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How certain is our scientific knowledge? Honestly?


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OceanBreeze;

Yes, the entire universe has to be the closed system.
The two laws of thermodynamics are too simple.

Science is still discovering the universe and its parts are more complicated than originally thought.
Where is the evidence that after 14 billion yrs, the universe is running down?

Chaos is disorder, yet has a range of energy, and a lattice of particles each with uniform energy has a high degree of order. It seems entropy and order have an uncertain relationship.
Shuffling a new deck of cards supposedly puts them in a state of disorder, but what does that actually mean, when the 'order' is by definition?
Science is too young to completely understand the universe with its abstractions.
Like viewing the last microsecond of a movie and knowing the entire story.

 

 

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I am saying they require things that might work out mathematically but the reality of things like negative mass is unknown and there is little reason to think they exist.  In science everything i

Well these claims are hardly settled science are they? be honest. Claims like these are hotly contested, and so far no one has a solid reply to the criticisms. Not ever has the speed of light bee

Your post is rather long, so I will just pick out this one sentence: "So I would say, you can't be a good scientist if you take things as absolutes" And I go further and say that you cannot be a

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On 12/12/2020 at 12:49 PM, sluggo said:

The mind has limited abilities

This is indeed true. However, I believe one of the most remarkable and fascinating affinities of the human mind is the ability to overcome these limitations by changing and improving the way we think. As many astronomically complex systems as there are in science that humans could never understand inherently, we've always found a way to formulize them into a form we, with all our limitations, can digest and utilize. I believe this to be true even on a universal scale or beyond.

 

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So we're just to stupid and primitive a species? And short of a few million years of evolution there's no way for us to understand the as yet unknown workings of the universe and there's nothing we can do about it?

Refer to the above

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On 12/12/2020 at 1:58 PM, Omnifarious said:

So we're just to stupid and primitive a species? And short of a few million years of evolution there's no way for us to understand the as yet unknown workings of the universe and there's nothing we can do about it?

Stupid implies foolishness. A better word is ignorant (not aware of).
The mind is an amazing organ and as mentioned it allows us to form concepts that represent the unknown world with a high degree of accuracy.
Without light, the universe is invisible to us, we only know it indirectly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm getting the impression I won't get a straight black and white answer to my original question, is that right?

I have Asperger's syndrome, I think in black and white terms and it's in my nature to take what people say literally. I'm not gullible but when someone is saying "this is they way things are" in  a documentary, unless it's really outrageous, I can't help but assume that they are speaking the truth.

There are so many things scientists say that I find disturbing and I wanted to know if it was an option not to take them seriously.

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On 12/12/2020 at 2:15 PM, Omnifarious said:

But I've heard that scientists are looking into it as a real possibility. Are you saying these are not possible? Do we know this for sure and how?

I am saying they require things that might work out mathematically but the reality of things like negative mass is unknown and there is little reason to think they exist. 

In science everything is subject to new information coming in, science is a self correcting process, it becomes ever more precise but will never, by design, reach a 100% conclusion. This "design" is what allows science to be self correcting and moves it closer and closer towards reality.  

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10 hours ago, Omnifarious said:

I'm getting the impression I won't get a straight black and white answer to my original question, is that right?

I have Asperger's syndrome, I think in black and white terms and it's in my nature to take what people say literally. I'm not gullible but when someone is saying "this is they way things are" in  a documentary, unless it's really outrageous, I can't help but assume that they are speaking the truth.

There are so many things scientists say that I find disturbing and I wanted to know if it was an option not to take them seriously.

A scientist saying something, if it is their field, and they have gone through pere review, should be taken seriously but others are and will continue to check his work to make sure the theory hold up under all conditions. 

There are scientific assertions or theories that it is difficult to see how they could be refuted, heliocentric theory will not be over turned, evolutionary theory, cell theory, disease theory, and many others are so finely known that no one thinks they will ever be overturned, maybe refined, but that would be tiny changes at best.

I to tend to be rather abrupt but the world is not black and white, not even shades of gray, reality is a rainbow of possibilities and we are bathing in the glory of knowledge that rainbow represents. 

I have been away from this forum for quite sometime but I am back, I'll do my best to insure honest and accurate answers to your questions..   

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On 11/10/2020 at 6:28 AM, Omnifarious said:

I wanted to ask you weather or not they were really true but then I thought it would be easier to ask you about science and our certainty of it in general. I've heard that scientists are supposed to be open minded and never to be too certain of any thing. But in my experience, scientists are people who say "This is the way thing are and that's the end of it." That you could not be a scientist unless you took things as absolutes.


Let me say I completely share the sentiment in the OP. Especially in popularizations of science, the language used is almost always using much more certain terms than is actually warranted, and I think it is damaging to the students of science. And it is not just the language used, often the people teaching the topics are confusing apples with oranges themselves.

"Scientific philosophy" (a.k.a. "science") originally arose as a response against the unwarranted air of certainty of various religious philosophies. It is, or at least should be, by its very definition, the attitude of preserving doubt always, and being very clear on things we do not or cannot know.

And let's be clear about this, there are very few things that can be actually known. It is not about how careful research or how many measurements we have done about something, it is about confusing metaphysical aspects of the theories as if they are known things. All scientific theories are ultimately of the form "given X an Y, then Z", and it is the responsibility of the reader to understand in what terms X and Y and "given", and in what terms they are not.

Spoiler alert; for theories about nature, those starting points are never "given". What we have are our own definitions which are a result of very complex mechanisms, which themselves are also not understood without forming equally uncertain theory. It's a tough nut to crack that one 😉

So I would say, you can't be a good scientist if you take things as absolutes. At that point you are just grinding other peoples theories, completely unable to see where there are opportunities for paradigm shifts. The more complete your understanding of a theory becomes, the more you become aware of where it can be completely wrong - often in areas that most popularizers claim are completely "known".

It is laughably easy to find prime examples of this problem. For example, in the video link you gave;

https://youtu.be/A2JCoIGyGxc?t=157
"Einstein taught us that space and time are not separate entities, rather they are two components of a bigger idea, called spacetime".

That assertion is wrong in every possible way. The concept of spacetime is not a requirement for Theory of Relativity. Einstein did not even define it, Minkowski did, as his own ontological interpretation of Special Relativity. Although Einstein used the concept to conceive General Relativity, but also General Relativity does not require the concept, it just happens to use it. It is a mental concept we can use, not a concept we must use.

Right after there's an assertion: "The speed of light is the same for everyone"

Also completely wrong. Special Relativity defines a convention for defining simultaneity, in a way where speed of light is to be plotted at the same propagation speed in every inertial frame. That says exactly nothing about what the speed of light actually is, except that it represents the upper bound for our communication speed.

You see, simultaneity definition is limited by the upper bound of our communication speed - whatever it might be - and our inability to measure that communication speed, without a priori knowledge of what that speed is. And because most people - professionals and students a like - seem to have such a poor grasp at the logical underpinnings of relativity, they tend to become surprised when they first learn that one-way speed of light cannot be measured. They've been told all their life about *conventions*, as if they are absolutes, and they never ever spend the time to think through these issues themselves, in order to actually understand them (I'm the opposite, I hate to just know but not understand things... 😬)

It's not that difficult topic to figure out - if your world view already defines macroscopic objects as bound by electromagnetic information, is it not expected that their behavior is likely also impacted by perturbations to the propagation of electromagnetic information? That possibility yields the simple fact that you cannot synchronize clocks without making assumptions about one-way speed of light, or making assumptions of how they behave when you move them spatially, neither of which can be answered without already knowing the speed of light.

The fact that one-way speed of light us fundamentally unknowable thing was very well known fact in the physics community back when Einstein wrote the paper about Special Relativity. One of the very few things we can know with certainty is that there is uncertainty. You wouldn't believe how many people fight me about that... And in this case people understood exactly why there is this unknowable one-way speed of light. It was so well and widely understood, that this little factoid is seldom even mentioned in the physics papers of that time. I believe it is mentioned in the original paper for Special Relativity though. But, tragically, nowadays this important fact is usually completely omitted from presentations of Special Relativity, because everyone confuses the theory with its most popular ontological interpretation.

So we have people acting all surprised when they find out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTn6Ewhb27k

Since I got started, let me spell out the actual history the way you've probably never heard it before.

1. The expectation that Michelson & Morley experiment would yield a measurement of aether drift is quite unwarranted - macroscopic objects were already seen as collections of microscopic elements bound by electromagnetic forces. What reason is there to expect that macroscopic objects would be completely unaffected by perturbations to electromagnetic propagation?

2. On the null result, Hendrik Lorentz developed his theory of how the macroscopic objects might be perturbed. The crux of his theory is Lorentz Transformation for describing the object perturbations. Of course, since all measurement devices are subject to the same perturbations, these perturbations are not directly observable (all of our devices are inside of our reality, we can't place our device outside of reality to observe it)

3. Since the perturbations are not observable by natural observers, Einstein suggested a clock synchronization convention where each inertial frame uses their own basis for electromagnetic propagation speeds. His theory is mathematically identical to Lorentz's theory - that's why it's still called Lorentz Transformation to this day. The difference between Special Relativity, and Lorentz aether theory is philosophical. We do not know and cannot know if one is more true than another, it's just that some people find one theory subjectively "more pleasing" than the other.

That's right, Lorentz aether theory is exactly the same as Special Relativity, with the only difference that you must arbitrarily choose one inertial frame as representing the true instantaneous state of reality - which is bothersome since there's no mechanism to actually establish a "true" one.

Pretty much all the aspects that are usually presented as "proven by Special Relativity", are actually just aspects it defines as a convention, and the "measurements" to validate them over Lorentz theory are just acts of using that convention 🤦‍♂️

I will take one step further and say that, philosophically the ontological idea of relativistic spacetime is not at all as elegant as some people make it out to be. Examining the actual philosophical difference between Special Relativity and Lorentz aether theory, note that where Lorentz' theory assumes that we are simply unable to measure the objective instantaneous state of reality, Special Relativity - if taken as an ontological claim as oppose to just a physics definition - implies there is no objective instantaneous state of reality. Which would require reality is static, and our mind is not part of it (to reconcile with the fact that our experience is not static, our mind would have to operate on some kind of transcendental meta-reality... which one is more ad-hoc exactly?).

So, in my opinion really what we are dealing with here is physicists trying to be philosophers and failing really miserably and embarrassingly, to their own harm, and to the harm of their students. Almost every time they use the word "know", it makes me want to make a meme picture of "know - you keep using that word but I don't think it means what you think it means"

But, I'm sure the smartest ones realize this and work harder to avoid making ontological implications. They avoid saying exactly the click-baity nonsense that physics popularizers live on. I think Einstein was like that, but lesser minds keep taking the concepts he uses as if they are ontological arguments.


Oh, one more related example since you brought it up. You asked about faster than light travel. Whenever you wonder about the degree of certainty of assertions like that, what you really must focus on is to form proper understanding of why people make those assertions. That is the only way to find out what they actually mean by it, and to what extend it is true or not. What we know is that, given the ontology of Special Relativity, faster than light travel would imply broken causality. Or perhaps more aptly, it would imply new basis for simultaneity definition. (Yes, there are also connections to the definition of energy via the definition of time, but really the reasoning gets circular there so it's not that interesting one to use as a "why" explanation).

On the other hand, given Lorentz theory's implied ontology, FTL does not seem as fundamentally impossible at all, because there would be an actually meaningful state to reality beyond our ability to observe it - causality would not become broken.

So here is an example of a door being closed possibly pre-maturely, if a scientist does not understand that Special Relativity is just a philosophical spin on an Aether theory, and instead assume it is somehow proving the existence of spacetime. Instantaneous communication method would imply broken causality in Special Relativity, which can cause people to stop looking. But in Aether theory version it would just imply ability to measure objective simultaneity of the universe, beyond our electromagnetic propagation speed barrier.

And btw, it seems to me - with fairly high degree of certainty - that the main reason people have such a hard time to reconcile Quantum Mechanics with General Relativity is that they are far too stuck on that one ontological story that is not actually even required by General Relativity. Spacetime as temporally dynamic element creates infinite regression for time relationships. But you know, since everyone thinks they "know" that GR "spacetime" is "known", they just keep using that ill-formed concept 🤷‍♂️

Sorry this post is so long, but I could go on and on for hours about more example of this stuff... 😄

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19 hours ago, Moontanman said:

A scientist saying something, if it is their field, and they have gone through pere review, should be taken seriously but others are and will continue to check his work to make sure the theory hold up under all conditions. 

There are scientific assertions or theories that it is difficult to see how they could be refuted, heliocentric theory will not be over turned, evolutionary theory, cell theory, disease theory, and many others are so finely known that no one thinks they will ever be overturned, maybe refined, but that would be tiny changes at best.

I to tend to be rather abrupt but the world is not black and white, not even shades of gray, reality is a rainbow of possibilities and we are bathing in the glory of knowledge that rainbow represents. 

I have been away from this forum for quite sometime but I am back, I'll do my best to insure honest and accurate answers to your questions..   

I am sooo glad to see you back! This forum has been badly in need of a good dose of sanity.

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12 hours ago, AnssiH said:


Let me say I completely share the sentiment in the OP. Especially in popularizations of science, the language used is almost always using much more certain terms than is actually warranted, and I think it is damaging to the students of science. And it is not just the language used, often the people teaching the topics are confusing apples with oranges themselves.

"Scientific philosophy" (a.k.a. "science") originally arose as a response against the unwarranted air of certainty of various religious philosophies. It is, or at least should be, by its very definition, the attitude of preserving doubt always, and being very clear on things we do not or cannot know.

And let's be clear about this, there are very few things that can be actually known. It is not about how careful research or how many measurements we have done about something, it is about confusing metaphysical aspects of the theories as if they are known things. All scientific theories are ultimately of the form "given X an Y, then Z", and it is the responsibility of the reader to understand in what terms X and Y and "given", and in what terms they are not.

Spoiler alert; for theories about nature, those starting points are never "given". What we have are our own definitions which are a result of very complex mechanisms, which themselves are also not understood without forming equally uncertain theory. It's a tough nut to crack that one 😉

So I would say, you can't be a good scientist if you take things as absolutes. At that point you are just grinding other peoples theories, completely unable to see where there are opportunities for paradigm shifts. The more complete your understanding of a theory becomes, the more you become aware of where it can be completely wrong - often in areas that most popularizers claim are completely "known".

It is laughably easy to find prime examples of this problem. For example, in the video link you gave;

https://youtu.be/A2JCoIGyGxc?t=157
"Einstein taught us that space and time are not separate entities, rather they are two components of a bigger idea, called spacetime".

That assertion is wrong in every possible way. The concept of spacetime is not a requirement for Theory of Relativity. Einstein did not even define it, Minkowski did, as his own ontological interpretation of Special Relativity. Although Einstein used the concept to conceive General Relativity, but also General Relativity does not require the concept, it just happens to use it. It is a mental concept we can use, not a concept we must use.

Right after there's an assertion: "The speed of light is the same for everyone"

Also completely wrong. Special Relativity defines a convention for defining simultaneity, in a way where speed of light is to be plotted at the same propagation speed in every inertial frame. That says exactly nothing about what the speed of light actually is, except that it represents the upper bound for our communication speed.

You see, simultaneity definition is limited by the upper bound of our communication speed - whatever it might be - and our inability to measure that communication speed, without a priori knowledge of what that speed is. And because most people - professionals and students a like - seem to have such a poor grasp at the logical underpinnings of relativity, they tend to become surprised when they first learn that one-way speed of light cannot be measured. They've been told all their life about *conventions*, as if they are absolutes, and they never ever spend the time to think through these issues themselves, in order to actually understand them (I'm the opposite, I hate to just know but not understand things... 😬)

It's not that difficult topic to figure out - if your world view already defines macroscopic objects as bound by electromagnetic information, is it not expected that their behavior is likely also impacted by perturbations to the propagation of electromagnetic information? That possibility yields the simple fact that you cannot synchronize clocks without making assumptions about one-way speed of light, or making assumptions of how they behave when you move them spatially, neither of which can be answered without already knowing the speed of light.

The fact that one-way speed of light us fundamentally unknowable thing was very well known fact in the physics community back when Einstein wrote the paper about Special Relativity. One of the very few things we can know with certainty is that there is uncertainty. You wouldn't believe how many people fight me about that... And in this case people understood exactly why there is this unknowable one-way speed of light. It was so well and widely understood, that this little factoid is seldom even mentioned in the physics papers of that time. I believe it is mentioned in the original paper for Special Relativity though. But, tragically, nowadays this important fact is usually completely omitted from presentations of Special Relativity, because everyone confuses the theory with its most popular ontological interpretation.

So we have people acting all surprised when they find out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTn6Ewhb27k

Since I got started, let me spell out the actual history the way you've probably never heard it before.

1. The expectation that Michelson & Morley experiment would yield a measurement of aether drift is quite unwarranted - macroscopic objects were already seen as collections of microscopic elements bound by electromagnetic forces. What reason is there to expect that macroscopic objects would be completely unaffected by perturbations to electromagnetic propagation?

2. On the null result, Hendrik Lorentz developed his theory of how the macroscopic objects might be perturbed. The crux of his theory is Lorentz Transformation for describing the object perturbations. Of course, since all measurement devices are subject to the same perturbations, these perturbations are not directly observable (all of our devices are inside of our reality, we can't place our device outside of reality to observe it)

3. Since the perturbations are not observable by natural observers, Einstein suggested a clock synchronization convention where each inertial frame uses their own basis for electromagnetic propagation speeds. His theory is mathematically identical to Lorentz's theory - that's why it's still called Lorentz Transformation to this day. The difference between Special Relativity, and Lorentz aether theory is philosophical. We do not know and cannot know if one is more true than another, it's just that some people find one theory subjectively "more pleasing" than the other.

That's right, Lorentz aether theory is exactly the same as Special Relativity, with the only difference that you must arbitrarily choose one inertial frame as representing the true instantaneous state of reality - which is bothersome since there's no mechanism to actually establish a "true" one.

Pretty much all the aspects that are usually presented as "proven by Special Relativity", are actually just aspects it defines as a convention, and the "measurements" to validate them over Lorentz theory are just acts of using that convention 🤦‍♂️

I will take one step further and say that, philosophically the ontological idea of relativistic spacetime is not at all as elegant as some people make it out to be. Examining the actual philosophical difference between Special Relativity and Lorentz aether theory, note that where Lorentz' theory assumes that we are simply unable to measure the objective instantaneous state of reality, Special Relativity - if taken as an ontological claim as oppose to just a physics definition - implies there is no objective instantaneous state of reality. Which would require reality is static, and our mind is not part of it (to reconcile with the fact that our experience is not static, our mind would have to operate on some kind of transcendental meta-reality... which one is more ad-hoc exactly?).

So, in my opinion really what we are dealing with here is physicists trying to be philosophers and failing really miserably and embarrassingly, to their own harm, and to the harm of their students. Almost every time they use the word "know", it makes me want to make a meme picture of "know - you keep using that word but I don't think it means what you think it means"

But, I'm sure the smartest ones realize this and work harder to avoid making ontological implications. They avoid saying exactly the click-baity nonsense that physics popularizers live on. I think Einstein was like that, but lesser minds keep taking the concepts he uses as if they are ontological arguments.


Oh, one more related example since you brought it up. You asked about faster than light travel. Whenever you wonder about the degree of certainty of assertions like that, what you really must focus on is to form proper understanding of why people make those assertions. That is the only way to find out what they actually mean by it, and to what extend it is true or not. What we know is that, given the ontology of Special Relativity, faster than light travel would imply broken causality. Or perhaps more aptly, it would imply new basis for simultaneity definition. (Yes, there are also connections to the definition of energy via the definition of time, but really the reasoning gets circular there so it's not that interesting one to use as a "why" explanation).

On the other hand, given Lorentz theory's implied ontology, FTL does not seem as fundamentally impossible at all, because there would be an actually meaningful state to reality beyond our ability to observe it - causality would not become broken.

So here is an example of a door being closed possibly pre-maturely, if a scientist does not understand that Special Relativity is just a philosophical spin on an Aether theory, and instead assume it is somehow proving the existence of spacetime. Instantaneous communication method would imply broken causality in Special Relativity, which can cause people to stop looking. But in Aether theory version it would just imply ability to measure objective simultaneity of the universe, beyond our electromagnetic propagation speed barrier.

And btw, it seems to me - with fairly high degree of certainty - that the main reason people have such a hard time to reconcile Quantum Mechanics with General Relativity is that they are far too stuck on that one ontological story that is not actually even required by General Relativity. Spacetime as temporally dynamic element creates infinite regression for time relationships. But you know, since everyone thinks they "know" that GR "spacetime" is "known", they just keep using that ill-formed concept 🤷‍♂️

Sorry this post is so long, but I could go on and on for hours about more example of this stuff... 😄

Your post is rather long, so I will just pick out this one sentence: "So I would say, you can't be a good scientist if you take things as absolutes"

And I go further and say that you cannot be a scientist at all if you take things as absolutes, and I don't know any actual scientists who do this. I have worked with many scientists throughout my years with the NOAA and they all operate on the principle of following the preponderance of evidence, as I wrote in my earlier posts. I think the OP's question has been fully answered now by multiple people, multiple times but it seems to me he is wanting a specific black & white answer, namely, that our state of science is either perfect or it is bollocks, and will not be satisfied until he gets it. 

Our state of science is not perfect and it certainly isn't bollocks; it is excellent but it can never be perfect as it is constantly being refined. That is what science is, constant refinement of ideas based on new evidence, and that is what makes science so different from belief.

Let's see if the OP is finally satisfied or simply repeats the question again and again and again.

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AnnsiiH;

 

The 2-way speed of light cannot detect any variation due to the symmetry in the direction of motion.

In 'QED', R. Feynman redefines 'reflection' as 'electron absorbing a photon, and emitting a new photon' (The photon would have to stop to reverse!) This elimination of the 2-way case, and the experiments for isotropy (speed of light is independent of direction) with variations less than a fraction of a meter, support a constant speed c.

 

The few 'Relativity' theories in development prior to 1900 depended on knowing the speed of light, which was available from Maxwell's equations.

Estimates of light speed started with astronomical observations by Romer about 1650, and continued with Armand Fizeau experiments on the earth about 1750.

Postulate 1 states the description of physics is the same in all inertial frames. Measurement of light propagation is a physical process, so the results would be the same for all inertial frames.

 

The clock synchronization is required for independent observations, since there can be no universal time with a finite light speed. It also doesn't require knowing the value of c and is independent of the speed of the local frame.

Einstein acknowledges his definition of equal light propagation times out and back, is not related to the physical properties of light, but a stipulation for a consistent theory.

(Relativity The Special and the General Theory, 1961 Crown Publishers Inc. pg 23)

 

Quote

 

Special Relativity - if taken as an ontological claim as oppose to just a physics definition - implies there is no objective instantaneous state of reality. Which would require reality is static, and our mind is not part of it (to reconcile with the fact that our experience is not static, our mind would have to operate on some kind of transcendental meta-reality... which one is more ad-hoc exactly?).


 

[Reality is subjective, perception is reality confined to the mind. This means SR is incomplete.]

 

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Hi Sluggo

I'm afraid your post exemplifies exactly the confusions I was complaining about in my long post.

Look, it's very simple to convince yourself of this matter. The mathematics of Lorentz aether theory are exactly the same as using Special Relativity, but instead of transforming from observer to observer, you'd arbitrarily choose some reference frame, and then do all of your calculations from that frame. I'm sure you can trivially accept this as mathematically valid approach. You can always go back to this simple point, if you feel any doubt.

If the above wouldn't work, that would mean the frame transformation in Special Relativity was invalid - it would mean your results would depend on the frame you analyze them from - the frame transformation would be inconsistent.

The fact that one-way speed of light cannot be measured, is a cornerstone of Special Relativity. This realization is why the paper can confidently define a unique simultaneity notion for each reference frame.

See; http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/specrel.pdf chapter "Definition of Simultaneity" and "On the relativity of lengths and times" to understand how this is merely a convention, and how this convention yields the exact form of relativistic length and time measurements that everyone likes to use.

 

On 12/31/2020 at 4:40 PM, sluggo said:

The 2-way speed of light cannot detect any variation due to the symmetry in the direction of motion.

In 'QED', R. Feynman redefines 'reflection' as 'electron absorbing a photon, and emitting a new photon' (The photon would have to stop to reverse!) This elimination of the 2-way case, and the experiments for isotropy (speed of light is independent of direction) with variations less than a fraction of a meter, support a constant speed c.

These are erroneous assertions. The inability to measure one-way speed of light is very simple and fundamental limitation, and you will do yourself a service if you really think it through. Just think about clock synchronization of spatially separated clocks, and try to establish how moving them would perturb them, and I'm sure you can figure it out. I can see you have not yet done this exercise so as you cite examples of supposed measurements of one-way speed without realizing they must also use an artificial definition of simultaneity.

I can also see you have not really thought about the ontological meaning of the idea of isotropic speed of light. What is in your opinion the "state of reality" at any given moment? If you insist on the ontological reality of isotropic C, you also insist on static reality. It's a pretty direct link from one to another, and an interesting topic to really think through.

On 12/31/2020 at 4:40 PM, sluggo said:

The few 'Relativity' theories in development prior to 1900 depended on knowing the speed of light, which was available from Maxwell's equations.

Postulate 1 states the description of physics is the same in all inertial frames. Measurement of light propagation is a physical process, so the results would be the same for all inertial frames.

The clock synchronization convention of Special Relativity allows the physical laws to be written in the same form in any inertial frame, within the framework that they were written in already. This can be very practical in many situations, but it does not imply any specific ontological form to reality. There are many ways to describe the "rules of reality", symmetrically or asymmetrically between frames, in pretty much any chosen ontology (because you always add another metaphysical "space" where you describe your take on the "rules of the universe").

Basically this argument is often thrown around to try to make the argument that isotropic C is more than just our convention, but actually all the physical laws as we have written them, are bound to our conventions. Isotropic C does not follow from Maxwell, it's rather the other way around. In actual fact, this argument is yet another example of "not thinking it through" and arguing for static universe without realizing it 🤷‍♂️

 

On 12/31/2020 at 4:40 PM, sluggo said:

[Reality is subjective, perception is reality confined to the mind. This means SR is incomplete.]

Yes, but assuming your "SR is incomplete" refers to the problem of SR implying static universe, then you must realize that the solution is very simple - there was never any reason to assume ontologically isotropic C... Basically the arguments you gave above get thrown into the bin, as soon as you assume instead that - ontologically - a momentary state of reality actually exists, beyond our ability to probe what it is.

Of course this also is an assumption - maybe reality really is static - except for our minds. What I'm saying is that the "static reality" version gets thrown around far more than it deserves. It is philosophically very naive and cumbersome, but almost no one realizes they are effectively making that argument when they argue that isotropic C is an objective feature of nature. (I bolded parts of previous sentence in anticipation that someone will respond to this post and make exactly that mistake)

Taking the view that C is not objectively isotropic leads effectively to Lorentz' version of all this. Which is exactly the same observationally as SR - it's the same math. Go back to paragraph #1 if in doubt.

The argument that SR is philosophically more elegant because it doesn't contain ad hoc assumption about preferred frame, is only true for the mathematical simplicity from the starting point it has, and only true until Minkowski spacetime became the preferred view. But from an ontological perspective it's a really hard sell, especially as we have since found that the cosmic background radiation is emanating from a "preferred frame". 

-Anssi
ps. personally I don't really subscribe to either of these views, I think they both probably represent gross oversimplification of more complex interactions between what we call "space" and "matter"

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AnnsiiH;

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The mathematics of Lorentz aether theory are exactly the same as using Special Relativity, but instead of transforming from observer to observer, you'd arbitrarily choose some reference frame, and then do all of your calculations from that frame.

[SR is my choice since the ether is redundant.]

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The fact that one-way speed of light cannot be measured, is a cornerstone of Special Relativity.

[The basis of SR are postulates 1 and 2. The 1-way speed could be c ± a few meters. The critical factor is the propagation speed is 'independent of its source', an absolute motion. In par.1 simultaneity, where defining c as constant, Einstein states "In agreement with experience". The observer has a choice of moving or a pseudo rest frame. If the 2nd, then his expectations would be equal paths out and return. Thus it's not something pulled out of a hat.Feynman's QED explanation of various light phenomena is impressive, in addition to calculating the magnetic moment of the electron to 12+ decimals of precision. With Feynman's definition of photon motion, there is no 1-way 2-way issue.]

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...and how this convention yields the exact form of relativistic length and time measurements that everyone likes to use.

[Lc and td are motion induced physical phenomena resulting from a constant and independent speed of light. They occur independently of human observation and theorizing. The accumulation of research and experimentation over the centuries has allowed these effects to be verified.]

[I have considered SR clock synchronization, as shown in the spacetime graphic (a product of Minkowski) of U observing A synchronizing his clocks, and A's perception on the right.
It also shows why it's not possible to detect any variation in 2-way light speed. The A frame has a skew symmetry, the forward light path (blue) can be rotated 180 deg about the center t', to form the backward path. If the path 0-s2 was slower by Δ, the path s1-D would also be slower by Δ, thus no difference is detected.]

[The clock synchronization convention of Special Relativity forms a simulated synchronization for that frame, on the condition that it remains at a constant velocity.
The combined effect of time dilation and length contraction, as mentioned above, results in the A frame being scaled by 1/γ relative to the U frame. Since any inertial frame is equivalent to a scaled U frame, with (x/ γ)/( t/ γ) = x/t, all inertial frames inherit the same relations expressed in terms of space (x) and time (t). Therefore any inertial frame may serve as a reference frame. The first postulate of SR is now a consequence of the second.

'Let their be light' is more than a poetic phrase.]

[When you say 'static reality', it sounds like 'block universe'. How could anyone, especially scientists, support such a nonsensical idea while saying the universe is dynamic?]

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...when they argue that isotropic C is an objective feature of nature.

[Einstein used a fictitious absolute rest frame where c would be isotropic, for the purpose of demonstrating its equivalence to an inertial frame. (He was aware of the MMX results.) The propagation speed is constant relative to space/vacuum, not to the observer. Tell that to the LET fans who insist it's c±v.

As mentioned above, if x/t=c then x'/t'=c. Each observer will MEASURE light speed to equal c.]

[It's perception or subjective. Einstein didn't make any statement to that effect, since he was occupied with the mechanics, kinematics, etc., yet the observer is the key performer in his theory. What does the observer see, measure, conclude.]

[Definitely agree with "oversimplification of more complex interactions".
How many times have scientists said after new discoveries "it's more complicated than we originally thought".]

 

clock synch.gif

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Hi Sluggo,

19 hours ago, sluggo said:

[SR is my choice since the ether is redundant.]

Now that you mention this, the original paper for SR (that I linked before) is actually quite nice in that it doesn't really suggest any particular ontology (like Minkowski spacetime), but the reader must be careful to understand it as merely drawing purely logical connections between definitions when reading it. Nowadays people read it with Minkowski's interpretation in mind and tend to take SR as literally an argument for "Minkowski spacetime", even though it doesn't mention such thing anywhere. This misconception leads exactly into my original complaint about people locking themselves into too limited scope of possibilities.

Many of your comments imply you are also too locked in - there's considerable relaxation of possibilities that are possible without contradicting anything in SR.

With that;
 

20 hours ago, sluggo said:

The basis of SR are postulates 1 and 2. The 1-way speed could be c ± a few meters. The critical factor is the propagation speed is 'independent of its source', an absolute motion. In par.1 simultaneity, where defining c as constant, Einstein states "In agreement with experience".

There's couple of subtle but critical misconceptions here that have to be corrected.

SR is not about C being "independent of the source", but one step more as C being "independent of the chosen inertial frame". And it certainly is put forward as a convention, not as an argument for objective reality.

When Einstein is referring to "consistent with experience", he is referring to "what can be deducted from real observations by actual natural observers". That really is the key subtlety to understand; "what is observable" is not the same thing as "what exists". The former can be verified as factual, the latter cannot.

Make no mistake about this, Einstein understands and describes perfectly well what aspects of this hinge on our definitions of things. Pay attention to some key points of his paper (emphasis mine):
https://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/specrel.pdf

"If we wish to describe the motion of a material point, we give the values of
its co-ordinates as functions of the time. Now we must bear carefully in mind
that a mathematical description of this kind has no physical meaning unless
we are quite clear as to what we understand by “time.” We have to take into
account that all our judgments in which time plays a part are always judgments
of simultaneous events."
...
"We might, of course, content ourselves with time values determined by an
observer stationed together with the watch at the origin of the co-ordinates,
and co-ordinating the corresponding positions of the hands with light signals,
given out by every event to be timed, and reaching him through empty space.
But this co-ordination has the disadvantage that it is not independent of the
standpoint of the observer
with the watch or clock, as we know from experience."

What Einstein is pointing out there is that we must first specify what do we mean and what can we know about the simultaneity of two remote events. He understands perfectly well that we can't actually know whether two apparently simultaneous events are actually simultaneous or not. This problem was well known at the time (1-way problem) and required no further elaboration from him.

"If at the point A of space there is a clock, an observer at A can determine the
time values of events in the immediate proximity of A by finding the positions
of the hands which are simultaneous with these events. If there is at the point B
of space another clock in all respects resembling the one at A, it is possible for
an observer at B to determine the time values of events in the immediate neighbourhood of B. But it is not possible without further assumption to compare, in respect of time, an event at A with an event at B. We have so far defined only an “A time” and a “B time.” We have not defined a common “time” for
A and B, for the latter cannot be defined at all unless we establish by definition
that the “time” required by light to travel from A to B equals the “time” it
requires to travel from B to A."

"By definition" is also emphasized by Einstein in the original paper. This is very very important to understand absolutely correctly, and not get tangled up into some idea that the logical validity of these definitions somehow makes them mandatory. What he establishes here is a convention for relativistic simultaneity - something we can define for our own convenience for calculations.

Basically the idea is that instead of transforming "C" between frames and directions, we logically can take it as isotropic if we instead transform the "moments that events actually occurred". That is exactly what Lorentz Transformation does, as is visually also visible from the diagrams you attached (it is what happens when we - by definition - lock the speed of light as exactly C for all the different frame representations of the same system).

Of course a natural observer cannot tell the difference between events varying, or C varying, as they can't be in two remote locations "at the same time".
 

20 hours ago, sluggo said:

Feynman's QED explanation of various light phenomena is impressive, in addition to calculating the magnetic moment of the electron to 12+ decimals of precision. With Feynman's definition of photon motion, there is no 1-way 2-way issue.]

I'm interested of hearing in more detail how do you view QED as removing the 1-way issue. I mean, logically speaking yes of course. But how do you view it as not being a case of using Einstein a convention?
 

20 hours ago, sluggo said:

[Lc and td are motion induced physical phenomena resulting from a constant and independent speed of light. They occur independently of human observation and theorizing. The accumulation of research and experimentation over the centuries has allowed these effects to be verified.]

Not true, as you can easily verify by going back to the start of my previous post.

Basically this is an example of locking yourself into too limited scope of possibilities when you assume that LC & TD somehow can only occur under the framework of SR. The observable features of LC and TC of course occur in exactly the same way in Lorentz' aether theory - the only difference is in unobservable features of reality. That's what "their difference is merely philosophical" means. I explained this in quite detail in last post.
 

20 hours ago, sluggo said:

[When you say 'static reality', it sounds like 'block universe'. How could anyone, especially scientists, support such a nonsensical idea while saying the universe is dynamic?]

Now that's the million dollar question.

Remember when I said;

"It is philosophically very naive and cumbersome, but almost no one realizes they are effectively making that argument when they argue that isotropic C is an objective feature of nature. (I bolded parts of previous sentence in anticipation that someone will respond to this post and make exactly that mistake)"

I'm afraid you are making that mistake, you are making a block universe arguments without realizing it. Now think this through carefully;

Isotropic C requires that we transform simultaneity of events when moving between inertial frames.
If we transform simultaneity of events, we cannot make claim about any specific state of the universe - it would be in different state for all observers in different inertial frames, requiring that all future and past states exist "all the time". Likewise, any new choice of reference frame would always imply new state.

And if you assume that C really is isotropic, that is the same thing as assuming that simultaneity of events really is frame dependent. That is why it requires a static block universe. This is exactly the view what Minkowski was pushing when he presented the idea of spacetime! (Yes, he really meant it literally... And Einstein apparently made comments about what a ridiculous idea Minkowski had)

At this point everyone always say "hmm yes but I don't literally mean static block universe, I just mean to refer to naturally observable features of this".

But that means you are not taking SR's philosophical flavor as meaningful, which means you are exactly thinking of Lorentz aether theory! As soon as you assume that reality actually is dynamic, it means you assume it does have an objective state that actually evolves in time - we just don't have the means to observe what that state is - then you also cannot assume isotropic C anymore as anything but a handy mental hack to simplify calculations.

What that assumption leads into is exactly the same view as in Lorentz' aether theory (the one that originally defined Lorentz transformation). It's logically completely unproblematic assumption being that they produce exactly the same observables.

So with that in mind, here's that switch;

20 hours ago, sluggo said:

As mentioned above, if x/t=c then x'/t'=c. Each observer will MEASURE light speed to equal c.]

[It's perception or subjective. Einstein didn't make any statement to that effect, since he was occupied with the mechanics, kinematics, etc., yet the observer is the key performer in his theory. What does the observer see, measure, conclude.]

The idea that natural observers merely measure C as isotropic if they use Einstein's definitions, is the same thing as noting that C is not necessarily actually isotropic - it just appears so because of how we must define space and time self-consistently.

I completely agree that Einstein did not - at least initially - make any statements about the supposed "reality" of this thing, Minkowski did, and nowadays almost everyone claims that Einstein made those arguments.

It's more like;
Lorentz argued for single universal C in a single background, which is unobservable since we are "in it". This idea yields Lorentz Transformation as a direct logical consequence, which yields LC & TD in exactly same mathematical form as in SR.

Einstein argued we can remove unobservable assumptions from this by adopting his simultaneity convention, and this can be quite handy for calculations. This is sort of a null-interpretation view.

Minkowski went straight back to "unobservable assumptions", and proposed a spacetime view, and its direct consequence, a static block reality.

20 hours ago, sluggo said:

[Einstein used a fictitious absolute rest frame where c would be isotropic, for the purpose of demonstrating its equivalence to an inertial frame. (He was aware of the MMX results.) The propagation speed is constant relative to space/vacuum, not to the observer. Tell that to the LET fans who insist it's c±v.

The problem with c+v is actually purely logical, as any meaningful definition of v becomes dependent on clock synchronization. Lorentz transformation is ultimately about the logical dependencies between space and time definitions.

-Anssi

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9 hours ago, UfoDiscuss said:

My model satisfies special and general relativity under the contextualization of quantum scale UFT gravitation. It has these things called planck spheres, brane theory, which gravitate away relative to beam weakening or ray redshift. Anyway grav wave condensation ends up pushing against the momentum of the object negating any acceleration and adding a medium against the velocity more as it's mass increases, under the illusion time this can express both special and general relativistic effects.

My model has a new "absolute relativity" due to a straight on, non-angled depth arithmetic that measures or "sees" (from a Gods eye view) all isometric special and general relativistic events simultaneously:

Newtons method of moving objects forward and backward can't be done when you remove angle of perception, I can do it without angles which is the only real way to do it. Instead I just calculate the change in coordinate range.

These "planck spheres" are very nifty and useful, even in BH transplanckian paradoxes and why galaxies having missing SMBHs.

These spheres have to make contact to generate gravity. In the case of a 🌑 singularity you have quadrillions of them posing as just one of them, it looks like that black hole evaporated but that singularity is just not touching anything at the time.

The whole reason gravity even exists under the context of my handy little planck spheres is because initially you get a Murphy's law of geometry which is the sphere, the simplest 3D structure is the cube and the most complex 3D structure is the sphere you quantify the complexities of these shapes via the product of volume x area

which is infinite in volume in the context of existential reality creation events, but you have infinite of these braneworlds upon creation, with infinite different directions of spin and movement if we were to go on with 4D murphetic continuation in the geometric series. The whole reason these objects produce a gravitational sphere equal in volume and velocity to themselves (weakening the grav pull proportional to the rate (c) in which the wave propagates) is because when two planck volumes each representing a mathematical infinity rub the density doubles yet the distance between everything, or the space, doesn't even exist so the doubling of density, and you can't double mathematical infinity, must be expressed as a proportional shortening of proximity between these subquantum brane objects.

 

Sluggo: "Yes, the entire universe has to be the closed system."

The "universe" is curved, and there was a scientific article yesterday that theorized it was a fractal.

 

It technically is and isn't a closed or curved system.

IMG-20201112-115630882.jpg

IMG-20201112-115621514.jpg

As shown here, c changes. At ultra violet wavelengths, like the planck branes in a bottom or top quark, we get about 9^27th the density of equal mass in a red wavelength or the lightest fermion field. Anything above that and the gravitational field will tug on an object faster than light.

So inside a black hole, the creation repeats as the spacetime dent where time dilates superimposes a spacetime hill where "time" quickens. Yet to us this "dark gravitation" superimposing our universe entangles all particles at once FTL.

There's the cosmic event horizon, then the particle horizon, then the fractal event horizon. At that third horizon, as it gets further away from us, there is a new area of spacetime resembling the QGP clouds, albeit thinner and more hollow, of the pre-artifactual CMB. The dark matter is infalling particles joining at the center of the "universe" fractal.

At least according to context of my model.

Polymath you are getting better at displaying and explaining your theories however there is a complete and utter lack of proof that you are correct.

Edited by VictorMedvil
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