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# Spacetime: More Hogwash From "fairy-Tale Physics"

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Here's an excerpt from the blog of a guy who calls himself "Spaceman" in his podcasts.  His real name is Paul Sutter, and he appears to be a legitimate astrophysicist.  He buys into the "spacetime" farce hook, line, and sinker:

This means that you can reach the center of the Milky Way galaxy in only a couple dozen years. Yes, you! No, I'm not joking around! You just need to provide a nice constant acceleration — say 1g, the same acceleration you feel from the Earth’s gravity. You'll never crack the speed of light, but you'll inch ever closer to it. And the faster you go, the slower time passes for you. Everyone stuck on Earth will be counting the millennia [but] you'll get there in only a lifetime. Just don't bother coming back, because…well, everyone you know and love will be long dead.

https://www.space.com/30862-space-time-spacetime-and-superfast-rockets.html

If you could constantly accelerate at the rate of 1g you would theoretically be travelling at the speed of light in about 1 year.  Could you then just keep accelerating at that rate without ever "cracking the speed of light?"

Well, let's see here.....

From us, the Center of the Milky Way is about 26,000 light years away.  So at the speed of light, it would take 26,000 years to get there, right?  But this guy says you can get there in 20 years, without exceeding the speed of light.  How does that work?

Oh, wait, I forgot.  50 Billion light years will only be 1/10th of one inch if you're travelling fast enough, eh?  Of course you never need to reach the speed of light.   Hell, I could travel 1/10th of an inch in a split second, even without a rocket.

Hey, Jack, there...hold up a minute.  I got something for you that you're gunna love.  Magic beans!!  Just give me that cow and you can have them.  Whaddaya say, homeboy!?

Remember now, he's not joking around!!

Like he says, it's all a simple matter of trading space for time, can't ya see?  Kinda like trading magic beans for cows, know what I'm sayin?

Edited by Moronium
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According to special relativity, if you could travel at the speed of light, your mass would become infinite, all distances would shrink to zero, and time would stop.  So, then, even though you're fatter than the prize-winning hog at the State Fair, you could still go clean across the whole universe (and back, and back again, ad infinitum) in nothing flat!!

But nothing can travel at the speed of light, right?  Well, except for light, I mean.  So why is the speed of light said to be some finite number, rather than infinite (instantaneous)?

I'm a little slow, I guess.  I just don't get it.

Edited by Moronium
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But nothing can travel at the speed of light right?

My bad.  I forgot.  If we're not moving at all, then we are all, at all times, travelling at the speed of light (through time) according to the esteemed Hermann Minkowski.

So, yes, Virginia, you can, and do, travel at the speed of light.  But there's a little trick to it.  Don't move.

Edited by Moronium
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So, how do we get around some of the seeming absurdities of Minkowski's spacetime?   These scientists have an idea...get even more absurd, that's how!!

"Space is 4D" -- Theory Claims that Time is Not the 4th Dimension

Scientists at the Scientific Research Centre Bistra in Ptuj, Slovenia, theorize that this Newtonian idea of time as an absolute quantity that flows on its own, along with the idea that time is the fourth dimension of spacetime, are incorrect. They propose to replace these concepts of time with a view that corresponds more accurately to the physical world: time as a measure of the numerical order of change...

So while 4D spacetime is usually considered to consist of three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, the researchers’ view suggests that it’s more correct to imagine spacetime as four dimensions of space. In other words, as they say, the Universe is “timeless.”

“Minkowski space is not 3D + T, it is 4D,” the scientists write in their most recent paper....

“The idea of time being the fourth dimension of space did not bring much progress in physics and is in contradiction with the formalism of special relativity,” he said. “We are now developing a formalism of 3D quantum space based on Planck's work. It seems that the Universe is 3D from the macro to the micro level to the Planck volume, which per formalism is 3D. In this 3D space there is no ‘length contraction,’ there is no ‘time dilation.’

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/04/weekend-feature-space-is-4d-theory-claims-that-time-is-not-the-4th-dimension.html

Timelessness!  Yeah, that's the ticket, sho nuff.  There are only 3 dimensions, and it's all space.  Time doesn't exist.  I get it now!  Well, then again, maybe I don't........

They do go on to say:

“Newton theory on absolute time is not falsifiable;  you cannot prove it or disprove it -- you have to believe in it,” Sorli said

Tell ya what.  Me, I'm just gunna haul off and believe in it.  Sue me, if ya don't like it, eh?

Edited by Moronium
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Excerpts from a review of Lee Smolin's book, "Time Reborn:"

Time is real. An idea physicists regard as heresy is rescued by this American theorist.

...[A]t the heart of Smolin's proposed solutions to what he calls the "crisis of physics" is a philosophical view that should, in principle, be easier to grasp.  The problem here is that the philosophical view for which Smolin is arguing is not one that many non-physicists would find particularly controversial. It is that time is real, a position that Smolin describes as a "revolutionary view", but which, for most people, is just common sense.

Among those things is the idea (that Smolin advances brilliantly and persuasively) that the reason physicists have come to reject the reality of time is that they have been bewitched by the beauty and success of the mathematical models they use into mistaking those models for reality.

To think like this, Smolin claims, is to forget, or to deny, that the objects of mathematics – numbers, curves etc – do not exist, whereas physics concerns itself with what does exist, and, in reality, in the domain of things that do exist, time is inescapable. So, he insists: "Useful as mathematics has turned out to be, the postulation of timeless mathematical laws is never completely innocent, for it always carries a trace of the metaphysical fantasy of transcendence from our earthly world." He thus presents us with a choice: "Either the world is in essence mathematical or it lives in time."

Whether or not Smolin wins his argument with his fellow physicists, the case he makes for saying that when we deny the reality of time, we are confusing a mathematical model with what it is modelling seems to me convincing. Most of us may not need persuading that time is real, but this book goes some way towards explaining why there are those who do.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jun/06/time-reborn-lee-smolin-review

Edited by Moronium
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So while 4D spacetime is usually considered to consist of three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, the researchers’ view suggests that it’s more correct to imagine spacetime as four dimensions of space. In other words, as they say, the Universe is “timeless.”

This is what Smolin is talking about when he says that modern physics has turned time into a dimension of space.  Here's an excerpt from another review of Smolin's book:

Lee Smolin, in his book “Time Reborn”, develops the thesis that “time’ has been gradually removed from physics with the final denouement for “time” being the creation of Special and General Relativity.  Smolin goes on to explain why this removal of “time” from physics has been a major obstacle to advancement in certain areas of physics....

Smolin concluded that he must give up relative simultaneity and adopt “preferred global time” and a preferred state of rest. He did this because observations of receding galaxies and observations of CBR both indicate there is a preferred rest frame and a preferred global time AND both sets of observations point to one and the same preferred frame.

http://www.naturalphilosophy.org/site/nickpercival/2015/06/04/restoring-time-to-the-physics-of-space-time/

So Smolin thinks it's just that easy?  Just give up relative simultaneity? Based upon observations of receding galaxies and the CMB?  Yeah, he does, it seems.

Edited by Moronium
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I'll paste in a post I made in another thread here, since it's related to the whole "spacetime" issue:

A more abstract way of stating the differences between SR and LR is this:

1.  SR posits the speed of light to be constant in every inertial frame, and therefore, in order to mathematically accommodate this assumption, time must be variable.

2.  LR posits time to be constant, and therefore, in order to mathematically accommodate this assumption, the speed of light must be variable in different inertial frames.

Mathematically, you can get the same results either way, so math can't answer this question:  Which is it?  Which hypothesis reflects what is "really" happening physically?

The paper I am citing below purports to answer that question in favor of LR, and, on the basis of very good reasons, thoroughly spelled out, argues that time is absolute and that all empirical and logical evidence leads to the inevitable conclusion that there is only one frame in which the speed of light is truly isotropic and constant.  I am merely quoting the conclusions here.  Those interested in the reasoning behind the conclusions can read the entire article.

Conclusions:

It is often argued that the predictions of Special and General Relativity have been continuously verified and that therefore the theory is unquestionable. However, other theories, such as Lorentz ether theories modified to take into account gravitational effects, can also make similar claims. There are in fact multiple mathematical routes by which a correct prediction can be arrived at, but these theories may imply very different interpretations of what our physical reality is. And this is at the heart of what is wrong with the theory of relativity – it may make successful predictions based on math, but implies a nature of time and space which are not only inconsistent with logic and reason, but are even contradictory.

.... So when countered with the argument that General Relativity can explain the Sagnac effect, we might ask, why bother? If time dilation is an illusion, then the entire 4D time-space continuum of Einstein should be considered, to use his own word for the aether, “superfluous.”

http://www.conspirac...gnacandRel.html

To understand this you need to note that "time dilation" is NOT the same as "clock retardation."  This article says that "time dilation" (the SR view) is an illusion which is created by "clock retardation."  There is a difference between clock rates slowing down (LR) and "time" itself changing (SR).

Edited by Moronium
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I see that, once again, a thread of mine has been moved from the physics forum to the "alternate theories" forum.  That's OK.  My question would be who's is presenting the "alternate theory" here?  Me, or the astrophysicist who obviously misinterpreted mainstream relativity?

I suspect it is deemed, presumably by Buffy, to be me.  Questioning what a so-called "expert" says about physics is no longer a physics issue, see?  It's an "alternate theory" to even question him.  I guess the idea is that it is impermissible to take a view which some physicist might disagree with.  Problem is, that would include every physicist in existence.  They all disagree with some other physicist about something, ya know?

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Maybe this claim by the scientists I cited in the "alternate theory:"

“Newton theory on absolute time is not falsifiable;  you cannot prove it or disprove it -- you have to believe in it,” Sorli said

I suspect many, probably most, practicing relativists would strongly denounce this claim.

They would probably say that it has been proven that Newton's theory on absolute time is false.  That's the way they always seem to tell it, anyway.

Newton's theory is still embraced by particle physicists, however:

In theoretical physics, the problem of time is a conceptual conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics in that quantum mechanics regards the flow of time as universal and absolute, whereas general relativity regards the flow of time as malleable and relative.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_time

So which one is the "alternative theory" here, I wonder?  GR or QM?

Or maybe it's Hafele and Keating, who, as one paper I cited noted, took a view that disagreed with special relativity, who are presenting an "alternative theory."  But why wouldn't that be the primary theory, rather than an "alternate" one?  That was almost a half a century and I don't think many physicists would disagree with their analysis, then or now.

Edited by Moronium
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If you could constantly accelerate at the rate of 1g you would theoretically be travelling at the speed of light in about 1 year.  Could you then just keep accelerating at that rate without ever "cracking the speed of light?"

Any relativist care to explain how this is possible?

Edited by Moronium
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Any relativist care to explain how this is possible?

Nobody?  Yeah, that's kinda what I thought.

We say that light coming from the center of the Milky Way takes 26,000 years to get here, because, after all, as fast as it is, it still takes time.

But some guy in a rocket can get there in only 20 years (more than 1,000 times the speed of light), without ever exceeding the speed of light, no less!

They guy who chumped Jack (of beanstalk notoriety) had magic beans.  Relativists have a magic word which they can use in any variety of incantations to defy all known laws of physics.  The word?:

SPACETIME.

It's straight-up magic, I tells ya!

The author of this fantasy claims to be "a research fellow at the Astronomical Observatory of Trieste and visiting scholar at the Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP)."

Is there anything these guys won't believe, I wonder?

Edited by Moronium
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If you take 99.99999....c and put enough 9's after the decimal point (maybe a million, whatever). and then apply the SR math, there's probably some point where 1 billion light years in earth's frame = only 186,000 miles in the moving frame.  And lets just say, for the sake of convenience, that at that same speed 1 billion earth years = one second in the moving frame.  So what do we have?

The guy in the moving frame says he is going (virtually) the speed of light.  He's not going a billion light years in one billion years, he's only going 186,000 miles in one second.

Well, you can "say" anything, no matter how absurd.  You can do anything you want with math.  The question is which is it "really?"  Does the distance between two points which are a billion lights years apart shrink down to only 186,000 miles, just for him?  Do those two points snuggle up just for him?  Is he going c, or is he going one billion light years per second?  When will he arrive at his destination?  In one billion years, or in one second?

If someone can "actually" travel 1 billion light years in one second, by the standards in our frame, then c is certainly not the maximum possible speed in our frame.  So which is it?

How can it be both?  The magic word, that's how:  SPACETIME!!

Edited by Moronium
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“The idea of time being the fourth dimension of space did not bring much progress in physics and is in contradiction with the formalism of special relativity,” he said. “We are now developing a formalism of 3D quantum space based on Planck's work. It seems that the Universe is 3D from the macro to the micro level to the Planck volume, which per formalism is 3D. In this 3D space there is no ‘length contraction,’ there is no ‘time dilation.’

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/04/weekend-feature-space-is-4d-theory-claims-that-time-is-not-the-4th-dimension.html

Why do these physicists say that Minkowski's spacetime is "in contradiction with the formalism of special relativity,”

Here's why:  First let's understand the terms involved.  The LT posit length contraction for a moving object.  Length is NOT distance.  Length is the amount of space between two ends of an object.  Distance is the amount of space between two different objects.  With the LT, lengths (of individual moving objects) contract, not "space."  This affects all objects on board, including measuring instruments such as rulers.

The LT were incorporated into SR from the git-go.  But after Minkowski came along the accepted interpretation was that both the clock retardation and the length contraction of the LT were mere illusions that did not "really" occur.  Why?

Because they didn't want to say that the length of a moving object shortened.  Instead they wanted to claim that all of space itself contracted for each of the trillions of objects in motion in the universe.  Same with clock retardation.  They wanted to deny that clocks slowed down (as the LT says) instead say that "time," itself slowed down, not clocks.  Once you do that, you have concocted the magical incantation that explains all absurdities, to wit:  SPACETIME!!

As long as they could hang around speculating and talking metaphysical smack without being tested, this approach seemed to work out fine.

But after a few decades of this, experiments started showing that clock retardation (which is NOT "time dilation") was real, not illusory, so they had to scramble and adjust their theory back to the LR view.

Now the claim that "space" contracts and "time" slows down, which never made any sense in the first place, won't fly anymore.

But that doesn't keep guys like this author quoted in the OP from trying to revive the discredited interpretation..  Distances don't shrink, measuring rods do. "Time" doesn't slow down, clocks do.  This does not serve to increase the speed of an object one bit.  Anymore than if the battery on your watch ran down so that it started running slow.  All the LT serve to do is to explain why we can't detect our own motion via "in house" experiments and why we "measure" the speed of light to be the same in every inertial frame when it really isn't (according to LR, which, unlike SR, actually makes sense).

Edited by Moronium
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Feynman once said (paraphasing): "If you can't explain a concept in terms that a 12 year old can understand, then you don't understand it."

He also said something like:  "Anyone who claims to understand QM doesn't understand it."

When I ask how "curved spacetime" causes gravity, I either get no answer at all around here, or get a bunch of confused gobbity-gook with a lot of technical terminology which "explains" nothing.  Still, these people seem very confident that SPACETIME explains it all, somehow or another.

The old "bowling ball on a rubber sheet" analogy has a lot of intuitive appeal as an explanation, but it turns out that it's just a scam.  "Spacetime" doesn't curve space in the earth's gravitational field after all.  At least not significantly (only one cm over the entire diameter of the earth, they say).  The only curvature that really matters is the so-called "curvature of time," which makes no sense.  How does "time" cause gravity?

Edited by Moronium
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http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/04/weekend-feature-space-is-4d-theory-claims-that-time-is-not-the-4th-dimension.html

Why do these physicists say that Minkowski's spacetime is "in contradiction with the formalism of special relativity,”

I probably wasn't that clear in this post.

If you want to claim that that the speed of light "really is" c in all frames, instead of just being measured to be the same (a significance difference), then it is contradictory to say the clocks slow down and lengths (of objects) contract.  Hence Minkowski had to claim that those effects didn't really occur.

Unfortunately for Minkowski, the LT  (borrowed from Lorentz) were already built into the theory.  They "contradict" the "formalism" of SR (i.e. Minkowski's spacetime) as these physicists note.  So he had to deny that they really occurred.  But they do occur (at least clock retardation), and since the advent of extremely precise atomic clocks this has been repeatedly demonstrated by experiment.

That means spacetime goes out the window.

Edited by Moronium
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Colloquially, we sometimes treat distance in terms of time.  If Podunk is 60 miles away and someone asks, we might sometimes say that it is "an hour away."  But of course that is just a loose approximation which presupposes that you are travelling at a given speed (60 mph, in this case).

Speed is just distance divided by time, so in order to know your speed, you must FIRST know the time and distance involved.  SR purports to tell you (as a fundamental postulate) what the speed of light MUST be, without ever even knowing the time and distance involved.

Suppose I tell a guy that Podunk is one hour away, and that, by God, I mean it is ALWAYS, absolutely, and necessarily one hour away without regard to the (actual) time it takes you to get there.

Now suppose it actually takes you 70 minutes to get there because you travel at a speed of less than 60 mph.  What do I do with my decree now?   I just tell you that you are mistaken about the time it took.  Your watch is fast.  It "really" only took you an hour; you just thought it was more. I just make time variable, as SR purports to do.  So I'm right.  My claim can't ever be falsified because I just change the time or distance involved to assure that my pronouncement is always correct. Pretty simple, actually, eh?  By Popper's falsifiability criterion, this is mere pseudo-science.

LR does NOT do this.  It does not try to tell you, in advance, what a given speed will be, because that will depend on the time and distance involved.  In that theory, speed varies, not time.  If it takes you 70 minutes to get to Podunk, it simply says that you travelled slower than did a guy who got there in only 60 minutes. Speed varies according the the time elapsed.  The time elapsed doesn't vary to match a pre-ordained speed.

"Spacetime," in essence, says that Podunk is ALWAYS one hour away, regardless on the actual time it takes to get there.

Which make more sense?

Of course, since both time and distance are needed to calculate speed, I have options.  If you fly to Podunk by plane at a speed of 600 miles/hour you will get there in 6 minutes.  I can also say that you just mistakenly  thought Podunk was 60 miles away.    In "truth," it's only 6 miles away, so you were travelling at the rate of 60 mph, just like I told you would.  Or, I could mix it up and  say it's all some combination of your watch being fast and you mistaking the true distance which leads you to falsely believe that you were travelling at the rate of 600 mph.  Whatever, I am ALWAYS right.  You always travel at the rate of 60 mph, whatever the (actual) distance and time are.

How is that possible?  Well, I'll just haul out the magic word, which will explain it all:  SPACETIME!!

With spacetime you can travel the same distance that it takes light 26,000 years to traverse in only 20 years!  And, you can do that without ever exceeding the speed of light.  It's magic, I tells ya!

Edited by Moronium
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How is that possible?  Well, I'll just haul out the magic word, which will explain it all:  SPACETIME!!

With spacetime you can travel the same distance that it takes light 26,000 years to traverse in only 20 years!  And, you can do that without ever exceeding the speed of light.  It's magic, I tells ya!

By way of contrast, if such a thing were possible, LR would just say that you travelled at a speed of more than 1,000 times that of c.  It would NOT tell you that space shrunk or that "time" slowed down.

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