

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      You said you had looked at youtube clips and articles about Relativity - if you want to understand it you need more than little soundbytes - you need to get a book about it.

      Here's Einstein himself on the subject: Amazon.com: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (9781482548860): Albert Einstein: Books

      I read this book a few years ago and it does an excellent job of explaining it, though I found it pretty hard to wrap my head around the General theory - a couple of times I felt like I was getting a glimmer of it but it's been a long time and I don't remember it very well anymore. The special theory is pretty simple and straightforward though.

      You need to work on your examples - you just said a lot of vague stuff and it sounds like you're trying to explain a whole chain of events, not just a single one.

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      Xei
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      Well, I don't really understand why you've chosen to use the word 'event' for something with so little resemblance to what the word 'event' means in English. It sounds like you're referring to a chain of causes and effects between any two causally linked occurrences. So it'd make more sense to use a new word without any connotations... like 'chain' [note: I actually wrote this part of the post before Darkmatters said exactly the same thing]. Otherwise things get very confusing when people use the same word to refer to different concepts.

      I still don't understand your explanation. I think the best way to explain it would simply be to use an example. The simplest example is two rockets a large distance apart in space, moving at high velocity towards each other. Each rocket has on board a clock which ticks once every second. Please explain what you'd see if you were on board one of the rockets and could see into the other, and why.

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      Ok well terms are terms I am more interested into what is the meaning behind them. I just chose a word that confused you but I found it suitable to name what I meant. Language is problematic as it can't explain abstract ideas very well.

      Anyway as for the example I will try to explain what I think would happen with 2 rockets moving towards each other with high velocity.

      First of all from the perspective of the universe:

      The faster the rockets move in any direction the slower they register actual time( Not the time that they perceive, the time that makes them actually age) This effect gets stronger the closer their velocity is to the speed of light, until it completely stops at the speed of light. This is because when they move from one reference point to the next, in their path that consists of infinite reference points. A chain of effects, results of causes, waves of information of what needs to happen at the next reference point follows them at the speed of light, as it is the speed of information. Those "waves" are what makes the clock tick, makes you age, and everything else that happens, they register actual time. Those "waves" will always come from the previous reference point and thus from the rear of the direction of movement because they are the cause to the effect at the next reference point, and a cause always comes before the effect. The closer you get the the speed of those "waves" the more time it takes them to reach you, until at the speed of light they can't surpass you anymore. This is why the faster you go the slower you register actual time.

      Since this is the case for both rockets (As the universe perceives them both the same way), this perception of the universe of actual time is what truly matters in terms of what is really happening and the aging of objects, the rest really is just a relative perception of the observers. This is what makes this topic so confusing because if the observers in the rockets are human and both are aware and conscious, in their reference point they will perceive time flow completely normal. They will not feel that their actual time is slowed as they can't even tell if they are moving or the other object is moving if their speed is constant.

      The perspective of the observers in the rockets:

      The observer in rocket that moves slower will perceive the clock at the rocket that moves faster being slowed, and that will be somewhat correct as the faster rockets actual time is slowed. However in the faster rocket the observer will feel no difference for him his clock ticks the same way as it it would tick at a lower velocity. That is because his human perception is relative and is also affected by actual time. He can't tell the difference in his perception just as he can't tell if he is moving or the other rocket is moving while remaining at constant speed unless he can look at the other rockets clock and compare. This is because of the frequency of perception that I was trying to explain in my post.

      The observer in the rocket that moves faster will perceive the clock at the rocket that moves slower ticking faster, and this is not really correct as it is his actual time is slowed, and the actual time of the other rocket isn't increased it just isn't slowed relative to his. Actual time can't be increased because that would mean that the cause would reach it's effect faster than the speed of light and that is not possible in this dimension of our universe. What actually happens is that since the observer in the faster rocket is human and aware and conscious his frequency of perception replays his registered events at a constant frequency, every tick of this frequency replays an event of actual time in his reference point. Since in one event of actual time in his reference point more events happened at the slower rocket (because in the slower rocket actual time isn't slowed), he perceives the clock there and everything else to tick faster, but in reality it is him that is simply slowed by actual time. And he can never tell that his actual time is slowed unless he can compare with a slower moving reference point.

      This confusion is because both human observers perceive their personal time (not actual time) at the same rate because of a human constant frequency of perception. However what truly matters is the perception of the universe and thus actual time.

      I hope this is more clear maybe you will finally see what I mean. Please tell me if you still don't understand.

    9. #9
      Xei
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      That's not correct; both passengers will see the other clock ticking slower. So I guess your explanatory mechanism (which unfortunately I still don't get) must be incorrect, too.

      Just from the way you are speaking, it seems that you don't really grasp the nature of Special Relativity (a theory which has been confirmed by experiment). There is no such thing as 'actual time' or 'time from the perspective of the universe'. In person A's universe, two events (using the word 'event' here in its usual sense, e.g. two stars exploding) may occur at the same time. This does not mean person A experiences the events at the same time; it's not about the information reaching him. This is literally about the time that the events occurred, when you've corrected for the delay in information (which is bounded by the speed of light). But for person B, one event may have occurred before the other. Literally. In his universe, they occurred at different times. So the entire idea of the 'actual universe' makes no sense; whose (or what's) actual universe? There's no objective frame of reference to refer to; each frame of reference is as valid as any other. And different things are true in different frames. The same goes for the way you talk about velocity: you don't seem to know that the laws of physics (again, tested by experiment) are independent of inertial frames. This idea goes all the way back to Galileo, but its fundamental nature was revealed by the Michelson-Morely experiment around the turn of the last century, and was what spurred Einstein in the first place. The point is, neither rocket is moving 'faster'. If you were in one rocket, that rocket would be absolutely still, and the other one would be moving quickly towards you. If you were in the other rocket, you'd experience exactly the same situation. If you were floating in space halfway between the two rockets, they'd be moving towards each other at the same speed. There is no way to distinguish between these frames: they are each as valid as each other. So the passengers couldn't possibly have asymmetrical experiences as you suggest.

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      It's true what you say about the passengers perception which I perhaps confused however I do believe there is an objective reference point. Let me try to explain why I thought about it this way.

      The case is not the same for both passengers from a simple and also confirmed fact that one will age faster and the other will age slower. Can you guess who will age slower? Thats right the one who moved closer to the speed of light. And it completely doesn't matter what they see about the other passenger. This is just it, their perception and not reality.

      All my idea came from this: It is not the same for 2 observers, regardless of what they perceive. In any case it is really hard to even tell for sure what will they see at those speeds. Can you reevaluate my idea now?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Nefarious View Post
      I do believe there is an objective reference point.

      This might help you to understand better - there is no such thing as a stable point in space from which to observe anything. To explain that - you can pick a stable point on the earth's surface, but the earth is moving, so that point really isn't stable unless you're observing it also from the earth's surface. Ok, so maybe you can pick a stable point in the solar system in relation to the sun? Sure, but the sun itself is constantly moving. So is the galaxy, and all galaxies are moving in relation to each other. How do you pick a stable point in space to measure events from? There is no such place, a point can only be called stable in relation to some other point. Even if you visualize a 3 dimensional Newtonian grid system encompassing the universe or some part of it, how do you anchor that grid? There's no stable 'ground' on which to base it. The idea of stable ground is something we believe in because we evolved on the surface of a planet and to our eyes it isn't apparent that it's actually whirling through space, around a sun that's spinning around inside a galaxy that is itself in motion... do you begin to see the immensity of the problem?

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      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nefarious View Post
      It's true what you say about the passengers perception which I perhaps confused however I do believe there is an objective reference point. Let me try to explain why I thought about it this way.

      The case is not the same for both passengers from a simple and also confirmed fact that one will age faster and the other will age slower. Can you guess who will age slower? Thats right the one who moved closer to the speed of light. And it completely doesn't matter what they see about the other passenger. This is just it, their perception and not reality.

      All my idea came from this: It is not the same for 2 observers, regardless of what they perceive. In any case it is really hard to even tell for sure what will they see at those speeds. Can you reevaluate my idea now?
      Special Relativity is of course extremely counter-intuitive so it's really no fault of yours; but that's simply incorrect. The twin who 'moves closer to the speed of light' won't age faster. If you take on board what I said in my last post, hopefully you can understand why. Firstly, the situation is totally symmetrical. As I explained, there is no such thing as an objective velocity. If you're on one ship, your ship is stationary, and the other is moving towards you at, say, 90% light speed. If you're on the other ship, exactly the same is true. Both of these perspectives are equally valid. So it can't possibly be that one ages faster than the other; there's nothing to distinguish the two passengers. Secondly, there's no such thing as 'moving closer to the speed of light'; it's the same basic problem. Velocity is relative. Say you're outside both rockets, floating in space. If you rushed towards one rocket, it would be moving fastest (and closer to the speed of light). If you rushed towards the other, it would be the one moving fastest.

      The twin paradox occurs because of accelerations. Although velocity is relative, acceleration is in fact not. The twin who goes out into space and then comes back again has to accelerate very strongly towards Earth in order to return. This involves firing some kind of propellant to cause a force. The twin on Earth (pretend for simplicity that the Earth is still rather than orbiting) doesn't accelerate; he doesn't enact any force. So here, the two twins are objectively different; and that's why one ages more than the other, and that's why the situation is different from the one with the rockets. If the travelling twin suddenly shot off into space at 90% of the speed of light and kept going, then the situation would be the same as the one with the rockets. And there would be no telling who is going 'faster'; you could say the twin is moving at 90% of light speed away from the Earth, or you could say the Earth is moving away at 90% of light speed away from the twin.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      This might help you to understand better - there is no such thing as a stable point in space from which to observe anything. To explain that - you can pick a stable point on the earth's surface, but the earth is moving, so that point really isn't stable unless you're observing it also from the earth's surface. Ok, so maybe you can pick a stable point in the solar system in relation to the sun? Sure, but the sun itself is constantly moving. So is the galaxy, and all galaxies are moving in relation to each other. How do you pick a stable point in space to measure events from? There is no such place, a point can only be called stable in relation to some other point. Even if you visualize a 3 dimensional Newtonian grid system encompassing the universe or some part of it, how do you anchor that grid? There's no stable 'ground' on which to base it. The idea of stable ground is something we believe in because we evolved on the surface of a planet and to our eyes it isn't apparent that it's actually whirling through space, around a sun that's spinning around inside a galaxy that is itself in motion... do you begin to see the immensity of the problem?
      I was talking about an objective point of reference or view if you will not a stable one as everything constantly move like you said. That is a point of view of what actually happens not what a human see happening.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Special Relativity is of course extremely counter-intuitive so it's really no fault of yours; but that's simply incorrect. The twin who 'moves closer to the speed of light' won't age faster. If you take on board what I said in my last post, hopefully you can understand why. Firstly, the situation is totally symmetrical. As I explained, there is no such thing as an objective velocity. If you're on one ship, your ship is stationary, and the other is moving towards you at, say, 90% light speed. If you're on the other ship, exactly the same is true. Both of these perspectives are equally valid. So it can't possibly be that one ages faster than the other; there's nothing to distinguish the two passengers. Secondly, there's no such thing as 'moving closer to the speed of light'; it's the same basic problem. Velocity is relative. Say you're outside both rockets, floating in space. If you rushed towards one rocket, it would be moving fastest (and closer to the speed of light). If you rushed towards the other, it would be the one moving fastest.

      The twin paradox occurs because of accelerations. Although velocity is relative, acceleration is in fact not. The twin who goes out into space and then comes back again has to accelerate very strongly towards Earth in order to return. This involves firing some kind of propellant to cause a force. The twin on Earth (pretend for simplicity that the Earth is still rather than orbiting) doesn't accelerate; he doesn't enact any force. So here, the two twins are objectively different; and that's why one ages more than the other, and that's why the situation is different from the one with the rockets. If the travelling twin suddenly shot off into space at 90% of the speed of light and kept going, then the situation would be the same as the one with the rockets. And there would be no telling who is going 'faster'; you could say the twin is moving at 90% of light speed away from the Earth, or you could say the Earth is moving away at 90% of light speed away from the twin.
      Yes I see the flaw in my explanation now. I should have focused on acceleration and not velocity. I didn't remember the tween paradox correctly. I still do believe there is a distinction between actual time and perceptual time, which you could conclude out of time dilation. I should give this subject more thought and see what I can figure out. Thanks for correcting me.

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      No problem, thanks for being patient and rational.

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      Yeah I can't find any better explanation than general relativity for actual time dilation now that I more or less understand it. But what I figured out from understanding it, is the same thing I couldn't explain very well in my idea. There is a perceptual time dilation and actual time dilation just like there is perceptual time and actual time.

      Perceptual time is the time we perceive with our frequency of perception. Frequency of perception is the rate at which our brain or our consciousness replays the events that are perceived by our senses to our conscious experience, every tick of it registers perceptual time. It is not the actual time of reality this is an illusion. It is the same as when you are bored and time seem to flow slowly and when you are exited it seem to flow too fast.

      Actual time is the time that is registered when the events of the universe affect us. In other words actual time is registered when waves of information of what needs to happen at the next reference point reach it from the previous one with the speed of light and apply their effects on the new one. This is the real deal of reality. It is not an illusion. This is what makes everything happen in our physical universe (by not being frozen in time) and what makes you age.

      Perceptual time dilation is what happens in special relativity. Since we perceive the light travel a longer path in our inertial frame while observing another frame that moves very fast, we think that the other frame's time is delayed. Because just as light, waves of information are also delayed as they travel at the same speed of light. The other frame can say the exact same thing about us and it doesn't even matter who moves and who is not as long as there is no acceleration or gravity nearby. In reality none of those frames have actual time dilation, their actual time flows regularly and they age at the same rate regardless of what they perceive about each other. This dilation is just an illusion.

      Actual time dilation is what happens in general relativity. Noticeable actual time dilation is caused by extreme gravity (like near a massive star) or acceleration at speeds close to the speed of light. The force of the gravity field or the force that it takes to accelerate an object with mass at speeds near the speed of light is so strong that it bends space-time. light and information waves follow the curvature of the bend and thus delayed by the longer path and create actual time dilation. The stronger the force the deeper the curvature and the longer is the dilation. Which mean it will take more time for an information wave to reach the next reference point and deliver it's effects and thus register actual time. This is not an illusion if your actual time is delayed you will age more slowly.

      The limits:

      Black hole: gravity is infinite, time stops. Light and information waves can't escape black holes as it is not a bend in space-time it's a hole!, they can't deliver their effects and the result is the stopping of actual time. No aging, No illusion.

      Light speed: not possible to achieve for matter with mass except for black holes. Actual time stops because if you travel at the same speed as the information waves they will not be able to catch you and deliver their effects and thus register actual time. No aging, No illusion.

      Higher planes or dimensions:

      I believe that higher planes are beyond those limits in a way that the matter that comprises higher planes constantly move faster than the speed of light (Surely it doesn't have a physical mass or it's equivalence as it is not physical and thus can achieve that). This means that the events in higher planes happen faster than what we can perceive with our physical senses or measurement tools. Actual time in the physical plane somehow intersects with the events in higher planes, so when it stops in the physical planes it doesn't stop at higher planes as they continue to affect the physical plane. I believe that this intersection of actual time between planes or dimensions is the key to time travel. Traveling to the future is possible in one dimension by actual time dilation traveling backwards would require multidimensional travel.

      Crossing the limits:

      It is not possible to witness higher dimensions with a physical body (hint hint astral body). The higher planes are not physical thus to get there you need to lose the thing that makes you physical and that is mass and it's equivalent energy. The only particles that can reach the speed of light are massless like photons, they are borderline as we can still perceive and measure them however they are not affected by physical actual time and thus they create the constant light speed regardless of a reference frame. I think photons and other borderline particles might still have an energetic property that makes them part of the physical planes and thats why they can't travel faster than light and we can still measure them.

      The bottom line is that every dimension have an energetic property in the matter that it consist of that limits them to their current dimension. Actual time can be stopped in a dimension but it intersects with other dimensions and is governed by events that happen with matter on all dimensions. To move to a higher dimension you need to lose an energetic property that binds you to your current dimension. There is probably a set amount of energetic properties you can lose before you turn into nothingness and thus the amount of dimensions is limited.

      The work around physics (breaking the illusion):

      The work around assumes that your consciousness has senses for higher dimensions. You cannot perceive them because your higher perception is obscured by the lowest physical plane's physical perception. To understand how that happens we need to imagine how physical frequency of perception works. Every time you perceive something with your physical senses you replay it with the frequency of perception and register perceptual time. During this one tick of perceptual physical time, many other events happened on higher planes as well, much faster than the speed of light and much faster than what you can perceive physically. And you get to experience what you got in this one tick but only what you perceived physically, as the other things happened way too fast to register.

      So from this we can figure that if we want to perceive higher planes such as the astral we need to somehow stop our physical frequency of perception and let the higher frequency of perception register events from higher planes. This is easier said than done because the physical frequency of perception keeps ticking as long as you perceive physically. To stop perceiving physically you need to be either dead, unconscious, moving at light speed, in a black hole, or at least asleep. From all of these I think sleep would be the best option to explore. The problem with sleep is that even though you partially stop your physical senses you still dream, your brain keeps your physical frequency of perception ticking, though to imaginary events that are replayed from your memories rather than reality. So it is not so easy to get to the astral from sleep but were getting closer.

      Experimental Control of the frequency of perception:

      We can notice ourselves that when we are bored time seem to flow slowly and this is the perceptual time, on the other hand if we are having fun and are excited time seem too fly by. What if we could make our perceptual time stop? I mean like try to get to a point when it is so boring that you think time is frozen. This is kinda what meditation in many ancient cultures tries to achieve. I guess the highest point of meditation is being able to stop perceptual time by stopping the physical frequency of perception and by that allowing yourself to get to a point from which you can perceive the higher planes. Or maybe it is possible to increase the frequency of perception by such amount that it will register events that happen faster than the speed of light. Intuition tells me that the first option is closer to what we want to achieve.

      Sleep and lucid dreaming:

      Problem is that meditation that achieves such high results requires a lot of hard work and dedication, and usually stopping the physical frequency of perception makes you pass out and fall asleep. Maybe there is a shortcut in our sleep (especially in lucid dreaming). In lucid dreaming we are already passed out as in we partially disabled our physical senses from the outer physical reality problem is we still have illusions from our memories that the frequency of perception keeps replaying and ticking. We can have lots of fun with those illusions but none of it will be reality. Perception of the higher dimensions will be reality just not the physical one

      In lucid dreaming we are passed out with control. We need to use this control to stop the physical frequency of perception that keeps ticking even in our dreams, then we should be able to either perceive the higher planes or at least reach a point from which it is possible (because maybe you need to somehow adjust your higher frequency for the perception of higher planes). The idea is the same as in waking life you get bored to reduce the frequency or you get excited to increase it.

      The idea in reaching a higher plane trough sleep from a physical perspective is that while you asleep actual physical time keeps affecting you and you keep aging as you do not stop it by sleeping. However you stop your physical frequency of perception and thus able to remove the obscurity of the physical plane from the higher planes that keep affecting you during actual time in the physical plane aswell. And thus you don't really move into a higher dimension you just perceive it as it is already here, just obscured by physical reality.

      Reality:

      The assumption comes from the idea that you exist not only in the physical plane but on all other dimensions aswell at the same actual time, perhaps just as any other thing in the universe. The difference between you and other matter is that you have a very special perception of the universe called consciousness which allows you to experience reality in perhaps a more rich way unlike that of a rock for example. But who knows a rock might have a much more vivid reality than us.

      From here the experimentation is yours gentlemen

      Tell me what you think and if I might have got anything wrong in my thought process.
      Last edited by Nefarious; 02-28-2013 at 11:42 AM.

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      The answer i wish everyone knew!

      I have for many years searched for answers myself. Like in the Matrix, I felt like something just wasn't right. That I was in a dream. Aside from all the B.S. you hear, here is the answer my friend. Einstein immediately, after his theory of SR., begin telling and explaining that the results, though mathematically precise, are OBSERVER EQUATED. In 1921 he wrote a book titled, Sidelights On Relativity. In this book he tried to explain that mathematical equations don't reflect the TRUE fact of a perceived view. Heck, he even admitted that he was wrong and he believed in the Ether. Not one took notice of the book, his theory was in full speed, and even he couldn't stop the far-fetched minds that took his "idea" and started all the fairy tales.

      OK, now some facts...

      !) Einsteins second postulate, simply says, the speed of light is C in a single frame of reference. He didn't, wouldn't and never even meant to say that the speed of light in the same in ALL frames of reference.

      2) Einstein himself later tried to explain that his theory is based on OBSERVER perceptions. He didn't think about all the crap that his idea would spawn. Namely, he never meant for his OBSERVER perceptions to be taken literally.

      3) The fact is, Einsteins General Theory, was meant to REPLACE Special Theory. He realized the SR was a Pandora's Box of paradoxes, and quite frankly, wanted something more real, felt, and not just OBSERVED.

      4) Mathematically, SR is flawless. The math is beautiful and does match up. But, still there even are paradoxes with the math. For one, if the traveling twin is REALLY, FACTUALLY, younger then the Earth twin, why doesn't anyone talk about how that younger twin is also skinnier (about as wide as a pencil), and ways 20,000 pounds!!! The math that dictates time dilation is real, is the EXACT math that also states that their mass will have increased, and their length will have shortened.

      To sum it up, the world today has a vested interest in Special Relativity being the Gospel. But even within themselves, their not sure how to explain it.
      That's why you get so many contradicting answers. To sum it up, look at the book "Sidelines On Relativity" - Einstein - 1921, and visit the "Max Planck Institute For Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) website. They themselves talk about Special Relativity and it's "perceived" only view.
      Your intuitions are not wrong, and with it's many paradoxes and recant by Einstein himself, I would start studying General Relativity. GR makes sense, is mathematically sound, AND is not so counter-intuitive as SR.

    18. #18
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      I Googled for that book and couldn't find any trace of it.

      General relativity does not contradict special relativity, it generalises it. That's why it's called general. The special case of special relativity is still predicted by general relativity in negligible gravitational fields. Einstein most certainly did intend to say that the speed of light is the same in all reference frames, because it is. It's an observed fact. You can go and check it. The whole reason he came up with the theory was that, at the end of the 19th century, people measured the speed of light whilst moving at different velocities, and it never changes. General relativity makes the same claim. It also makes the same claims about changes in mass and length dilation, which are not logical paradoxes - just counter intuitive.

      A bunch more tests of special relativity, which have all given positive results, can be found here: Tests of special relativity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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      1) Are you sure you googled "Sidelights", and not headlights or spotlights. I just did it again, and a thousand references to the book came up.

      2) I didn't say GR contradicts SR.

      3) I don't know what Einstein "intended to say", I just know what he ORIGINALLY wrote. Check it out yourself.

      4) You just said it yourself... it's an "observed fact". OBSERVED.

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      The problem with most explanations of Special Relativity (SR) is that they use the old "Classical" mindset to explain it. I'll try to explain it using the modern concepts of symmetry and rotation.

      Hold a pencil up horizontally. It's vertical length is very small, just a few millimeters. It's horizontal length is much longer though, say 15cm. Now rotate the pencil by 90 degrees. Now the horizontal length is only a few millimeters while the vertical length is now 15cm. That is, vertical and horizontal length are relative quantities that depend on your orientation relative to the pencil. None of this is a problem however since we know that the total length of the pencil (L) is invariant. By Pythagoras theorem:

      L^2 = x^2 + y^2

      or in 3-D

      L^2 = x^2 +y^2 + z^2

      Now, in newtonian physics space and time are two completely different things. This means that you can't rotate anything through time since time is only a single dimension and so therefore the time between two events is invariant and everyone measures the same time. In SR however it was realised that time and space are just different aspects of the same thing: space-time. That is, instead of having the 3 space dimensions and one time dimension being two completely different things they are actually both parts of a single thing - the 4 dimensional space-time continuum.

      The upshot of this is that we can now do rotations involving time. These rotations are what we call velocity. So if someone is moving relative to me then his space-time is rotated relative to mine.

      Imagine two astronauts floating in space. If they are rotated relative to one another and one sees a spanner floating horizontally (relative to him) then the other will see the spanner at some angle to the horizontal, so that part of its length is horizontal and part is vertical. We could say then that the first astronaut's horizontal axis is partly vertical relative to the second astronaut.

      In the same way a space-time rotation (that is, velocity) will make the other person's time dimension partly space relative to me and his space dimension, in the direction of his travel, is partly time relative to me. Now in the pencil example the horizontal distance got smaller while the vertical one gets larger. The same thing happens here, the space distance gets smaller (length contraction) while the time distance gets larger (time dilation). Also as with the pencil example, none of this is a problem since there is an invariant length that everyone measures to be the same value:

      s^2 = x^2 + y^2 + z^2 - t^2

      Note the minus sign on the 't' dimension. So we may disagree on the value of x, y, z or t between two events, but that doesn't matter since everyone measures the interval s between the two events to have the same value.

      So, basically, you need to stop thinking of time as being a separate thing in itself. Time is just one of four dimensions in the space-time continuum and what seems to you to be time may to me seem to be space and visa versa.

      Does that make any sense at all?

    21. #21
      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by tonypauley View Post
      1) Are you sure you googled "Sidelights", and not headlights or spotlights. I just did it again, and a thousand references to the book came up.
      I must have done, I have a pdf of the book now.

      Whether the ether exists or not depends on how you define ether. If by ether you mean a substance like a fluid in which electromagnetic phenomena occur, including waves, i.e. light, then Einstein is still saying the ether does not exist.

      I'm struggling to understand what point you're actually trying to make. Here's a way to make it less obscure: give an example. Give an example of an observation of physical occurrence, for which the "mainstream view" of special relativity, and your correct physical theory, disagree.

      What point are you trying to make about the speed of light? You seem to have some problem with the fact that it is constant, but I can't work out what exactly your problem is. Are you saying it isn't constant? Are you saying that an approaching beam of light will move faster relative to yourself if you travel at speed towards it?

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      I guess the point I'm trying to make, going all the way to the top of the thread, is the original post of Nefarious. She/he sounds like just another person, out of many, including myself, that is trying to understand SR. I have studied it my whole life. The math, everything (I'm not in the field), and I had the same problems as everyone else. All the paradoxes that come from time being so attached to speed. After a ton of research, I have come up with my own personal beliefs which satisfy my wanting of understanding: The speed of light may or may not be "C" as traditional. I believe it is in own own reference. Other "speedy" frame, I'm not sure. I do, without a doubt, know that the twin does not come back younger. As I said in MY original post, the math (which is all it's based on anyway), says that that twin should also weigh exponentially more and be exponentially thin. Damnit, this autosave is saving only half this post. I wrote a bunch more. Do I believe in time dilation... no. Do I believe in length contraction... no.

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      Sorry about that. I write a bunch, then get up to let the dog out, or go to the bathroom, and only a small part has been autosaved. Anyway, I don't wish to argue the points of SR. Because quite frankly, it's pointless. Individuals believe what they want to believe. I just try to answer questions, or help someone answer questions, based on their trouble understanding, or believing in, SR. It's a journey that I took. I wanted to believe. I did. But the more I got into it, the more answers became entangled, paradoxal, or downright hilarious. And I have become very frustrated how any more, you ask an 10 accredited relativists a question, you get 10 different answers. Hell, they don't even understand it themselves! He's just one of a thousand examples... Suzy is sitting on one spaceship, her twin Sam is on another spaceship right next to her. A voice radios a command from a third space next to them. It's the captain. He tells them that both ships have been feed an autopilot command. He tells them, the shades are going to be closed, so they can't observe anything exterior. They CAN however perform any internal experiment they wish. Suzy's autopilot accelerates her at a negligible rate. Something just so she can feel acceleration. Sam's ship zooms off at any rate, just so eventually, he's moving at .8C. He never stopped, just did a big arc and comes back to Suzy. Both have felt acceleration. Now, the question is... since there's no visual observations, how does Suzy and Sam know how old they're supposed to be relative to each other? We do know that one ship approached the speed of light. They do not. Without an observer, there's no time dilation, there's no length contraction. The captain on the third ship was looking down the whole time, so he didn't pay attention. All they have is whatever experiments they performed. Now, the ONLY thing that can be agreed upon is the time it took. And, again, without an observation, how do we know that Sam's clock went slower. Do you see my point? SR is strictly a mathematical package that says time for a fact will slow down ONLY IF IT'S OBVERSED. So you ask, how do I know it will slow down? Your answer inevitably always comes back to "seeing" or "observing" reflected light of the clock of the other spaceship. And to throw a mathematical curve at you, pardon the pun, the Lorentz Contraction is only mathematically practical if you take a predetermined distance in a stationary inertial frame, and then equate it in the "moving" inertial frame.

    24. #24
      Xei
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      I don't understand your point I'm afraid. Just because two people don't know something, doesn't mean it isn't true. It just means they don't know it is true. If I put a paper bag over my head, gravity doesn't stop working, or only start working when I take the bag off and observe the world again. Neither do Suzy and Sam fail to age at different rates because they never meet each other. If the captain were to look at them, which he can easily do, he would see that Sam was older. You assert that the only thing they can agree on is the time it took, but this is just an assertion, and an incorrect one. Suzy will say it took X seconds and Sam will say it took Y seconds and X will be more than Y. The fact Suzy never learns Y or Sam never learns X is of no more consequence than a man with a bag over his head not seeing an apple fall. We know this will be the case because we have observed it before. People have done pretty much this very experiment in the past. They have put an atomic clock aboard a plane and flown it round the world at speed. Another atomic clock was started at the same time on Earth. But when the plane landed and the clocks were compared, the one aboard the plane measured less time, and the size of the difference was in exact accordance with relativity. Presumably you don't deny that this is true, it's a historical incident. I don't understand how you can accept this is true but say that time dilation doesn't occur. If time dilation doesn't occur, the clocks would have read the same.
      StephL likes this.

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      True that my friend (the planes). New studies of the data though also put the planes that were at whatever altitude, as being at the exact altitude that would cause the clocks to slow down, by as much as they did. So, was SR or GR the cause? We don't know. But the Hafele-Keaton experiment was done in a gravitation well. Funny, I do believe that time slows down relative to a gravity field. Like I said, I think GR is great. But SR was thought experiments, which lead to the math. OK, Xei, I will meet you halfway. I don't believe that SR (relating to time dilation, length contract, etc.) is factual because no test has been done to prove it outside of a gravity field. And I will keep an open mind as to it's validity. The speed of light is assumed to "C" in any and all references. We don't know that. I did the math one time taking the speed of the Earths' rotation and revolution, and the speed of the galaxy spin, so forth. The variable of how we could possible measure viewed light, is something like (I don't remember exactly) .0001% of the speed of light. (This referring to the Michelson-Morley experiment). Basically meaning... of course the speed of light is measured as "C" in our reference frame. An analogy - if I am going 100 miles per hour in a vehicle, and I slow down .0001% of that, you will still measure me going 100 miles per hour! And yes, I know CERN can't keep anything to go faster than "C". All the above is my problems with SR, it's equations, and it's assumptions, all based on the assumed fact that light is "C" is ALL reference frames. I enjoy this conversation with you. SELL ME DUDE!

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