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 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 52
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ? Page 2 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
"In Quantum Mechanics, particles do not operate in well defined trajectory's" Abelian, message 66, Einstein vs Newton

You can't even get a one sentence quote in English correct. What I wrote was:

In quantum mechanics, particles do not propagate along well defined trajectories.

So, why is that a problem? First of all, I couldn't even state that unless I could define a trajectory, so your entire semantics game falls apart by your own abuse of semantics. Second, the classical velocity is given by

v_classical = <p>/m. Third, in relativistic quantum theory, the only eigenstate of velocity is `c' which leads to zitterbewegung (confirmed by experiments) in massive particles. If all of this is wrong, why does it make correct predictions of natural phenomena?
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 54
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/23/2011 11:23:30 AM

it is possible to imagine and define things that will never occur.

We aren't discussing any of those things. We're discussing a theory which explains what does occur and predicts things which have been confirmed by experiments.

there was an experiment reported in Scientific American where the results were sub-atomic particle's moving 300+ 400 faster than the speed of light.

Then either the author was wrong or you read the article incorrectly. Provide a reference to an experiment that lead someone to that conclusion.

There are "spooky actions" happening faster than the speed of light.

Uh, no. There aren't. The only people who think that are those who don't understand quantum mechanics and/or relativity. That was excusable 75 years ago, but it's not excusable today.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 56
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/23/2011 2:03:06 PM

whats not excusable is you claiming that i cant read when your contradicted.and plenty of people in the field are debating whether "information" is being passed by those" spooky actions"

Nobody is debating that, so apparently you can't read.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 58
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/23/2011 6:14:40 PM

Einstein made a famous quote about your kind.

Not possible. Einstein died before I was born. You seem to like to speak for Einstein, based on your misreading of what he wrote.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 60
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/23/2011 9:55:08 PM
In the famous words of W. Pauli, ``That isn't right. It's not even wrong.''

If you really are intereested in physics, you ought to study it instead of just making stuff up that doesn't make any sense.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 61
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/24/2011 7:32:46 AM


your very flip. Einstein made a famous quote about your kind. Have you read Thomas Kuhn basicly you have to wait till then old farts set in their ways who won't consider anything new retire and and people with fresh idea's find solutions to the problems the old farts denied existed before anything changes. and apparently your not reading otherwise you would Know Both.


That was actually Max Planck: "a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 65
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/24/2011 9:31:32 PM

making your selves look like fools unable to exercise the characteristic's of a scientist; curiosity , honesty, openness, and skepticism.


Oh, I think you've encountered a wall of skepticism. I can't find it but there is a scale you can test yourself on based on just how much of a frootcake you sound like coming up against what is established and tested science. At this point, from sane to crazy, you're scoring pretty high in the wrong direction. We're taking 'pants on head' territory.

Face it. Unless you've got more going for you than a few jumbled sentences, you're not helping yourelf. And we're not here to help you.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 67
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/25/2011 5:15:22 AM

i have every right to be skeptical of anything people like you believe.

Yes, you have the right to be skeptical of anything. You don't have the right to be taken seriously.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 70
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/25/2011 4:36:29 PM
In debating creationists recently, someone put forward a great quote. "You have a right to your own beliefs. You don't have a right to your own facts." 'Nuff said.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 72
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 74
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/27/2011 5:43:51 AM

I said "i think" meaning i was discussing an Idea. Science also advances through the meaningful discussion of Idea's.

Unfortunately, you can't really discuss ideas, because not only don't know the meanings of the words you use, you don't even want to know the meanings of those words. You have no idea what entanglement means, nor do you understand relativity - Galileo's or Einstein's version. To wit:

Namely that all those single photons in slit experiment split in two as they are isolated, and that there are varying distance limits to entanglement which is due particle s that attain speeds faster than the speed of light

That is completely meaningless. As before, in the words of W. Pauli, ``That's not right. It's not even wrong.''
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 77
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/28/2011 6:53:53 AM

ok i rephrase: that because of "entanglement" there never is just one photon -your never measuring the energy or mass of just one-in any experiment.

That's incorrect.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 79
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 2/28/2011 10:08:55 PM
That's incorrect is incorrect, argue with Mach.

Instead of posting your misunderstanding of basic physics here, submit an article to phys rev letters and let me know when it's published. PRL will happily publish a CORRECT theory that disagrees with all known physics while still explaining everything and making new predictions.
 jackfouru
Joined: 9/10/2010
Msg: 81
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/1/2011 3:45:05 PM
mccullough64, you are not seriously trying to debate a scientist are you? You know, I consider myself really, really smart. And I love reading Scientific American, its probably my favorite magazine. But that doesn't make me a mathmetician or a scientist. I think the level of ability to understand the beauty of math is probably far more than you or I or almost everybody here could muster. Abe may be blowing smoke up our rearends, but given some of his posts, he knows a lot more than you or I could ever possibly imagine in this field. This is not a field where you can have an opinion about something and your opinion is as good as any body elses. You might be able to debate the existence of God with a neurosurgeon, but try not to tell him how to operate on the brain. And if you are a retail clerk with some college, I really doubt you have the credentials to stand up to a post-doctorial student in the area of Physics. Granted physicists obviously don't know everything, but they know a heck lot more than most of us when it comes to the basics. So why not accept the fact you are NOT abes equal in this field rather than trying to argue with him? Argue the existence of God if you want. That's your right. Argue whether there are slimmer pickings or not, or whether women grow crabby with age (as I contend), but stay away from what E=MC squared actually means, unless you want to look foolish.

By the way Abe, I don't get the entanglement theory. My understanding is entangled particles can have instantaneous effects on each other over galactic distances. But doesn't this violate the limitations of the Speed of Light, or does that not apply at the Quantum level? And if not, why not?
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 85
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/2/2011 9:48:14 AM

That's alway's been my argument with math ! that it's a language created by and for the privaleged few in their metaphorical ivory towers who look down on the smaller minds and fling around all these equation's and formula's with (defined)constant's needed to make them work .


It may be your argument with math but you have to see that it amounts to little more than an argument ad ignorantum. You don't understand the math so you question its validity. But that, in itself, is not a legitimate objection. Do you question the calculation of the circumference of a circle or the mathematics that are involved in keeping a plane up in the sky?

Mathematics is a language. I'm in no way a fluent speaker of it. Quite the opposite. However, if there is one thing I do know about math, it's that it is a very effective language for describing much of the fundamenal nature of the universe. Does it tell us everything? Absolutely not. But it's a damn good start.


and the only reason i started this thread was to question is what we say is a constant/s actually a constant or just defined as constant's in order to make equations work in the science's , do the science's actually settle for what is logically "true enough ", rather than the actual absolute truth of a given situation ? like for example the speed of light


If it's not real-world observable, then it is unproven. The reason the speed of ligh works as standard is that it is observed and confirmable. You could set up an experimnt tomorrow and prove it true. So it's not just a convention but a physical fact.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 86
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/2/2011 10:11:50 AM
By the way Abe, I don't get the entanglement theory. My understanding is entangled particles can have instantaneous effects on each other over galactic distances. But doesn't this violate the limitations of the Speed of Light, or does that not apply at the Quantum level? And if not, why not?

I'll write something longer later on, but essentially the confusion lies in mistaking correlation with causation. For example, suppose someone throws a red ball and a blue ball, but the person doesn't know which he threw in which direction. All he knows is that he threw the two balls in different directions. Another person picks up the red ball and yet another picks up the blue ball. Both know that the first person threw a red and a blue ball, so the person who picked up the red ball knows the other person picked up a blue ball and vice-versa. Picking up the red ball didn't make the other ball turn blue. This would be called ``classical entanglement'' if there were such a thing. There isn't such a thing because it is just common sense.

You could repeat the experiment 100 times and have each of the two people who pick up the balls record their color. When they got together, they would indeed find that where they had written red, the other had written blue and vice versa. But, there is nothing mysterious about it. Each person who records red and blue have data that is correlated with that of the other person, but neither person who records a color causes the other person to record the other color. When quantum mechanical effects enter the picture, things become a little different becuase the two balls may no longer be considered to be two different balls. They must be treated as superpositions of of the two individual balls.

I'll expand on this later, but the bottom line is that once you analyze this quantum mechanically, you find out that the answer is the same: the merasurements are correlated, but neither measurement causes the other measurement to be what it is. This was confusing for a long time and it wasn't until John Bell derived what is known as Bell's inequality, that this was understood (and first verified in experiments done by Alain Aspect). The same result was derived in what is called the CSHS inequality which shows explicitly that the measurements are strictly correlations with no signal propagating faster than light (which in turn means that no information propagates faster than light.) There is no cause-effect relationship between those two spatially seperated measurements.

and the only reason i started this thread was to question is what we say is a constant/s actually a constant or just defined as constant's in order to make equations work in the science's , do the science's actually settle for what is logically "true enough ", rather than the actual absolute truth of a given situation ?

If you had one sheep and someone gave you one sheep, would you stop to wonder why

1 sheep +1 sheep = 2 sheep?

I mean, why should you expect anything? Why wouldn't that add up to 5 buildings? If addition doesn't bother you because it seems like common sense, then the only reason other mathematics is more mysterious to you is because it is more mysterious to you. Although it is an interesting question to ask why mathematics DOES describe the world, that question is a much deeper one than is being asked here. As soon as you start down along the ``it's only math'' objection, you need to go all the way and ask why 1 sheep + 1 sheep = 2 sheep and for that matter, ask why it's possible to even enumerate them at all.

any one can be a scientist it doesn't take a degree.

That's true and I've never said otherwise. However, to be a scientist, one at least has to understand the science one claims to understand.
 jackfouru
Joined: 9/10/2010
Msg: 89
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/2/2011 2:05:27 PM
Thank's Abe. I've read a few biographies over the years on Einstein and have read how he explained his thought experiments, you know trains passing in the night, etc. I did a fairly passable job of understanding some of the stuff he was trying to explain and trying to think of the world from the lense of a physicist. But this stuff really is far, far beyond me. . . and I got about a 700 on my Math SAT years and years ago. I like reading the various theories scientists come up with, but I have no idea how you guys do it. This stuff is so incredibly difficult to understand from a conceptual point of view, let alone from a purely mathematical point of view. How Einstein came up with his five miracle papers, including general and special relativity, and how all of the other greats came up with their theories, and how the scientists of the present do it is just beyond me. Its almost like a minuscule portion of mankind was given a mathematical vision that the rest of us could never conceive. I mean how do scientists come up with something like String Theory, multi universes and everything else. Just astounding.

tall, E=MC2 resulted in nuclear power and the Manhattan project. These scientists and mathematicians have put men on moon, vehicles on mars, and Voyager about 11 billion miles from earth right now heading to interstellar space. Einstein's theories have produced an incredible amount of technology today. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7318567/ns/technology_and_science-science/

They may get some things wrong, but they get a lot right. Anybody of reasonable intelligence can learn to be a lawyer or a doctor or even an engineer. But only the very select few are true rocket scientists or theoretical physicists. Just something that the rest of us with lesser abilities have to accept.

mccullough64, are you suggesting you actually understand this stuff . . Mach, etc? It takes more than spouting what you think you understand after reading a few pages of Scientific American to convince others that you have any idea of what you are talking about in the scientific realm.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 90
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/3/2011 10:25:16 AM

All im suggesting is that maybe the equations that are put forward may in some instances be wrong or have errors or not complete , so just because we arn't fluent in their language we shouldn't just take what they tell us as factual ?


Absolutely correct. Don't take everything you read, see and hear from science as necessarily factual...unless of course it is demonstrable and confirmed. Remember, science is a skeptical business. It has to be or else it fails to learn. The only endeavour that benefits from assertions of absolute authority is religion.
 jackfouru
Joined: 9/10/2010
Msg: 92
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/3/2011 2:46:25 PM
I suppose your nephew is one of those run of the mill rocket scientists :-). Really, I am speaking more in terms of the creative geniuses who actually figure things out, create the formulas, not the run of the mill guys who simply apply the formulas. I will continue to be astounded by what some of these guys come up with and what they have accomplished by way of technology. I do not of course speak for their personalities or anything else.
 jackfouru
Joined: 9/10/2010
Msg: 94
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/3/2011 5:32:16 PM
To the contrary mccullough, I am using my free will to respect those whom I wish to respect and to think those foolish whom appear foolish to me. I respect intelligence and knowledge and creativity. I do not respect those who only pretend to be intelligent or knowledgeable. I also believe I have enough intelligence to recognize those people who know what they are talking about and those who only think they know what they are talking about.
 jackfouru
Joined: 9/10/2010
Msg: 96
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/4/2011 1:38:42 PM
Just how have I contradicted myself? Message numbers please.



And I don't have to pretend to be intelligent



Good job
 chrono1985
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 98
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/6/2011 7:26:05 AM

Anybody of reasonable intelligence can learn to be a lawyer or a doctor or even an engineer. But only the very select few are true rocket scientists or theoretical physicists. Just something that the rest of us with lesser abilities have to accept.


This isn't necessarily true. What separates any complex mathematician from an ordinary person is understanding how the various functions break down into the primitive mathematical functions (add, subtract, multiply, divide). That takes no special talent, simply takes knowledge which can be acquired through study. Now deriving new equations does take some degree of talent, that requires some in-depth knowledge on what variables mean, how they are used, and some ingenuity. But most rocket scientist are really only applying knowledge that can be acquired from a text book given enough time to study said text book.
 jackfouru
Joined: 9/10/2010
Msg: 99
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/7/2011 8:32:21 AM
The reason I disagree with you is because, yes, everything is built on learning basic math, but learning mathematical functions, but actually conceptualizing and appreciating more complex mathematical theories have nothing to do with each other. I was pretty good in math in my day, and I am sure if I had applied myself I could have learned to apply theorems and mathematical formulas to reach conclusions. But I could never look at an equation and understand its inner beauty. So could I have become an engineer? Probably. Could I have been a high school physics teacher? Probably. Would I have been a grand designer based on my knowledge of math? No way. Do I have the foggiest notion of what the scientists are talking about when they describe things like String Theory? Nope. Am I going to pretend that I do simply because I read Scientific American? Nope.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 104
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/10/2011 2:00:40 PM

if a photon has energy? but has no mass then if you give m the value zero in E=MC2 , then if you multiply zero by C2 then wouldn't that give E a value of zero ?

The correct expression is:

E^2 = (pc)^2 + (mc^2)^2

where p is the momentum. if m=0 then E = pc. No problem.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 105
what happens to the general and special theory of relativity if light speed isnt a constant ?
Posted: 3/10/2011 2:43:10 PM

so is the question" whether scientist's just "cooked the books" because the mass was so small."

That's only an interesting question to a konspricy theorist who hasn't actually studied physics. First of all, if the photon had a mass, Maxwell's equations would be wrong and the electromagnetic force would not have the form of 1/r^2. That immediately puts stringent limits on the how large the photon mass can be without someone having noticed it 100 years ago. (See the first chapter in ``Classical Electrodynamics,'' Jackson, J.D., for a survey of phenomena in which a non-zero photon mass would be readily apparent.)

Second, no one really has any vested interest in what the photon mass is apart from the noteriety one would gain from performing an experiment that definitively showed is wasn't zero. If anything, there is incentive to find the photon mass to be non-zero. That would add a little excitement to theoretical physics, which has been a little dull for the last quarter of a century.

Third, the experimentally measured upper limit on photon mass is about 10^-51 grams. If you can improve on that limit, please do so and publish the data in Phys. Rev. Letters. You'll be cited by the particle properties data group and lots of authors.

Fourth, it's very simple to write down a theory of electromagnetism in which the photon has a mass and the theory is relativistically correct. For example, the Proca Lagrangian was posed before 1920 (I don't recall the exact year.) Light doesn't propagate at `c', and Maxwell's equations have to be modified, but if you've read Einstein's original paper, ``On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies,'' you would know that Einstein's motivation for postulating the speed of light to be constant was to reconcile Maxwell's equations with classical mechanics by assuming that Maxwell's equations were correct, in which case light does propagate at a constant velocity. (Note that paper doesn't have relativity anywhere in the title.)

Fifth, the Lorentz transforms and more generally, the Poincare transforms were known well before Einstein derived them. Einstein got the credit for relativity because he didn't get the reasoning backwards like his predecessors did in attempting to do the same thing.) However, it didn't take long before physicists realized that relativity only requires massless particles to propagate at a constant velocity and the constant `c' was merely a constant that converts meters to seconds. Meters and seconds were invented by people for convenience, so when using the same units to measure all 4 dimensions, the value of `c' is 1. It has the same significance as the number pi does in describing geometric objects. To obssess over the photon mass or (equivalently) whether or not the speed of light is constant aside from historical interest, is to miss the entire point of relativity as it was generally understood after 1909, when Hermann Minkowski pointed out the geometrical aspect of the theory.

Sixth, there are only two four dimensional geometries consistent with anything resembling the world we see. One is relativity in which `c' is finite (i.e., c=1, no matter how you slice it), and the other is the limit in which c -> infinity, otherwise known as Newtonian mechanics. The latter has been ruled out by thousands of experiments and the fact that lots of everyday technology you take for granted wouldn't work if Newtonian mechanics was correct. Thinking there is some kind of konspiracy afoot to supress dissent is just silly.
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