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The Relativity/Quantum Mechanics Conflict


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This is essentially a copy of an essay I wrote and placed on my web site back in 2002. Since that web site no longer exists, I am placing it here because several of my posts on this forum reference that essay.

 

"There is a deep seated fundamental conflict between Quantum theory and Einstein's theory of relativity. Subtle difficulties become insurmountable problems when gravity is added."
Paul Renteln, "Quantum Gravity", American Scientist, 79, 508-527 (1991)

 

I believe there exists a fundamental error in the common perception of reality: I hold that this error is the basis of the conflict decried above. In a nutshell, the error concerns our confused concept of time. Every student has been told countless times that Newton’s error (which stood for almost 300 years) was that he assumed everyone’s clock could be set to read the same. In the same vein, I hold that Einstein’s error (an error which has plagued science for almost 100 years already) was that he assumed clocks measured time. It is my position that this perception so blocked his view (as even today it blocks the view of the whole scientific community) that he made a mistake in his fundamental view of the problem one would not expect of a high school science student much less a trained scientist.

 

If you are going to take the position that to criticize Einstein or his work is beyond the right of a mere mortal, read no further as this message is not for you; however, if you have the mental capability to temporarily suspend judgment and are willing to look at a possible alternative, please read on. If you closely examine my arguments, you may be surprised by what you find. It is my claim that the most important problem in modern physics is a subtly confused concept of time. Please note that I am making no argument here against any of the experimental results which are used to defend Einstein; the argument is wholly with the interpretation of those results.

 

The Confusion Concerning Time

 

If I think the concept of time is confused, it behooves me to clarify exactly where I believe the problem resides.

 

To begin with, the concept of time has been around long before the invention of clocks and the concept never required the existence of accurate clocks. The most fundamental characteristic of time is that it divides our universe (the reality within which all experiments conceivable are performed) into two distinctly different realms: the past and the future! It is an experimental fact supported by observations extending back to before written history that nothing can be done to change the past and that we do not know exactly what the future will turn out to be. The power and dependability of this single idea (that the past and the future are fundamentally different realms) is the central reason for the very existence of the concept of time. To forget this fact is to overlook a very important phenomena fundamental to our very existence.

 

As I hold that the current concept of time is confused, it is necessary that my concept of time must be at least slightly askew of the common interpretation. Please afford me the small latitude I ask to present my slightly shifted concept of time. In my argument, I would like to view time from the perspective of the ancient past and bring that concept forward to what I think would have resulted if our ancestors had understood everything we know today.

 

In the beginning, the concept of time was really a subtle reference to what was known. To refer to a specific moment in the past (usually by naming a significant event) was to provide a reference to the division between past and future from the perspective of that event. Time was essentially delineated by a succession of events. Even prior to the invention of writing, I am sure it was evident to our ancestors that the motion of the sun (among other repetitive events) provided a convenient commonly understood event as a easy reference. It is my position that this is the real source of the idea behind clocks, devices which could track and label the present. That is, to provide specific references to the collection of interesting boundaries between the associated states of past and the future. What should always be remembered here, is that these references must correspond to a consistent set within our personal mental image of reality.

 

Until Newton came along, I think the concept of time was in good alignment with the needs of mankind; however, I think Newton's great success was the source of a perspective which was fundamentally erroneous. In essence, Newton showed that the future mechanical motion of many objects could be predicted from the past motion via some very simple mathematical relations, time (as a numerical parameter) became a very important scientific concept. This, in itself, was not at all in violation of the concept of time which I have laid out here.

 

If clocks are seen as mechanical devices designed to provide a convenient laboratory collection of reproducible repetitive events, then there is no real conflict with the earlier concept. The clock is then nothing more than the source of a set of references to the division between past and future from the perspective of the events being examined in the laboratory. Newton's error was the presumption that these laboratory clocks provided a valid universal collection of well understood events: i.e. that everybody's clock could be set to agree. What should be remembered is that this issue, though very real, in no way reduces the value of the clock; it merely removes the clock from fulfilling the original concept of time. Under Newton's concept of reality, the future was a definable consequence of the past, at least from a mechanical perspective.

 

The power of Newton's achievements, the ability of his ideas to analytically predict the behavior of many events, insured the development of clocks of ever finer precision. In fact, this precision became so important that the scientific society actually moved to the position that "clocks define time"; totally losing sight of the fact that the central issue of time was the division of the past (that which cannot be changed) from the future (that which science is trying to predict). We had become so sure time could be measured and numerically labeled that we forgot the underlying purpose of the concept: i.e., to separate reality into the two distinctly different realms, the past and the future. It was presumed the future could be exactly predicted if the details of the past were known though, at the same time they still held the conflicting view that their decisions could change the future.

 

Why did such a change raise no signs of difficulty? The issue, very clearly, is misdirection of attention! Only magicians understand how easily people can be misled. Misdirection of attention is the very soul of magic; with it magicians can hide the truth for decades even when we know they are trying to fool us. In science, attention is focused on new ideas, not on the old concepts which are presumed to be clear and consistent; how else could Newton's error have stood for three hundred years?

 

Einstein resolved the difficulty brought forth by Maxwell's equations and the clear requirement of the Lorentz transformations by hypothesizing an alternate geometry for the universe. His geometric solution to the problem has now been accepted as incontrovertible. If I hold that Einstein made an error, I need to display exactly where I think the error was made. Let us return for a moment to the metric used in Einstein’s space-time, remembering that he used that metric to define the geometry of the universe:

[math]ds=\sqrt{(dx)^2+(dy)^2+(dz)^2-(cdt)^2}[/math]

 

Under normal circumstances, a person begins with a geometry designed to some constraints and then deduces the metric after the fact for the purpose of mathematical analysis. Einstein relied on the fact that the metric was consistent with the Lorentz transformations and concluded that Minkowski geometry had to be the proper geometry to be used to describe reality.

 

What Einstein apparently failed to realize was that, by analytically representing the Lorentz transformations, he had already defined some aspects of his mental picture which were not actually necessary. The assumption that clocks measured time was already so solidly embedded in his representation of the Lorentz transformations that he was unable to see his error even after he himself actually discovered that clocks measured something else. What he missed was that they could not be used to define the boundary between the past and the future. From Einstein's perspective, this was the minor issue that simultaneity could not be uniquely defined.

 

This issue was not found to be bothersome because Newton had established the time dependent mechanical model of reality so powerfully that no one at the time, saw any need for that ancient division between the two realms of reality. It was the authoritative scientific position that, if you knew past exactly, the future would be exactly predictable and the boundary, from the scientific perspective was unimportant. A very important concept was discarded as unnecessary! I hold that this is the exact source of the conflict between Relativity and Quantum mechanics.

 

Since that time, experimenters have been analytically displaying their data in Einstein’s picture and searching for relationships without really ever questioning the applicability of his geometry. In order to understand Einstein’s error and the consequences of that error we must understand the nature of what is called "proper time". Proper time is related intimately to the metric of Einstein’s representation of what he calls space-time.

[math]ds=icd\tau=\sqrt{(dx)^2+(dy)^2+(dz)^2-(cdt)^2}[/math]

 

If one is familiar with Einstein’s theory of relativity, one should notice two very important facts concerning real experiments which can be performed. The first fact is that no physical object can follow a path in Einstein’s space-time if any element of that path requires [imath]d\tau[/imath] to be non real (no physical object may move along a path where [imath]d\tau[/imath] is imaginary).

 

This is the first sign that something is amiss here! If no object may follow such a path, why does Einstein's proposed geometry of the universe include such a path? That this is not a trivial question is pointed out by the fact that the issue of objects following such paths is a serious question considered by modern physicists. This is, in fact, the impetus for the search for tachyons: particles which travel at speeds in excess of the speed of light. Anyone competent in relativity can show that the existence of such particles yield demonstrable violation of causality: essentially, they allow the past to be changed! Serious scientists usually dismiss this issue as a flight of fancy; however, if that is the case, we are back to the original question: why should the fundamental geometry of the universe include such a possibility?

 

The second fact, which is also of under appreciated significance (dismissed as insignificant by everyone), is the fact that each and every object which has any internal dynamic properties can function as a clock and that all such clocks do in fact exactly measure [imath]d\tau[/imath]: i.e., proper time. This fact is true even under acceleration; a point seldom pointed out by any authority on relativity (never if one wants to go by my experience).

 

If one wishes to be exactly correct, any competent physicist knows that, when he performs an experiment, there exists no clock in the universe which yields the correct time for the reference frame used in the calculation of the consequences of his experiment (such a clock would have to be in an absolutely perfect rest frame). He will hold that the errors are negligible and unimportant; in fact, the assertion that the universe is “foamy” on the smallest scale was invented to get rid of this problem. I agree that they may, by care, be made as negligible as desired but I deny that the issue is unimportant.

 

Please notice that, if one is to be exactly correct, a subtle problem has been handed to the experimentalists. They take measurements on the real world: x,y,z and "some clock reading". They then display that data in Einstein’s geometry (the display is usually via analytic and not graphic methods but it is display none the less). Somehow, they always manage to perceive the fact that all clocks measure proper time to be a trivial issue, not really significant to their problems. But Einstein’s coordinate system requests they display x, y, z and time (not proper time, "what clocks measure"). This error leads the experimenter into an almost insoluble problem. His problems are only shielded from his personal realization by the superb power of the mathematics available to him or the usually small relativistic effects.

 

In order for you to understand the depth of the experimenter’s abstract dilemma, consider the following circumstance. What kind of success would you expect of a student who took data in an experiment [imath](a_i,b_i)[/imath] and then displayed that data in a geometry using the coordinates a and c; where he had defined b (one of his measured variables) to be path length of his finished plot in the geometry. By selecting such a geometry, the student has presented himself with an almost impossible problem: he must know the solution (the consistent set of [imath]c_i[/imath] which go with his measurements [imath]a_i[/imath] and [imath]b_i[/imath]) before he can display his data. If his data produces straight lines, the problem is straight forward; but if the data produces curves, finding the corresponding data set [imath]c_i[/imath] will become a mathematical chore that the very best of us would rather avoid.

 

That problem is exactly the problem the physics community has been faced with solving during the last century. As would the student above, they have discovered that the problem is quite easy so long as the data falls along straight lines (special relativity, i.e., no acceleration) and time is linearly related to proper time; but, just let a little acceleration confuse the issue and to merely display the data analytically drives one to mathematical notation so complex that very few experimentalists even bother to attempt a "correct" representation: i.e., a representation in Einstein's theory of general relativity. Most do not even develop the skills necessary to do so.

 

The fundamental problem here is two very different concepts of time. One concept of time is the idea that there is a state called the present which divides the universe into two different realms: the past which cannot be changed from the future which cannot be exactly known. The second concept of time is that it is the reading off a clock. These concepts are fundamentally inconsistent with one another.

 

Two issues ignored by the scientific community should be looked at very closely here. First, any competent physicists knows that it is impossible to construct a device which will provide a universal division between past and future for all possible reference frames. This being the case, they simply ignore that specific concept of time as being of no scientific significance. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, seriously confronts that concept via "collapse of the wave function".

 

The second issue is the fact that all clocks are dynamic physical entities controlled by the laws of physics. Since the fundamental axiom of relativity is that the laws of physics are not frame dependent, the readings on a clock cannot possibly be frame dependent! Note that the only measure in the theory of relativity which is totally independent of the reference frame is Einstein's invariant interval which, as luck would have it, is exactly what all clocks measure. Scientists avoid thinking about this issue by placing their reference clocks in specific reference frames as if these frames are of special significance. Their special significance is quite evidently the fact that they define the division between past and future in the experimentalists mind and that fact should also be carefully looked at.

 

A Path out of Confusion?

 

The answer to the dilemma is frightfully simple: one should work directly with the experimentally measured variables. That is to say, we should be displaying our data in a geometry where the coordinates along the path of the objects of interest are x,y,z and proper time (what clocks actually measure). Notice that this change does absolutely nothing to the data describing the universe! This change constitutes no more than a different representation of exactly that same data and must obey all the equations obeyed by the data in the original representation. It is no more than a different (and, in some ways, more convenient) display. Please note that I am not proposing either absolute time or any kind of "ether" theory; all I am saying is that an experimentalist may, at any time, choose a reference frame within which to plot their data.

 

In order to see the consequences of displaying our data in this geometry, let us rewrite the differential relationship derived from the Lorentz consistent metric deduced by Einstein with the proper time under the radical; thus discovering the metric of our suggested geometry consistent with physics driving the change in the measured variables.

[math]ds =cdt = \sqrt{(dx)^2+(dy)^2+(dz)^2+(cd\tau)^2}[/math]

 

Several surprising things have occurred; two of which are apparently quite unreasonable. One of the most astounding things about that metric is that it is exactly the form we would expect for a Euclidean metric. Who, in their right mind would have expected the Lorentz consistent transformations required by Maxwell's equations to have lead us to a Euclidean space? The second rather different aspect of this picture is that "t" has returned once more as a parameter of the motion, not a coordinate.

 

On the other hand, two other consequences seem, at least at first glance, to be in direct conflict with reality. First, if the measure along any path is cdt and t is a parameter of the motion, the speed of every entity described in this geometry is identical to the speed of light (a comment seemingly contradictory to any experience). The other equally strange consequence, that tau (what is measured by a hypothetical clock at the experimental reference point) apparently represents a real axis totally and completely on par with the other three axes, seems also to be in direct conflict with reality. This geometry is a four dimensional Euclidean geometry and it is counter to our intuition that there could exist another axis totally equivalent to x,y and z which is not perceivable.

 

I would like to take time out to assure everyone who has managed to get this far, that there is no physics here at all! We have done nothing except propose to plot object paths in an alternate geometry; any problems which appear to arise must arise because our mental picture does not map these events properly into our common perception of reality (as seen in Einstein's space-time continuum). I will therefore proceed with a proposed mapping which I think makes sense.

 

Mapping the Picture into Reality

 

This fourth dimension, which arose from the path length from Einstein's theory (his invariant interval), must be given as a function of t (the parameter of the motion). It should be evident that ct is a measure (confined to the space-time path of the event of interest) of the total path length of that entity since it was created (the integral of ct along that space-time path). Clearly, the start point is either the beginning of the universe or some other point of interest. With regard to that "point of interest", if we have two entities interacting, it is quite rational to conclude their position in [imath]c\tau[/imath] must coincide.

 

Now, that idea immediately generates some major problems. If you start laying out your data in such a picture, it is very easy to set up the following problematical situation:

 

Start with two entities interacting at some time t=0 (we are free to set our zero of the parameter of motion to any value). Presume that, following the interaction, one proceeds into the future with a relativistic velocity whereas the other proceeds at some much smaller velocity. Then allow the two to interact later via a photon exchange. Clearly, from what we have said above, the two entities no longer have the same value of [imath]\tau[/imath] and yet they interact via an entity which has the property that [imath]\tau[/imath] has exactly the same value everywhere on its path (the invariant interval along the path of a photon is exactly zero always). We clearly have a logic problem in our picture.

 

Since all I am doing is re-plotting exactly the same data, how is it that this problem showed up here but not in Einstein's picture? The fact is that exactly the same difficulty showed up in the conventional view only it was never brought to our attention. Essentially, we failed to mention the well know fact that clocks associated with different entities need not read the same for those entities to interact (this is exactly the old twins paradox showing its head) It follows that, in our mental picture of the situation in our new coordinate system, [imath]\tau[/imath] differences must be projected out; they have nothing at all to do with whether or not an interaction can take place.

 

So, our problem is solved. All we need do is remember that anytime x,y,z and t are the same (independent of the value of [imath]\tau[/imath]) entities can interact. If we keep that fact in mind, it is not difficult to show that both pictures yield exactly the same experimental results (as they have to). However, it does lead us to thoughts we might not have within Einstein's picture.

 

Some thoughts about Quantum Mechanics

 

In this unconventional picture, we have a real coordinate, [imath]\tau[/imath], who's actual value vanishes from the physics while the impact of the time dependent changes in value remain significant. I do not know how that strikes the reader, but I find myself drawn to the Heisenberg uncertainty principal. If one takes the uncertainty in [imath]\tau[/imath] to be infinite, then one can only conclude that the momentum in the [imath]\tau[/imath] direction is most probably quantized! What impact would such an alteration in our mental picture have on the physics of the problem?

[math]\Delta x\Delta P_x\geq \frac{\hbar}{2}\quad and \quad\Delta E\Delta t\geq \frac{\hbar}{2}[/math]

 

and, most important to this discussion,

[math]\Delta m\Delta \tau\geq \frac{\hbar}{2c^2}[/math]

 

Clearly, in terms of our new metric, since tau is a real axis just like x, y or z, momentum in the tau direction must be mass. This fact has far reaching consequences. Who among you has ever performed an experiment in the total absence of quantized mass? Every experimentalist I know of works in a laboratory where almost everything he deals with is in a mass quantized state with uncertainty in tau (half life) at least on the order of the age of the universe. In fact, I would say that it is absolutely obvious that our day to day experience is built on observations of nothing but mass quantized entities!

 

It follows, absolutely and unconditionally, that the uncertainty in tau must be infinite for any common physical measurements. That is, it follows directly that every entity in the universe that we deal with on a day to day level can have no measurable irregularities in the tau direction. The magnitude of the wave function which describes that entity and its motion can not be a function of tau; clearly, the cross section perpendicular to tau of any macroscopic object is absolutely and unconditionally uniform over any range within our conception. Two physical consequences of this fact jump immediately to mind: the tau dimension, real or not, yields no directly measurable phenomena thus vanishes from any possible perception and secondly, the fact that clock readings have nothing at all to do with interactions occurring does not contradict the picture at all.

 

Although the existence of a real tau axis could not possibly be directly perceived, its existence does yield some subtle consequences. It follows, from our total inability to perceive the tau dimension, that only those components of motion perpendicular to tau can be perceived. Thus it becomes quite clear that, although everything in the universe (in this mental picture) travels at the speed of light, we only perceive velocities less than c (we are describing a 4 dimensional Euclidean universe and, in Euclidean geometry, a component of a vector cannot be larger than the magnitude of that vector).

 

In the picture just constructed, the only case where an entity can be perceived to travel at the velocity of light occurs when its motion is entirely perpendicular to tau. In that particular case, its momentum in the tau direction must be zero: i.e., it is a massless object. On the other hand, in order for a massive object to approach the velocity of light, it needs to have an almost unbelievably high momentum in the direction of perceivable space as its momentum in the tau direction (its rest mass) is fixed. Please note again that all of special relativity must be valid in this picture as we have actually done absolutely nothing except re-plot our data in a different geometry; all numbers, all equations, and all relationships remain exactly the same as they would be were we to use Einstein's preferred geometry.

 

What first appeared to be problems with the new metric turn out not to be problems at all. In fact, as I have shown, direct detection of such a real axis violates quantum theory. The beauty of the picture is that we are now dealing with a Euclidean universe, much much simpler to mentally handle than Einstein's space-time construct. Problems which were difficult to explain to a novice are now simple. Time is once again a simple parameter of the motion. Simultaneity is an well defined concept; in fact it can be shown that the universe in this perspective is dynamically Newtonian in many respects. Time, as displayed in our reference frame is an interaction parameter and is, in fact, the division between past and future as per the original concept of time.

 

One should make one further observation about this frame and how it brings consistency to our picture. Simultaneity is easy to define in any given relativistic space-time frame; the problem is that individuals in different frames will not agree with one another's definition. However, all observers will agree with the order of specific related interactions (a result often shown in any examination of the subtleties of relativity). The solution here arise from the fact that "time", as define in this picture, is not a measurable variable (it is rather a mental construct providing the separation between past and future). The standard Lorentz transformations distort the entire geometry without disturbing that final result. A consequence I will demonstrate to any interested party. Via a close examination of the kinematics, it is not difficult to show that the two seemingly violently different pictures of the universe (Einstein's and mine) yield absolutely identical results as they must unless one of us has made an error.

 

There are two points I would like to make here: first, Einstein's relativity is an extremely valuable perspective for expressing the laws of physics in a form which are truly independent of our frame of reference but that fact should be taken as a convenient mathematical structure and not a statement about the "true" structure of reality. And second, if anyone is interested, it is not difficult to show the analogous extension of this work into the area of General Relativity. The results are much simpler than Einstein's machinations and also produce a few subtle differences which I think are worth looking at experimentally. I have a problem with Einstein's theory of general relativity; however, it is possible he is wrong as I have some evidence my results are more consistent with experimental results than are his. On the other hand, I could have made an algebraic error.

 

Have fun -- Dick

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Dick, I tend to agree with your analysis and would like to see a full discussion here by all the members interested in physics. To make that happen you need to explain your equations in a way that those members who are not adept at the use of mathematics can understand. Again nice essay.

 

Albert once made a statement that meant this, when we find the truth any normal person will be able to understand it. I firmly believe that to be true.

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And second, if anyone is interested, it is not difficult to show the analogous extension of this work into the area of General Relativity.

 

Actually, as I mentioned to you quite awhile back, when I tried to extend your frame work to general relativity, I had nothing but trouble. What do you suggest are the gravitational field equations that follow from your rearrangement of special relativity?

 

Also, I once more point out that there is no quantum mechanics/special relativity conflict. There IS a general relativity/quantum mechanics conflict.

-Will

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DD, when you claim that

time is nothing more than a mental construct between past and future
this is both correct and incorrect in a very important way. First, as I have tried to explain in many different forum threads, TIME is that which is intermediate between moments (from Aristotle). There is no time within any moment. What you call your mental construct between the past and future is in fact a moment--it is called the PRESENT. Your shift symmetry occurs within a moment--not within time. Now, I can understand the confusion, because, at first glance, it is true that there is time between past and future--but not as you claim it to be.

 

Now consider this example so you can see how the logical situation exists between "moments" and "time":

 

past moment(s) <----time----->present moment<-----time------>future moment(s).

 

The two realms as you call them, past and future, are separated by a third moment--called the present. There are an infinite number of both past and future moments, but only a single present (now). See how quickly the present moves away from the mind (the reason is that it has the magnitude of what is called Planck Time--very quick indeed). Each present must be recreated within the human mind, over and over--each present is unique. There is absolutely no "time" within the present. All human "mental construct" must be limited to THE PRESENT. Also, see how yes, you are in one way correct, there is "time" between the past and future (in fact, there are two different times, one before and one after the "present")--but such time has nothing at all to do with forming any mental construct or worldview as you claim. Also, very important, again you are correct, the present moment is where the shift transformation between the future (what is to be) changes to the past (what has been). But, the formation of this mental construct--this shift symmetry--occurs OUTSIDE OF TIME.

 

Imo, in quantum theory, the present is where the quantum event occurs--it is outside of time. Your definition of time refers to this quantum "time" interval, which would have the unit of Planck Time. Your definition of time would be the answer to the question---what is between the fine structure quantum state between two energy levels of a radioactive isotope? The answer is that whatever is between this quantum event is a MENTAL CONSTRUCT between the past quantum and the future quantum. But, this question and the answer has absolutely nothing to do with spacetime.

 

Thus, of course you are then correct, your worldview of time is nothing more than the mental construct of "Planck Time", but, at the same time you are incorrect--there is a separate spacetime concept that links the "present" to both the "past" and "future" as relates to reality--that which exists and is undefined. Imo, this is how the concept of time is related to relativity theory and quantum theory---relativity theory deals with SPACETIME = that which is intermediate between any two MOMENTS, whereas, quantum theory deals with PLANCK TIME = that which is within the limits of the "present" as a moment within spacetime.

 

Now, to answer the OP question--no, there is absolutely no conflict between relativity theory and quantum theory as relates to TIME---they talk about two completely different concepts of time, as I show above. If one uses science to make predictions about the future based on the past, such prediction is always (100% of the time) with error, for by definition science = uncertain knowledge. Anyone that claims certain knowledge is NOT using science to make the claim.

 

Your Fundamental Equation has absolutely nothing at all to say about spacetime as I have presented---it is limited to the Planck Time within each "present", within each "now". It is related to how the human mind takes undefined reality and transforms it into concepts which then allow for understanding (i.e., knowledge). And this is why, for me, your Fundamental Equation is of value--it puts the human mental construct process of concept formation on sound mathematical understanding. This is how I see it, fire away.

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I have been a member here for over five years and up until now I have felt that time was simply a measurement device we created to make measurements.

If you have not read this thread, http://hypography.com/forums/strange-claims-forum/22596-photon-creation.html please do. It shows that moving the field of a charged particle is nothing more than a change in time. This suggests to me that time may be the ultimate unit of all phenomena of the Universe. This would include matter,inertia, gravity and charge. Inertia and gravity, http://hypography.com/forums/physics-and-mathematics/20552-gravity-and-its-relationship-with-time.html , and if matter is a wave then time is it's base unit, charge is still a challenge for me to tie it to time but I think there is a way.

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I read the OP, and it is indeed noticeable that it was an older text; I think your explanations have improved since :)

 

Anyway, since this bit was brought up in the derivation of gravity, I should ask;

 

In this unconventional picture, we have a real coordinate, [imath]\tau[/imath], who's actual value vanishes from the physics while the impact of the time dependent changes in value remain significant. I do not know how that strikes the reader, but I find myself drawn to the Heisenberg uncertainty principal. If one takes the uncertainty in [imath]\tau[/imath] to be infinite, then one can only conclude that the momentum in the [imath]\tau[/imath] direction is most probably quantized!

 

My understanding of the uncertainty principle is too poor to understand why an infinite uncertainty of the value of [imath]\tau[/imath] results into quantized momentum... Can you explain that a bit?

 

Actually, as I mentioned to you quite awhile back, when I tried to extend your frame work to general relativity, I had nothing but trouble. What do you suggest are the gravitational field equations that follow from your rearrangement of special relativity?

 

Deduction of gravity as a fictional force, in terms of DD's paradigm, is found here:

 

http://hypography.com/forums/philosophy-of-science/23008-the-final-piece-of-the-puzzle.html

 

Also, I once more point out that there is no quantum mechanics/special relativity conflict. There IS a general relativity/quantum mechanics conflict.

 

He is suggesting that the root of those problems is in those common relativistic concepts that first saw the light of day with the Minkowski spacetime representation of special relativity. (And were carried over to GR)

 

-Anssi

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I have been a member here for over five years and up until now I have felt that time was simply a measurement device we created to make measurements.

 

If you have not read this thread, http://hypography.com/forums/strange-claims-forum/22596-photon-creation.html please do.

I looked at it and am, at the moment, convinced that you are missing the entire thrust of what I am talking about. You are talking about an explanation (i.e., a theory); I am not, I am talking about all explanations, not any specific explanation. But beyond that, what is more important is that in order to understand the kind of theories you want to talk about, you need a decent understanding of mathematics which you are clearly missing. Many of your intuitive comments are clearly inconsistent with electromagnetic theory you are talking about. Sorry about that.

 

Actually, as I mentioned to you quite awhile back, when I tried to extend your frame work to general relativity, I had nothing but trouble. What do you suggest are the gravitational field equations that follow from your rearrangement of special relativity?
Erasmus, I have attempted to explain my position to you quite a number of times and you have absolutely refused to examine any of the consequences of my perspective. I have utterly no idea as to how you “tried to extend [my] frame work to general relativity” as you apparently have absolutely no idea as to what my perspective is. I have a strong suspicion that you are trying to reproduce Einstein's field equations which would be totally off the mark. Considering your physics background (I thought you implied earlier that you were a physics graduate student and by now I would have expected you to have your degree), if you did understand my perspective, you should find it quite simple to deduce the general relativistic consequences of that perspective. I use exactly the same procedures used in the eighteen hundreds. If you want to follow my derivation of general relativistic consequences, read my post “The final piece of the puzzle!” which Anssi has already brought up.

 

Also, I once more point out that there is no quantum mechanics/special relativity conflict.
Now that is nothing more than your biased position that special relativity has no problems. Clearly you have not thought the situation out. You have instead accepted the common rationals put forward by the physics community: i.e., the misdirection of attention designed to deflect attention from the short comings of special relativity. Besides the fact that special relativity suggests that tachyons are possible, it is put forward in the common interpretation of Einstein's perspective that one should expect

 

 

[math]\Delta E\Delta t \rightarrow \Delta mc^2\Delta t = \frac{\hbar}{2}[/math]

 

 

 

has to do with the half life of the entity being considered. In examining that relationship, it is seldom pointed out that the time used in that expression must be the “proper time” along the path of the entity (that would be tau in Einstein's perspective). That is an issue only brought up in order to show that the “correct” half life's of fast moving entities. Thus, without actually saying it, the physics community always uses the expression

 

 

[math] \Delta mc^2\Delta \tau = \frac{\hbar}{2}[/math]

 

 

 

in order to calculate the correct half live of unstable particles. Now look at this for a moment. The stable particles, electrons, protons, and stable heavy particles are said to have infinitely uncertainty [math]\Delta t[/math] (or [math]\Delta \tau[/math] if they are moving) and yet their interaction paths (in special relativity) quite often have quite finite and measurable change in tau [math]\tau= \frac{1}{c}\sqrt{(cdt)^2-(dx)^2-(dy)^2-(dz)^2}[/math]. This is totally counter to the precepts of quantum mechanics. Oh, they cover this up by asserting that the uncertainty in Energy takes care of the difficulty. But does it? The mathematical presentation certainly does not! It appears to me that the real purpose of this argument is to obfuscate their difficulties.

 

 

There is another subtle thing (which very much bothers me about Einstein's relativity) and that is the fact that all visual information about the universe is communicated to us via photons. Not only that but all physical interactions (or chemical interactions for that matter) which we personally have with reality are communicated via virtual photon exchange phenomena (chemistry, not nuclear interactions). This taken together with the fact that photon paths are singularities of Einstein's space time continuum leads to a rather disturbing conclusion: everything we know of reality arrives to us through the medium of “singularities” in his picture. That in itself is a difficult thing to accept from a mathematical perspective.

 

 

You assertion that “there exists no quantum mechanics/special relativity conflict” seems to me to be a somewhat premature judgment. It seems to me that the academy uses the “shut up and calculate” argument to excess here. Very much as, prior to Newton and Galileo, astronomers were being pushed into trying new epicycles rather than worrying about how Ptolomy's “great celestial spheres” were supported. Are you absolutely sure you have not been brainwashed by the authorities?

 

My understanding of the uncertainty principle is too poor to understand why an infinite uncertainty of the value of [math]\tau[/math] results into quantized momentum... Can you explain that a bit?
You kind of have it a bit backwards. According to the uncertainty principle, the minimum uncertainty in position and momentum along an axis of motion are bounded by the expression

 

 

[math]\Delta P \Delta x \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}.[/math]

 

 

 

If P is quantized (i.e., equal to a fixed constant value) the uncertainty in P is zero. If that is the case, the only way to make [math]\Delta P \Delta x \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}[/math] is to let the uncertainty in x to be infinite.

 

 

If tau is a real axis being projected out, the only rational conclusion is that the uncertainty in tau must be infinite (otherwise we could make actual tau measurements). The best reason for that circumstance would be if momentum in the tau direction were quantized (i.e., equal to a fixed constant value). If tau is in units of time (as it is in all of modern physics) then the distance measure for tau should be c times tau. Likewise, to maintain the proper units of momentum, momentum in the tau direction should be mc (that is, if mass quantization is indeed momenum quantization in the tau direction). The rest should be obvious.

 

 

 

Have fun -- Dick

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You kind of have it a bit backwards. According to the uncertainty principle, the minimum uncertainty in position and momentum along an axis of motion are bounded by the expression

[math]\Delta P \Delta x \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}.[/math]

 

If P is quantized (i.e., equal to a fixed constant value) the uncertainty in P is zero. If that is the case, the only way to make [imath]\Delta P \Delta x \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}[/imath] is to let the uncertainty in x to be infinite.

 

 

Right okay, I understand that a fixed value for P makes uncertainty in X infinite according to the uncertainty principle, but I don't understand why the uncertainty principle applies to our situation. Reading up a bit on where the uncertainty principle came from in modern physics, I am getting the idea that it arises from the behaviour of the wave mechanics, and that is why it applies to our situation too?

 

It's just one of those things that is not obvious to me at all, even if it might be for someone who is already familiar with the idea :P

 

Another thing that is little pit puzzling to me is that the momentum in tau for a given object is also dependent on whether that object is moving in the chosen coordinate system (in x,y,z directions), so I started to think about whether it being "quantized" means that the momentum in tau for any such object is still not a continuous variable... ...actually after thinking about this for a while, since this has to do with the speed that is chosen for a coordinate system, and that's sort of an immaterial decision that can always be taken as continuous, so I suppose that issue would be somewhat besides the point of what the uncertainty refers to...

 

Hmm, yeah I think I get it, except that I would like to have a better handle at the fundamental issues underlying the uncertainty principle, i.e. why does it arise in the wave mechanics. Reading the history of it, seems like it was not at all obvious to the physics community initially either.

 

-Anssi

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Erasmus, I have attempted to explain my position to you quite a number of times and you have absolutely refused to examine any of the consequences of my perspective.

 

I have asked many questions about your position, and done my best to understand, but your respond to most of my questions with some variation of "if you really understood what I was talking about, you wouldn't ask that question," which is less than helpful.

 

I have utterly no idea as to how you “tried to extend [my] frame work to general relativity” as you apparently have absolutely no idea as to what my perspective is. I have a strong suspicion that you are trying to reproduce Einstein's field equations which would be totally off the mark. Considering your physics background (I thought you implied earlier that you were a physics graduate student and by now I would have expected you to have your degree), if you did understand my perspective, you should find it quite simple to deduce the general relativistic consequences of that perspective. I use exactly the same procedures used in the eighteen hundreds.

 

What I attempted to do was to start with your re-arrangement of special relativity and derive field equations for gravity. As you know, deducing the special case of spherical symmetry (which you've done in the link) is not enough in a non-linear theory.

 

Now that is nothing more than your biased position that special relativity has no problems.

 

This post is specifically about the relativity/quantum mechanics conflict, which is entirely a conflict between the mathematical formalisms of gravity and quantum mechanics. Without gravity, there is no conflict- quantum field theories are well-defined. Whether they match reality is a matter of experiment and opinion, but there is no conflict in the formalism (which is a matter of mathematics).

 

Besides the fact that special relativity suggests that tachyons are possible

 

Only if you allow for imaginary proper times. If you allow time to become imaginary in your perspective, you will also get tachyons. The theories are equivalent.

 

it is put forward in the common interpretation of Einstein's perspective that one should expect

[math]\Delta E\Delta t \rightarrow \Delta mc^2\Delta t = \frac{\hbar}{2}[/math]

 

No, that is not the case, you've used an incorrect equation for energy. The correct equation would be

 

[math]\Delta E\Delta t \rightarrow \Delta \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}mc^2\Delta t = \frac{\hbar}{2}[/math]

 

Now, in the rest frame of the particle, t = tau, and v = 0, so then you recover the form you want to use. This solves your dilemma with unstable particles.

 

The stable particles, electrons, protons, and stable heavy particles are said to have infinitely uncertainty [imath]\Delta t[/imath] (or [imath]\Delta tau[/imath] if they are moving) and yet their interaction paths (in special relativity) quite often have quite finite and measurable change in tau [imath]\tau= \frac{1}

 

First, a change in tau is not an uncertainty in tau. Second, it is always a delta t, delta E uncertainty. It is only a delta E, delta Tau uncertainty for a stationary particle (where t= tau). You only expect an infinite time uncertainty (never tau, if it interacts with something it cannot be stationary at all times) if there is a perfectly known energy exchange.

 

Not only that but all physical interactions (or chemical interactions for that matter) which we personally have with reality are communicated via virtual photon exchange phenomena (chemistry, not nuclear interactions). This taken together with the fact that photon paths are singularities of Einstein's space time continuum leads to a rather disturbing conclusion: everything we know of reality arrives to us through the medium of “singularities” in his picture. That in itself is a difficult thing to accept from a mathematical perspective.

 

Any photon received has some degree of virtuality, which means it was not traveling at the speed of light. Further, photons are not singularities, they are 0s.

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Erasmus, I tell you what; suppose we just agree to disagree. I had enough of the “shut up and calculate” approach to physics when I was a graduate student. It seems that, as far as you are concerned, they have the thing securely nailed down. I am sorry but I just don't see it that way. :D

 

Thanks -- Dick

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After reading the last post by Erasmus00, I take it then that there is no conflict between relativity theory and quantum theory if gravity is removed from the discussion. Is this a correct conclusion of the thread discussion to this point ?

 

If so, if you read my post above, it is exactly as I suggested. What I suggested is that gravity (thus relativity theory) is limited to association with "time" (likely along the tau dimension), while quantum theory is limited to association with the "moment", which is outside of time and space as represented by Einstein relativity theory. Anyone with interest in such things please let me know where my thinking is off base.

 

ps//

I also see that Erasmus00 has corrected the energy equation used by DD in his argument (with no reply from DD that he is incorrect), and, this raises a question--does anyone know if his incorrect energy equation was used to derive his Fundamental Equation (either directly or indirectly) ? If so, I major problem, if not, no problem.

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After reading the last post by Erasmus00, I take it then that there is no conflict between relativity theory and quantum theory if gravity is removed from the discussion. Is this a correct conclusion of the thread discussion to this point ?

 

I think this picture summarizes nicely the entire discussion:

http://www.guzer.com/pictures/findx.jpg

 

:D

 

ps//

I also see that Erasmus00 has corrected the energy equation used by DD in his argument (with no reply from DD that he is incorrect), and, this raises a question--does anyone know if his incorrect energy equation was used to derive his Fundamental Equation (either directly or indirectly) ? If so, I major problem, if not, no problem.

 

(No that has got nothing to do with the derivation of fundamental equation)

 

Erasmus added a Lorentz factor [imath]\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}[/imath] into the expression, which allows for easy relativistic correction for entities that are in linear motion in the chosen frame.

 

What DD was saying had nothing to do with whether that expression exists or not. I.e. Erasmus pointed out the X. (He knows perfectly well that DD is fully aware of Lorentz factor. Even I am and I've never studied physics).

 

Now, I am not an expert on the subject (my interpretation may be a bit askew), but perhaps I can make few meaningful comments...

 

...it is put forward in the common interpretation of Einstein's perspective that one should expect

[math]\Delta E\Delta t \rightarrow \Delta mc^2\Delta t = \frac{\hbar}{2}[/math]

 

has to do with the half life of the entity being considered. In examining that relationship, it is seldom pointed out that the time used in that expression must be the “proper time” along the path of the entity (that would be tau in Einstein's perspective).

 

I.e. that expression is true in the rest frame of the entity being examined, because in that case [imath]t = \tau[/imath]. (That is, in the hypothetical ideal situation where some entity would actually stay in some single frame)

 

In the case that the entity is in motion in the chosen frame, you need to account for its time dilation via [imath]\Delta t = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}} \Delta \tau[/imath]. (Note that in the case that v=0, that factor is just 1).

 

In other words;

 

Thus, without actually saying it, the physics community always uses the expression

[math] \Delta mc^2\Delta \tau = \frac{\hbar}{2}[/math]

 

in order to calculate the correct half live of unstable particles.

 

In that expression [imath]\tau[/imath] refers to the proper time of the entity, i.e. it is a function of its world line.

 

In the case that the world line is perfectly straight (i.e. the entity is in linear motion), that above expression means exactly the same as what Erasmus wrote;

 

[math]

\Delta \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}mc^2\Delta t = \frac{\hbar}{2}

[/math]

 

In the case that the world line is not straight (which is always the case for any real element), it gets a bit more complicated. Think about how you need to account for constant changes in "v". And think about any system consisting of multiple elements bonded to each other, as they would be constantly wiggling (each would have a curvy world line of some sort). That's why DD just wrote it with [imath]\tau[/imath], to not imply linear motion, but to refer to proper time directly.

 

I don't know how those situations are traditionally solved, but DD is suggesting that representing your expectations in those situations is clearer in the paradigm he is using.

 

I am not through his presentation of gravity yet, and I don't know what the traditional difficulties are in quantum gravity, but my understanding is that DD is not particularly impressed by the tendency of traditional physics to equate [imath]\tau[/imath] with "t", because it would be true only in supernaturally ideal frame (where no real entity every stays over any duration of time). He is suggesting that that tendency is causing subtle problems with traditional attempts at quantum gravity, and that it's best to define "t" explicitly as an inmeasurable evolution parameter, or "interaction parameter" underlying your world view.

 

In that sense, the problem he sees is related to the specific definitions (of time) that started life with special relativity, albeit the difficulty does not appear as long as you are strictly only talking about special relativity (=linear motion).

 

About tachyons, they are an idea of something moving faster than C in the framework of relativity, which means they are moving backwards in time. Which is a semantical oxymoron of course, as you can't really say something "moves backwards in time", because there's no moment in time when the tachyon "had not yet moved to its position" (at least not in any meaningful sense). The idea can be used as an explanation to quantum entanglement, for instance, but to take it as somehow ontologically real thing, is to imply a static universe. Apart from "our consciousness" somehow, of course. Eh, in short, it just all goes into unnecessary semantical ideas arising from few relationships that never really required those sorts of ideas.

 

And finally;

This taken together with the fact that photon paths are singularities of Einstein's space time continuum leads to a rather disturbing conclusion: everything we know of reality arrives to us through the medium of “singularities” in his picture. That in itself is a difficult thing to accept from a mathematical perspective.

 

He is talking about how from the point of view of a photon, its path is taken to be exactly 0 meters long, and its travel time exactly 0 seconds, i.e. it is in the source and in the destination at the same time, which are also the same place. That's just a funky feature of the spacetime presentation form (just something that makes the idea of ontologically real spacetime a bit silly), and DD's paradigm does not have that feature.

 

The point of it all is just to say that there's not much point in viewing relativistic spacetime presentation as the one and only truth about reality. The essential relationships can be derived from epistemological requirements alone, and while that's the case, there's no need to view them as evidence of relativistic reality. :shrug:

 

-Anssi

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Anssi, DD was trying to point out a contradiction between quantum mechanics and special relativity for the case of decaying particles. However, his contradiction goes away when you use the correct formula for energy- which he failed to do.

 

He accuses physicists of implicitly using an energy/tau uncertainty relationship to get correct answers, which I pointed does not happen, and in fact would yield incorrect results. In short- his objection does not hold water.

 

He is talking about how from the point of view of a photon, its path is taken to be exactly 0 meters long, and its travel time exactly 0 seconds, i.e. it is in the source and in the destination at the same time, which are also the same place. That's just a funky feature of the spacetime presentation form (just something that makes the idea of ontologically real spacetime a bit silly), and DD's paradigm does not have that feature.

 

This is actually a silly misunderstanding of the lorentz transformations. The lorentz transformations can connect frames moving with v<c, but at v=c the lorentz factor is problematic. The concepts of time and space are simply not separable for a photon, and different coordinates need to be used.

 

The point of it all is just to say that there's not much point in viewing relativistic spacetime presentation as the one and only truth about reality. The essential relationships can be derived from epistemological requirements alone, and while that's the case, there's no need to view them as evidence of relativistic reality. :shrug

 

From epistemological requirements we can derive both a Newtonian and a relativistic view of spacetime. Only by taking measurements can we distinguish the two.

 

Further, as I've tried to point in other threads, there exist counter-examples to DDs equation (explanations that cannot be mapped to continuous representations and so no derivatives can be taken).

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Anssi, DD was trying to point out a contradiction between quantum mechanics and special relativity for the case of decaying particles.

 

The way DD's comments on this issue read to me is that, he is suggesting that the traditional mathematical formalism related to relatistic time relationships make it hard to arrive at working solutions for quantum gravity. Having something to do (in my interpretation) with the tendency to equate [imath]\tau[/imath] with time, while that would be valid only in supernaturally ideal situations. Because in real situations the coordinate systems and all the world lines are bent and wiggly, yet something is considered to be equal to "t" (i.e. a coordinate system is chosen). And on the other hand having to do with the difficulty of actually solving those real-world situations.

 

At any rate, as I commented, I do not know how those difficulties are traditionally solved or viewed at, but DD was suggesting that in his terminology the solution is easy to arrive at. I don't see anything controversial with that argument, but at the same time I do not even know much about where the problems with quantum gravity surface (apart from it supposedly having something to do with renormalization).

 

However, his contradiction goes away when you use the correct formula for energy- which he failed to do.

 

He accuses physicists of implicitly using an energy/tau uncertainty relationship to get correct answers, which I pointed does not happen, and in fact would yield incorrect results. In short- his objection does not hold water.

 

I'm not very familiar with these concepts so something may well be lost in my interpretation, but it did not seem to me like he was suggesting that the problems appear due to the expression he wrote, or due to "physics community not accounting for (relativistic) motion" or something like that.

 

I just viewed it as essentially the expression for an element at rest (in a theoretically ideal coordinate system). I'm sure you realize that he is perfectly aware of relativistic effects, and I'm sure you noticed he wrote [imath]\Delta mc^2\Delta \tau = \frac{\hbar}{2}[/imath].

 

Essentially you pointed out how the physics communite traditionally arrives at [imath]\tau[/imath], right? I don't see he made an argument of such thing being impossible under the paradigm of modern physics, I see him making an argument of that traditional solution leading to subtle problems down the road.

 

So that is why I commented that you seem to be talking past each others :(

 

This is actually a silly misunderstanding of the lorentz transformations. The lorentz transformations can connect frames moving with v<c, but at v=c the lorentz factor is problematic. The concepts of time and space are simply not separable for a photon, and different coordinates need to be used.

 

I'm not sure what you refer to as "silly misunderstanding". The comment was simply that the spacetime representation contains that feature. Like you said, "at v=c the lorentz factor is problematic". Of course one can view that thing in many different ways, and some people may pick up some ontological implications from it and others may not. I don't care.

 

Judging by your commentary, I believe you'd completely agree with what I said about it; "That's just a funky feature of the spacetime presentation form (just something that makes the idea of ontologically real spacetime a bit silly)" I.e. "don't read too much into the reality of spacetime even though it's a nice way to handle relativistic relationships"

 

From epistemological requirements we can derive both a Newtonian and a relativistic view of spacetime. Only by taking measurements can we distinguish the two.

 

No, actually that doesn't seem to be the case, surprisingly. That is, from what I can tell from DD's analysis. And unless there are some mistakes or hidden assumptions somewhere in there.

 

The point of it is that relativistic time relationships seem to be necessary feature of ones worldview, after;

- Having the means to interpret recurring events as persistent objects

- Having a (universally applicable) definition for "mass"

- Consequentially having a definition of massless object

- Consequentially having a definition for massless oscillator (clock)

- Having a solution that can be expressed in arbitrarily chosen coordinate system

 

I don't expect the above to be completely understandable to you out of the blue, but it's the best I can do in brief form. I know you have viewed his analysis, but I'm not sure if you've understood what the fundamental premise is. If you back-track the arguments from relativity, it all just boils down to generating ones ideas of what constitutes a persistent object, out of recurring events of some sorts. The definitions for space and time are of course intimately related to the definitions of objects, and the algebra goes down to trace the not-so-obvious relationships between "universally applicable" definitions and the conclusions of modern physics.

 

I personally don't see anything controversial with analysing something like that (and I find the results very illuminating), but I think it's just far too easy for people to view it as yet another theory about reality, because it touches directly the concepts that people view, more or less tacitly, as unobjectionably inherent part of reality itself. I just don't see it that way, I don't read anything "ontological" to the [imath]x,y,z,\tau[/imath] representation form (or any of the traditional ones), it's just a way to analyze information.

 

Further, as I've tried to point in other threads, there exist counter-examples to DDs equation (explanations that cannot be mapped to continuous representations and so no derivatives can be taken).

 

From what I've seen, they don't appear to be valid objections to what DD is talking about. DD's fundamental equation is not by itself an argument of what a representation of reality must look like, or how the solutions must behave mathematically. Different kinds of approximately valid solutions can exist, as the equation itself just restricts those solutions to generate expectations in self-coherent manner.

 

-Anssi

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Essentially you pointed out how the physics communite traditionally arrives at [imath]\tau[/imath], right? I don't see he made an argument of such thing being impossible under the paradigm of modern physics, I see him making an argument of that traditional solution leading to subtle problems down the road.

 

No, I'm not pointing out how we traditionally arrive at tau. Look carefully at where the gamma factor is in the correct energy/time uncertainty formula (its paired with m, not with t). He pointed to an inconsistency between decaying at rest and decaying in motion, but his inconsistency followed from the fact that he is using an equation only valid for a particle at rest.

 

I'm not sure what you refer to as "silly misunderstanding". The comment was simply that the spacetime representation contains that feature. Like you said, "at v=c the lorentz factor is problematic".

 

So the correct interpretation is that there is no lorentz frame where a photon is at rest, and you cannot use the Lorentz transformations to move into a frame moving at the speed of light. There are perfectly well defined coordinate transformations along the light cone. Being bothered that there are coordinate frames you can't use Lorentz transformations to create is silly (you can't move into an accelerating frame with them either!).

 

The point of it is that relativistic time relationships seem to be necessary feature of ones worldview, after;

- Having the means to interpret recurring events as persistent objects

- Having a (universally applicable) definition for "mass"

- Consequentially having a definition of massless object

- Consequentially having a definition for massless oscillator (clock)

- Having a solution that can be expressed in arbitrarily chosen coordinate system

 

Its the the fifth of these that is problematic- there are plenty of developments in the literature that derive either newtonian or relativistic time, it depends on assumptions made about coordinate systems.

 

I personally don't see anything controversial with analysing something like that (and I find the results very illuminating), but I think it's just far too easy for people to view it as yet another theory about reality, because it touches directly the concepts that people view, more or less tacitly, as unobjectionably inherent part of reality itself.

 

I agree, it isn't that controversial, and I would argue its a kind of holy-grail for developing physical models. However, I think Dick has made mistakes, and so failed in his goal.

 

From what I've seen, they don't appear to be valid objections to what DD is talking about. DD's fundamental equation is not by itself an argument of what a representation of reality must look like, or how the solutions must behave mathematically. Different kinds of approximately valid solutions can exist, as the equation itself just restricts those solutions to generate expectations in self-coherent manner.

 

I believe Dick's analysis is flawed for several reasons, and can (and have) point to places where I think he went astray in his analysis. However, I believe nothing is so convincing as a counter-example. Classical mechanics cannot be an approximate solution to Dick's equations. Classical mechanics CANNOT be derived from the Schroedinger equation, you need the additional postulate of wavefunction collapse (collapse does not obey Schroedinger's equation).

 

I recommend reading up on quantum mechanics and classical mechanics as formal logic systems, and really thinking about how to even begin to map them to Dick's equation. I think the problem is your lack of experience with mathematical models makes it hard to understand some of what I'm trying to get at. I think the problem is without any background, this conversation is basically me making bare assertions, and you seem willing to always fall back on Dick's bare assertions when we conflict.

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Hi Anssi, just thought I would comment here. If I were you, I wouldn't bother trying to argue with Erasmus. Your knowledge of physics is just not sufficient to see his slight of hand. He is obviously quite familiar with the common misdirection of attention used quite regularly to prevent people from thinking about the problems. When he writes

[math]\Delta E \Delta t\rightarrow \Delta \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}m\Delta t=\frac{h}{2}[/math]

 

he does so, not to point out any error in my expression, (as you have noticed, I have not explicitly defined the “m” they use) but rather it is an effort to misdirect attention away from the use of time. My complaint is simply with the common definition and use of time which is something he simply does not wish to be brought up. He does exactly the same thing when I bring up the fact that the proper time along the path of a photon vanishes. My point was that, since all events of interest to human beings are connected by photon interactions, the proper time of all our knowledge falls to zero; a problem which only arises because of the confusion of time and proper time. He avoids thinking about such things by getting his attention off the critical issue as quickly as possible.

 

Notice that he also avoids the issue as to why most things we use in everyday life have quantized mass. Ask him why that is. I find it very difficult to get professional physicists to focus on these difficulties. Just as Newton's error of presuming clocks could be set to agree persisted for over three hundred years, I suspect the problem with the concept of time I am trying to point out will be with us for a long time. Almost two years ago I brought up the following description of that same problem which everyone seem hell bent on ignoring. People just don't want to think about it.

But, my point is that Einstein's picture “is making those bad assumptions” by his definition of time; and it does indeed lead to some subtle problems. Consider a world where clocks accurate enough to be used as “the definition of time” were small enough to wear as wrist watches by everyone. Then everyone would know exactly what time it was (by definition) and no two people would agree as to what time it is. Add to that the fact that things can only physically interact when they exist at the same time and “time” seems to have failed in its purpose somehow. That is why I say “time is not a measurable variable” and it only has meaning along the evolving path of an entity. It is a useful parameter for describing the phenomena related to the evolution of that entity and any additional properties can not be defended.
I am afraid that Erasmus simply has no idea of what I am talking about.

 

And Erasmus, if you are reading this and really have an interest in what I have to say, read my opening post “Laying out the representation to be solved.” Any comments you would like to make on that would be appreciated (as long as they bear some resemblance to what I am talking about).

No, actually that doesn't seem to be the case, surprisingly. That is, from what I can tell from DD's analysis. And unless there are some mistakes or hidden assumptions somewhere in there.
Yes Erasmus, as a start, you might point out the hidden assumptions in “Laying out ...”
I don't expect the above to be completely understandable to you out of the blue, but it's the best I can do in brief form.
Oh, it's understandable for him; he just doesn't want to think about it and I am afraid he has not viewed my analysis and probably won't.
DD's fundamental equation is not by itself an argument of what a representation of reality must look like, or how the solutions must behave mathematically. Different kinds of approximately valid solutions can exist, as the equation itself just restricts those solutions to generate expectations in self-coherent manner.
Now this is exactly what is totally beyond his comprehension and will remain so as long as he refuses to make any attempt to follow my proof.

 

Sorry I haven't been paying much attention to all this lately. I think I have come down with a virus of some kind. Suffering from a nagging head ache for the last week or so which makes it somewhat difficult to concentrate. I have just been laying around watching television for the most part.

 

Have fun -- Dick

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, sorry I'm slow to respond, I've been quite busy. (Well, busy resting, for the last week anyway...)

 

No, I'm not pointing out how we traditionally arrive at tau. Look carefully at where the gamma factor is in the correct energy/time uncertainty formula (its paired with m, not with t). He pointed to an inconsistency between decaying at rest and decaying in motion, but his inconsistency followed from the fact that he is using an equation only valid for a particle at rest.

 

(i.e. [imath] \Delta \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}mc^2\Delta t = \frac{\hbar}{2}[/imath])

 

I noticed the gamma factor was paired with m, but I reckoned it doesn't make a difference mathematically, so whatever it's position in the equation implies, I took as an interpretation issue. Is that right?

 

So the correct interpretation is that there is no lorentz frame where a photon is at rest, and you cannot use the Lorentz transformations to move into a frame moving at the speed of light. There are perfectly well defined coordinate transformations along the light cone. Being bothered that there are coordinate frames you can't use Lorentz transformations to create is silly (you can't move into an accelerating frame with them either!).

 

Wait a minute, you are confusing me a bit there... First, I can't see any disagreement about whether it is possible to handle relativistic light cones, or whether there exists coordinate transformations that don't produce singularities etc, (surely DD's notation can be seen as one example).

 

But what do you mean when you say "the correct interpretation", correct in what sense? I don't think you mean to say, correct in actually capturing the real structure of reality? Just "correct" in the sense of being able to dodge an interpretation that contains singularities? I mean, I am under the impression that you don't take the traditional minkowski spacetime representation more than metaphorically true, as oppose to literally so?

 

Being bothered by the implied singularities of lorentz transformation was nothing more than to point out a feature of relativistic spacetime, which is problematic IF one views spacetime as a literal reality. So I believe we are in perfect agreement about this, since we both know no one is forced to see the issue that way.

 

The point of it is that relativistic time relationships seem to be necessary feature of ones worldview, after;

- Having the means to interpret recurring events as persistent objects

- Having a (universally applicable) definition for "mass"

- Consequentially having a definition of massless object

- Consequentially having a definition for massless oscillator (clock)

- Having a solution that can be expressed in arbitrarily chosen coordinate system

Its the the fifth of these that is problematic- there are plenty of developments in the literature that derive either newtonian or relativistic time, it depends on assumptions made about coordinate systems.

 

Are you aware of such developments (apart from DD's attempts) that actually have something to do with that first step? It is arguments having to do with that first step, where a meaningful definition for a coordinate system arises in DD's work (together with the universal notation).

 

I am under the impression that the developments you are referring to, are not hinged onto universal requirements for explaining arbitrary information, but onto pre-defined ideas of what objects are(?) That they are basically rather like "blind stabs" or some "could be" definitions for objects/space or whatever concepts are taken as meaningful for this issue. If so, I'd say they work with assumptions because they are not concerned of the requirements of that first step. It is pretty much the most important step to focus your attention onto.

 

 

Look, I just want to say something here. I suppose you must have had thoughts regarding what modern physics seem to imply about the actual structure of reality. I figure most physicists today view the interpretations of modern physics as metaphorical to the structure of reality in some sense. Which is great.

 

However, as long as they don't believe that (or understand how) those models ground onto epistemological universals, they must believe the models do say something about the structure of reality itself, don't they? In their mind, the only issue is that they can't be sure what does the validity of those models mean ontologically, since they are capable of interpreting them in multitudes of ways.

 

That is also the issue which makes it so bothersome to even discuss this topic, because I can never be sure how people mean their arguments. Are they speaking in metaphors? Or do they mean it literally? I doubt most people conversing in this forum even know themselves how they mean their arguments. I think people like to remain vague on purpose, because they know they can't work out a solid answer anyway.

 

Validity of DD's analysis would say that modern physics are metaphorical all the way to the bottom. Well, all the way to the universal epistemological requirements, which are obviously not related to actual reality at all. You can stay entirely agnostic when it comes to the structure of reality, as it makes absolutely no difference what the structure of reality is; drawing a predictive model for it yields something logically equivalent to modern physics anyway.

 

That probably doesn't strike as a valid possibility at all, if a person is not really focusing onto that first step (transformation from recurring events to defined persistent objects). "How could modern physics possibly be valid, if reality was actually structured in some other arbitrary manner?"

 

Note how your possibilities are quite extensive, when it comes to one's assumptions as to how some recurring events - whose meaning they can't really know - are related to the objects defined by modern physics. With appropriate assumptions, you could always pull out such a transformation in that step, that bridges the gap between modern physics and any other hypothetical structure (expressed as a set of events in-between).

 

The entire transformation chain from (made up/hypothetical) "structure of reality" to "expression of in terms of unknown events" to "modern physics" could be incredibly complicated of course, but the point of the analysis is to start from the symmetry features at play during the transformation from "unknown events" to "persistent expectations". The approximate equality of those symmetry features to the features of modern physics means precisely that it is not only possible to interpret any set of events in terms of modern physics, but what's more, it is known to be very valuable representation of those events, in terms of drawing predictions. Without ever knowing anything about the actual structure of reality behind all this. The predictions are fundamentally results of inductive reasoning, while modern physics is the means of keeping that huge amount of data in order. It's merely a good method for representing inductive expectations.

 

That connection incidentally resolves the mystifying features of modern physics quite trivially. Just as an arbitrary example, traditionally we would say (and experimentally confirm) that everything has got a wave-nature to itself, and be mystified by what this implies about reality. But actually more accurate assesment would be, that everything we have defined, have got wave nature to the expectations associated with them. The violation of Bell inequalities is a consequence of the same initial circumstances, that made it possible to define any persistent objects at all. There is nothing mystifying to that, what's mystifying is the absolute faith people have to their definitions of persistent objects, space, and time, as being more than metaphors of reality. :shrug:

 

I seriously doubt any of the work you are referring to has got anything to do with analysing those same epistemological fundamentals.

 

I believe Dick's analysis is flawed for several reasons, and can (and have) point to places where I think he went astray in his analysis. However, I believe nothing is so convincing as a counter-example. Classical mechanics cannot be an approximate solution to Dick's equations. Classical mechanics CANNOT be derived from the Schroedinger equation, you need the additional postulate of wavefunction collapse (collapse does not obey Schroedinger's equation).

 

I continue to be puzzled as to why you think that way. I'm pretty sure it has got something to do with you skipping that first and the most important step, discussed above.

 

Also you should be able to understand the impossibility of actually understanding how any specific explanation performs that first transformation (since it is only the results of the transformation that are in any sense understandable). I really don't understand how a counter example could actually be analyzed in a way that it is actually known to be expressed correctly in DD's notation.

 

And most of all, such an analysis should be redundant anyway. Think about this; to find a valid counter example would mean you have found such valid interpretation for unknown data, which does not contain self-contradiction in terms of the expectations that it generates BUT it contradicts the fundamental equation.

 

The fundamental premise for deducing the fundamental equation was that the expectations do not change upon such changes to the representation of the data, that are not a function of any assumptions as to what the data means. I.e. that certain defined circumstances have exactly the same expectations every time. I.e. that the explanation does not contain self-contradiction in terms of the expectations that it generates.

 

So finding a counter example would mean there is an error in the deduction of the fundamental equation! Don't you think it would be quite a bit easier to actually find that error in the algebra?

 

Seriously, looking for a counter example would be much like trying to disprove Newton's third law of motion by endlessly throwing different objects at each others. Selecting a tiny set of axioms and ignoring everything else inside the same valid worldview is much like throwing a stone against the ground in order to disprove Newton's third law. Good luck trying to prove that the rest of the universe didn't react to that stone.

 

I recommend reading up on quantum mechanics and classical mechanics as formal logic systems, and really thinking about how to even begin to map them to Dick's equation.

 

I think the closest thing to mapping them to DD's equation are his derivations of various physics relationships, and I certainly don't have the competence to perform similar work. I am struggling to follow his derivations, which is why I'm doing it so slowly and carefully, trying to make sure I understand everything that goes into every step before I proceed.

 

Nevertheless, the end results seem to be valid mappings between the two. Yes?

 

I think the problem is your lack of experience with mathematical models makes it hard to understand some of what I'm trying to get at.

 

Yes.

 

I think the problem is without any background, this conversation is basically me making bare assertions, and you seem willing to always fall back on Dick's bare assertions when we conflict.

 

That is a possibility. I am trying to be quite careful when I'm making assertions, partially because I don't want to say something I'm not at all sure of. But honestly, to me it seems the problem really is mostly a communication issue, and lack of familiarity with physics makes it just more difficult for me.

 

For instance, I remember you made an argument about how his universal notation is not scale symmetric, which to me just rings as an instance of confusing something in the notation with something analogous in modern physics. I do understand the notation as entirely immaterial thing, and as such it is pretty trivially true that any size for that "picture" is entirely immaterial too. Whatever I said as a counter-argument to you at that point, was just coming from understanding what DD's work is, as oppose to what modern physics is.

 

Hi Anssi, just thought I would comment here. If I were you, I wouldn't bother trying to argue with Erasmus. Your knowledge of physics is just not sufficient to see his slight of hand. He is obviously quite familiar with the common misdirection of attention used quite regularly to prevent people from thinking about the problems.

 

Well it's not much of a bother, more of an exercise in communication. I don't think there is anything dishonest to his arguments, I believe all the difficulty is in the communication of this issue.

 

If I can understand how he thinks about the issue, it is already worth it. The whole thing is just like trying to explain relativity to someone much in doubt of its validity, but doing so using only english words... Only this is even harder... Much, much harder. (I trust you can relate to that Erasmus :)

 

Oh well... Sorry for the length, had lots to say...

 

-Anssi

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