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GUILTY CONSCIENCE IN EINSTEINIANA'S SCHIZOPHRENIC WORLD



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 12th 11, 06:55 AM posted to sci.astro,sci.math
Pentcho Valev
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Default GUILTY CONSCIENCE IN EINSTEINIANA'S SCHIZOPHRENIC WORLD

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/papers/companion.doc
John Norton: "These efforts were long misled by an exaggeration of the
importance of one experiment, the Michelson-Morley experiment, even
though Einstein later had trouble recalling if he even knew of the
experiment prior to his 1905 paper. This one experiment, in isolation,
has little force. Its null result happened to be fully compatible with
Newton's own emission theory of light. Located in the context of late
19th century electrodynamics when ether-based, wave theories of light
predominated, however, it presented a serious problem that exercised
the greatest theoretician of the day."

http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/1743/2/Norton.pdf
John Norton: "In addition to his work as editor of the Einstein papers
in finding source material, Stachel assembled the many small clues
that reveal Einstein's serious consideration of an emission theory of
light; and he gave us the crucial insight that Einstein regarded the
Michelson-Morley experiment as evidence for the principle of
relativity, whereas later writers almost universally use it as support
for the light postulate of special relativity. Even today, this point
needs emphasis. The Michelson-Morley experiment is fully compatible
with an emission theory of light that CONTRADICTS THE LIGHT
POSTULATE."

http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its.../dp/0486406768
"Relativity and Its Roots" By Banesh Hoffmann
"Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested
in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second
principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do
far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the
particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it.
And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these
particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian
relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the
Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths,
local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein
resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of
particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and
introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less
obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether."

http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its.../dp/0486406768
Banesh Hoffmann: "In an accelerated sky laboratory, and therefore also
in the corresponding earth laboratory, the frequence of arrival of
light pulses is lower than the ticking rate of the upper clocks EVEN
THOUGH ALL THE CLOCKS GO AT THE SAME RATE. (...) As a result the
experimenter at the ceiling of the sky laboratory will see with his
own eyes that the floor clock is going at a slower rate than the
ceiling clock - EVEN THOUGH, AS I HAVE STRESSED, BOTH ARE GOING AT THE
SAME RATE. (...) THE GRAVITATIONAL RED SHIFT DOES NOT ARISE FROM
CHANGES IN THE INTRINSIC RATES OF CLOCKS. It arises from WHAT BEFALLS
LIGHT SIGNALS AS THEY TRAVERSE SPACE AND TIME IN THE PRESENCE OF
GRAVITATION."

James H. Smith "Introduction à la relativité" EDISCIENCE 1969 pp.
39-41: "Si la lumière était un flot de particules mécaniques obéissant
aux lois de la mécanique, il n'y aurait aucune difficulté à comprendre
les résultats de l'expérience de Michelson-Morley.... Supposons, par
exemple, qu'une fusée se déplace avec une vitesse (1/2)c par rapport à
un observateur et qu'un rayon de lumière parte de son nez. Si la
vitesse de la lumière signifiait vitesse des "particules" de la
lumière par rapport à leur source, alors ces "particules" de lumière
se déplaceraient à la vitesse c/2+c=(3/2)c par rapport à
l'observateur. Mais ce comportement ne ressemble pas du tout à celui
d'une onde, car les ondes se propagent à une certaine vitesse par
rapport au milieu dans lequel elles se développent et non pas à une
certaine vitesse par rapport à leur source..... Il nous faut insister
sur le fait suivant: QUAND EINSTEIN PROPOSA QUE LA VITESSE DE LA
LUMIÈRE SOIT INDÉPENDANTE DE CELLE DE LA SOURCE, IL N'EN EXISTAIT
AUCUNE PREUVE EXPÉRIMENTALE."

http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/ind...ecture_id=3576
John Stachel: "Einstein discussed the other side of the particle-field
dualism - get rid of fields and just have particles."
EINSTEIN'S 1954 CONFESSION: "I consider it entirely possible that
physics cannot be based upon the field concept, that is on continuous
structures. Then nothing will remain of my whole castle in the air,
including the theory of gravitation, but also nothing of the rest of
contemporary physics."
John Stachel's comment: "If I go down, everything goes down, ha ha,
hm, ha ha ha."

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...l/433218a.html
John Barrow: "EINSTEIN RESTORED FAITH IN THE UNINTELLIGIBILITY OF
SCIENCE. Everyone knew that Einstein had done something important in
1905 (and again in 1915) but almost nobody could tell you exactly what
it was. When Einstein was interviewed for a Dutch newspaper in 1921,
he attributed his mass appeal to the mystery of his work for the
ordinary person: "Does it make a silly impression on me, here and
yonder, about my theories of which they cannot understand a word? I
think it is funny and also interesting to observe. I am sure that it
is the mystery of non-understanding that appeals to themit impresses
them, it has the colour and the appeal of the mysterious." Relativity
was a fashionable notion. It promised to sweep away old absolutist
notions and refurbish science with modern ideas. In art and literature
too, revolutionary changes were doing away with old conventions and
standards. ALL THINGS WERE BEING MADE NEW. EINSTEIN'S RELATIVITY
SUITED THE MOOD. Nobody got very excited about Einstein's brownian
motion or his photoelectric effect but RELATIVITY PROMISED TO TURN THE
WORLD INSIDE OUT."

http://io9.com/5607692/are-physicist...up-dark-energy
Dave Goldberg, Associate Professor of Physics at Drexel University:
"The idea of dark energy is so ridiculous that almost every question
is based on trying to make it go away. And believe me, I share your
concerns. I don't want to believe in dark energy, but I have no
choice. (...) Basically, if you want to get rid of dark energy, you
have to get rid of relativity."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/science/26essay.html
"The worrying continued. Lawrence Krauss, a cosmologist from Arizona
State, said that most theories were wrong. "We get the notions they
are right because we keep talking about them," he said. Not only are
most theories wrong, he said, but most data are also wrong..."

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/scienc.../87150187.html
"Dark Energy: The Biggest Mystery in the Universe (...) "We have a
complete inventory of the universe," Sean Carroll, a California
Institute of Technology cosmologist, has said, "and it makes no
sense."

http://www.autodidactproject.org/oth...deology_2.html
Ideology of/in Contemporary Physics, Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond
"In this way, major advances in modern physics, especially in
relativity and quantum mechanics, have paradoxically fed an intensely
irrational current. One knows the popular expression for scepticism
and unconcern: 'everything is relative . . . as Einstein said' (and
this is not so harmless as one would believe). At a seemingly more
elaborate level, the mad attempts of Bergson to criticise and
reinstate the theory of relativity within his own philosophy, even if
they took place fifty years ago, still give evidence of a serious
crisis in the relations between science and philosophy. (...) As far
as the theories of relativity or quantum physics are concerned, the
last fifty years have hardly witnessed any major evolution in their
mode of presentation. Most handbooks are surprisingly similar,
repeating indefinitely the same schemes of inner organisation. As a
general rule, a historical or rather chronological introduction - of
dubious accuracy - is followed by some philosophical reflections in
which traditional dogmas are enunciated under a much more schematic
and poorer form than that of their creators. Having fulfilled this
first task, the author then approaches the 'strictly scientific'
content of the book. It consists, in general, of purely theoretical,
exaggeratedly formalistic accounts, from which references to real
experiments steadily vanish. Not a single impression is left of the
real procedures of scientific activity, of the dialectic between
theory and practice, heuristic models and formalism, axioms and
history. Modern physics appears as a collection of mathematical
formulae, whose only justification is that 'they work'. Moreover, the
'examples' used to 'concretise' the knowledge are often totally
unreal, and actually have the effect of making it even more abstract.
Such is the case when the explanation of special relativity is based
on the consideration of the entirely fictitious spatial and temporal
behaviour of clocks and trains (today sometimes one speaks of
rockets . . . it sounds better . . . but it is as stupid!). This kind
of science fiction (which is not even funny) is the more dangerous as
erases the existence of a large experimental practice, where the
theory of relativity is embodied in the study of high-energy
particles, involving hundreds of scientific workers, thousands of tons
of steel and millions of dollars. (...) This teaching situation, even
if it appears unhealthy and harmful with regard to the simple aims of
training and teaching (transmission of knowledge), is however in
perfect ideological harmony with the general context of modern
physics. A closed arduous, forbidding education, which stresses
technical manipulation more than conceptual understanding, in which
neither past difficulties nor future problems in the search for
knowledge appear, perfectly fulfils two essential roles: to promote
hierarchisation and the 'elite' spirit on behalf of a science shown as
being intrinsically difficult, to be within the reach of only a few
privileged individuals; and to impose a purely operational technical
concept of knowledge, far from a true conceptual understanding, which
would necessarily be critical and thus would reveal the limits of this
knowledge. This is why discussions about educational problems take on
the form of ideological struggle. It is also why, because of the
essentially political nature of the resistance to change in this
field, no reformist illusions should be entertained as to the
possibility of any major successes, as long as such a struggle only
relies on the internal critique of scientific workers and teachers,
remaining within the framework of an unchanged technical and social
division of labour. (...) The very availability of an essay as this
reflects the existence of a deep ideological crisis in the scientific
milieu. This crisis is particularly obvious in the field of physics.
It is expressed, on the one hand, by a lack of motivation on the part
of many young research workers, and, on the other hand, by the efforts
of readjustment and self-justification on the part of the
establishment. It is characterised by a serious loss of credibility in
traditional values, which before had made it possible for research
workers to create acceptable self-images. (...) Average scientists do
not even control the meaning of their own work. Very often, they are
obscure labourers in theoretical computation or experimentation; they
only have a very narrow perspective of the global process to which
their work is related. Confined to a limited subject, in a specialised
field, their competence is extremely restricted. It is only necessary
to listen to the complaints of the previous generations' scientists on
the disappearance of 'general culture' in science. In fact, the case
of physics is eloquent on the subject. One can say that, until the
beginning of this century, the knowledge of an average physicist had
progressed in a cumulative way, including progressively the whole of
previous discovery. The training of physicists demanded an almost
universal knowledge in the various spheres of physics. The arrival of
'modern' physics has brought about not only the parcelling of fields
of knowledge, but also the abandonment of whole areas. I have already
said that important sections of nineteenthcentury physics are today
excluded from the scientific knowledge of many physicists. Therefore
the fields of competence are not only getting narrower, but some of
them are practically vanishing altogether. If physicists no longer
know about physics, a fortiori they know nothing about science! The
idea of a 'scientific culture', of a 'scientific method', of a
'scientific spirit', which were common to all scientists and used to
give them a large capacity for the rational understanding of all
reality, have turned into huge practical jokes. True, some scientists
have access to a global vision of their field or even of the social
organisation of science and social ties, but that tends to depend
solely on the position of power they occupy. The others, massively,
are dispossessed of all mastery over their activity. They have no
control, no understanding of its direction."

http://www.i-sem.net/press/jmll_isem_palermo.pdf
Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond: "La science souffre d'une forte perte de
crédit, au sens propre comme au sens figuré : son soutien politique et
économique, comme sa réputation intellectuelle et culturelle
connaissent une crise grave. (...) Mais le plus grave peut-être dans
la déculturation de la science se situe à l'extérieur de la recherche
scientifique, à l'interface entre le milieu scientifique proprement
dit et la société au sens large."

http://www.archipope.net/article-12278372-6.html
"Nous nous trouvons dans une période de mutation extrêmement profonde.
Nous sommes en effet à la fin de la science telle que l'Occident l'a
connue », tel est constat actuel que dresse Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond,
physicien théoricien, épistémologue et directeur des collections
scientifiques des Editions du Seuil."

http://archives.lesechos.fr/archives...077-80-ECH.htm
"Physicien au CEA, professeur et auteur, Etienne Klein s'inquiète des
relations de plus en plus conflictuelles entre la science et la
société. (...) « Je me demande si nous aurons encore des physiciens
dans trente ou quarante ans », remarque ce touche-à-tout aux multiples
centres d'intérêt : la constitution de la matière, le temps, les
relations entre science et philosophie. (...) Etienne Klein n'est pas
optimiste. Selon lui, il se pourrait bien que l'idée de progrès soit
tout bonnement « en train de mourir sous nos yeux »."

Pentcho Valev

  #2  
Old June 12th 11, 12:26 PM posted to sci.astro,sci.math
Pentcho Valev
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Posts: 8,078
Default GUILTY CONSCIENCE IN EINSTEINIANA'S SCHIZOPHRENIC WORLD

A new iconoclast has just emerged in Einsteiniana:

http://www.newstatesman.com/ideas/20...terview-theory
"String theorist Brian Greene has grown from maths prodigy to physics
iconoclast. Now he hopes to prove a grand theory of everything. (...)
Asked to name his scientific hero, he picks Albert Einstein, along
with Edward Witten, a Princeton physicist. At the start of the 20th
century, Einstein overturned the principles of physics by rejecting
Isaac Newton's theory of gravity because it conflicted with his
discovery that nothing travels faster than the speed of light. "So
many of us," Greene says, "revere [Einstein], but it needs to be said
- because I've seen it reported in an odd way - that we don't revere
Einstein like some gurus of New Age cults may be revered, or some
religious leaders. We are constantly critical of everyone's
contributions, even Witten's. We look at a given paper, we bang it
around, knock it, try to break it." The same goes for string theory,
which could turn out to be completely wrong. "It's a highly
speculative subject, but I don't shrink from that," he says. "If you
ask me: 'Do I believe in string theory?' The answer is: no, I don't."

Do you still believe that "the distinction between past, present, and
future is only an illusion", Brian Greene?

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/01/op...t-we-knew.html
Brian Greene: "In the early part of the 20th century, however, Albert
Einstein saw through nature's Newtonian facade and revealed that the
passage of time depends on circumstance and environment. He showed
that the wris****ches worn by two individuals moving relative to one
another, or experiencing different gravitational fields, tick off time
at different rates. The passage of time, according to Einstein, is in
the eye of the beholder. (...) Rudolf Carnap, the philosopher,
recounts Einstein's telling him that ''the experience of the now means
something special for man, something essentially different from the
past and the future, but this important difference does not and cannot
occur within physics.'' And later, in a condolence letter to the widow
of Michele Besso, his longtime friend and fellow physicist, Einstein
wrote: ''In quitting this strange world he has once again preceded me
by just a little. That doesn't mean anything. For we convinced
physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only
an illusion, however persistent.'' (...) Now, however, modern physics'
notion of time is clearly at odds with the one most of us have
internalized. Einstein greeted the failure of science to confirm the
familiar experience of time with ''painful but inevitable
resignation.'' The developments since his era have only widened the
disparity between common experience and scientific knowledge. Most
physicists cope with this disparity by compartmentalizing: there's
time as understood scientifically, and then there's time as
experienced intuitively. For decades, I've struggled to bring my
experience closer to my understanding. In my everyday routines, I
delight in what I know is the individual's power, however
imperceptible, to affect time's passage. In my mind's eye, I often
conjure a kaleidoscopic image of time in which, with every step, I
further fracture Newton's pristine and uniform conception. And in
moments of loss I've taken comfort from the knowledge that all events
exist eternally in the expanse of space and time, with the partition
into past, present and future being a useful but subjective
organization."

Pentcho Valev

  #3  
Old June 13th 11, 06:48 AM posted to sci.astro,sci.math
Pentcho Valev
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Default GUILTY CONSCIENCE IN EINSTEINIANA'S SCHIZOPHRENIC WORLD

http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Sim.../dp/0415701740
Einstein, Relativity and Absolute Simultaneity (Routledge Studies in
Contemporary Philosophy)
"Einstein, Relativity and Absolute Simultaneity is an anthology of
original essays by an international team of leading philosophers and
physicists who, on the centenary of Albert Einsteins Special Theory of
Relativity, come together in this volume to reassess the contemporary
paradigm of the relativistic concept of time. A great deal has changed
since 1905 when Einstein proposed his Special Theory of Relativity,
and this book offers a fresh reassessment of Special Relativitys
relativistic concept of time in terms of epistemology, metaphysics and
physics. There is no other book like this available; hence
philosophers and scientists across the world will welcome its
publication."
"UNFORTUNATELY FOR EINSTEIN'S SPECIAL RELATIVITY, HOWEVER, ITS
EPISTEMOLOGICAL AND ONTOLOGICAL ASSUMPTIONS ARE NOW SEEN TO BE
QUESTIONABLE, UNJUSTIFIED, FALSE, PERHAPS EVEN ILLOGICAL."
Craig Callender: "In my opinion, by far the best way for the tenser to
respond to Putnam et al is to adopt the Lorentz 1915 interpretation of
time dilation and Fitzgerald contraction. Lorentz attributed these
effects (and hence the famous null results regarding an aether) to the
Lorentz invariance of the dynamical laws governing matter and
radiation, not to spacetime structure. On this view, Lorentz
invariance is not a spacetime symmetry but a dynamical symmetry, and
the special relativistic effects of dilation and contraction are not
purely kinematical. The background spacetime is Newtonian or neo-
Newtonian, not Minkowskian. Both Newtonian and neo-Newtonian spacetime
include a global absolute simultaneity among their invariant
structures (with Newtonian spacetime singling out one of neo-Newtonian
spacetimes many preferred inertial frames as the rest frame). On this
picture, there is no relativity of simultaneity and spacetime is
uniquely decomposable into space and time."

http://www.sciencenewsdigital.org/sc...913?pg=30#pg29
"Einstein introduced a new notion of time, more radical than even he
at first realized. In fact, the view of time that Einstein adopted was
first articulated by his onetime math teacher in a famous lecture
delivered one century ago. That lecture, by the German mathematician
Hermann Minkowski, established a new arena for the presentation of
physics, a new vision of the nature of reality redefining the
mathematics of existence. The lecture was titled Space and Time, and
it introduced to the world the marriage of the two, now known as
spacetime. It was a good marriage, but lately physicists passion for
spacetime has begun to diminish. And some are starting to whisper
about possible grounds for divorce. (...) Physicists of the 21st
century therefore face the task of finding the true reality obscured
by the spacetime mirage. (...) What he and other pioneers on the
spacetime frontiers have seen coming is an intellectual crisis. The
approaches of the past seem insufficiently powerful to meet the
challenges remaining from Einstein's century - such as finding a
harmonious mathematical marriage for relativity with quantum mechanics
the way Minkowski unified space and time. And more recently physicists
have been forced to confront the embarrassment of not knowing what
makes up the vast bulk of matter and energy in the universe. They
remain in the dark about the nature of the dark energy that drives the
universe to expand at an accelerating rate. Efforts to explain the
dark energy's existence and intensity have been ambitious but
fruitless. To Albrecht, the dark energy mystery suggests that it's
time for physics to drop old prejudices about how nature's laws ought
to be and search instead for how they really are. And that might mean
razing Minkowski's arena and rebuilding it from a new design. It seems
to me like it's a time in the development of physics, says Albrecht,
where it's time to look at how we think about space and time very
differently."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main...11/bosmo10.xml
"Smolin admits that "we have made no real headway". "We have failed,"
he says. "It has produced a crisis in physics." (...) EINSTEIN MAY
HAVE STARTED THE ROT."

http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_4.3/smolin.htm
Lee Smolin: "Special relativity was the result of 10 years of
intellectual struggle, yet Einstein had convinced himself it was wrong
within two years of publishing it."

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/papers...UP_TimesNR.pdf
John Norton: "Already in 1907, a mere two years after the completion
of the special theory, he [Einstein] had concluded that the speed of
light is variable in the presence of a gravitational field."

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_De...e_of_Radiation
"The Development of Our Views on the Composition and Essence of
Radiation", Albert Einstein, 1909
"A large body of facts shows undeniably that light has certain
fundamental properties that are better explained by Newton's emission
theory of light than by the oscillation theory. For this reason, I
believe that the next phase in the development of theoretical physics
will bring us a theory of light that can be considered a fusion of the
oscillation and emission theories. The purpose of the following
remarks is to justify this belief and to show that a profound change
in our views on the composition and essence of light is
imperative.....Then the electromagnetic fields that make up light no
longer appear as a state of a hypothetical medium, but rather as
independent entities that the light source gives off, just as in
Newton's emission theory of light......Relativity theory has changed
our views on light. Light is conceived not as a manifestation of the
state of some hypothetical medium, but rather as an independent entity
like matter. Moreover, this theory shares with the corpuscular theory
of light the unusual property that light carries inertial mass from
the emitting to the absorbing object."

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu.../bugrivet.html
"The bug-rivet paradox is a variation on the twin paradox and is
similar to the pole-barn paradox.....The end of the rivet hits the
bottom of the hole before the head of the rivet hits the wall. So it
looks like the bug is squashed.....All this is nonsense from the bug's
point of view. The rivet head hits the wall when the rivet end is just
0.35 cm down in the hole! The rivet doesn't get close to the
bug....The paradox is not resolved."

http://www.edge.org/q2008/q08_5.html
John Baez: "On the one hand we have the Standard Model, which tries to
explain all the forces except gravity, and takes quantum mechanics
into account. On the other hand we have General Relativity, which
tries to explain gravity, and does not take quantum mechanics into
account. Both theories seem to be more or less on the right track but
until we somehow fit them together, or completely discard one or both,
OUR PICTURE OF THE WORLD WILL BE DEEPLY SCHIZOPHRENIC. (...) I
realized I didn't have enough confidence in either theory to engage in
these heated debates. I also realized that there were other questions
to work on: questions where I could actually tell when I was on the
right track, questions where researchers cooperate more and fight
less. So, I eventually decided to quit working on quantum gravity."

http://www.festival-astronomie.com/m...s-sciences.php
Jean-Marc LEVY-LEBLOND: "Grandeur et misère de l'aventure
scientifique. Au cours des 20 dernières années, le rôle de la science
dans la société a profondément changé. Cette évolution récente tient à
une transformation sans équivalent depuis la Révolution scientifique
du début du XVIIéme siécle. Nous nous trouvons aujourd'hui dans une
situation paradoxale où le poids de lactivité scientifique et son
efficacité technique sans précédent mettent en cause ses fondement
mêmes, et menacent sa dimension intellectuelle et culturelle au profit
de sa seule utilité pratique et marchande."
Marc LACHIEZE-REY: "LA PHYSIQUE EST-ELLE DEVENUE SCHIZOPHRÈNE ? La
physique fondamentale repose sur deux découvertes du début du XXème
siècle : la (physique) quantique et la relativité. Celles-ci
s'appliquent à des domaines différents : le monde microscopique
(essentiellement) pour la quantique ; les grandes échelles de l'espace
pour la relativité. Les approximations de ces deux théories se
confondent grosso modo pour la pratique de la physique de tous les
jours. Pourtant, elles impliquent deux visions du monde différentes et
parfois opposées : Par ailleurs chacun des deux ensembles théoriques
présente ses propres problèmes."

Pentcho Valev

  #4  
Old June 14th 11, 06:55 AM posted to sci.astro,sci.math
Pentcho Valev
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Posts: 8,078
Default GUILTY CONSCIENCE IN EINSTEINIANA'S SCHIZOPHRENIC WORLD

If you are not just one of Einsteiniana's hymn-singing zombies, the
fact that your DEDUCTIVE science is based on a false axiom (Einstein's
1905 constant-speed-of-light postulate) would be your eternal source
of guilty conscience. So Einsteinians have always been haunted by the
dream of some variable-speed-of-light approach, an approach that would
allow new Einsteins to gloriously develop Divine Albert's Divine
Theory and eventually become greater than the original Einstein:

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/a...ls.php?id=5538
Paul Davies: "Was Einstein wrong? Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 is
the only scientific formula known to just about everyone. The "c" here
stands for the speed of light. It is one of the most fundamental of
the basic constants of physics. Or is it? In recent years a few
maverick scientists have claimed that the speed of light might not be
constant at all. Shock, horror! Does this mean the next Great
Revolution in Science is just around the corner?"

http://discovermagazine.com/2003/apr/cover
"Was Einstein Wrong? What if Einstein was wrong? The day João Magueijo
began to doubt Albert Einstein started inauspiciously. It was a rainy
winter morning in 1995 at Cambridge University, where Magueijo was a
research fellow in theoretical physics. He was tramping across a
sodden soccer field, suffering from a hangover and mumbling to
himself, when out of the gray a heretical idea brought him to a full
stop: What if Einstein was wrong? What if, rather than being forever
constant, the speed of light could change? Magueijo stood there in the
downpour. What would that mean?"

http://www.rense.com/general13/ein.htm
Einstein's Theory Of Relativity Must Be Rewritten
By Jonathan Leake, Science Editor
The Sunday Times - London
"A group of astronomers and cosmologists has warned that the laws
thought to govern the universe, including Albert Einstein's theory of
relativity, must be rewritten. The group, which includes Professor
Stephen Hawking and Sir Martin Rees, the astronomer royal, say such
laws may only work for our universe but not in others that are now
also thought to exist. "It is becoming increasingly likely that the
rules we had thought were fundamental through time and space are
actually just bylaws for our bit of it," said Rees, whose new book,
Our Cosmic Habitat, is published next month. "Creation is emerging as
even stranger than we thought." Among the ideas facing revision is
Einstein's belief that the speed of light must always be the same -
186,000 miles a second in a vacuum. There is growing evidence that
light moved much faster during the early stages of our universe. Rees,
Hawking and others are so concerned at the impact of such ideas that
they recently organised a private conference in Cambridge for more
than 30 leading cosmologists."

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...pagewanted=all
"As propounded by Einstein as an audaciously confident young patent
clerk in 1905, relativity declares that the laws of physics, and in
particular the speed of light -- 186,000 miles per second -- are the
same no matter where you are or how fast you are moving. Generations
of students and philosophers have struggled with the paradoxical
consequences of Einstein's deceptively simple notion, which underlies
all of modern physics and technology, wrestling with clocks that speed
up and slow down, yardsticks that contract and expand and bad jokes
using the word ''relative.''......''Perhaps relativity is too
restrictive for what we need in quantum gravity,'' Dr. Magueijo said.
''We need to drop a postulate, perhaps the constancy of the speed of
light.''

http://www.fqxi.org/data/articles/Se...lden_Spike.pdf
"Loop quantum gravity also makes the heretical prediction that the
speed of light depends on its frequency. That prediction violates
special relativity, Einstein's rule that light in a vacuum travels at
a constant speed for all observers..."

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/smol...n03_print.html
Lee Smolin: "Now, here is the really interesting part: Some of the
effects predicted by the theory appear to be in conflict with one of
the principles of Einstein's special theory of relativity, the theory
that says that the speed of light is a universal constant. It's the
same for all photons, and it is independent of the motion of the
sender or observer. How is this possible, if that theory is itself
based on the principles of relativity? The principle of the constancy
of the speed of light is part of special relativity, but we quantized
Einstein's general theory of relativity.....But there is another
possibility. This is that the principle of relativity is preserved,
but Einstein's special theory of relativity requires modification so
as to allow photons to have a speed that depends on energy. The most
shocking thing I have learned in the last year is that this is a real
possibility. A photon can have an energy-dependent speed without
violating the principle of relativity! This was understood a few years
ago by Amelino Camelia. I got involved in this issue through work I
did with Joao Magueijo, a very talented young cosmologist at Imperial
College, London. During the two years I spent working there, Joao kept
coming to me and bugging me with this problem.....These ideas all
seemed crazy to me, and for a long time I didn't get it. I was sure it
was wrong! But Joao kept bugging me and slowly I realized that they
had a point. We have since written several papers together showing how
Einstein's postulates may be modified to give a new version of special
relativity in which the speed of light can depend on energy."

Yet the variable-speed-of-light approach has proved extremely
dangerous. In physics, if the postulate is false, the whole deductive
superstructure is false. Even Divine Albert knew this:

"If the speed of light is the least bit affected by the speed of the
light source, then my whole theory of relativity and theory of gravity
is false. " - Albert Einstein

So Einsteinians abandoned the variable-speed-of-light approach
eventually. Still guilty conscience continues to torture their minds.
At present Einsteinians alleviate it by vigorously rejecting the
consequences of Einstein's 1905 false constant-speed-of-light
postulate (referring to the falsehood of the postulate being
absolutely taboo):

http://www.humanamente.eu/PDF/Issue13_Paper_Norton.pdf
John Norton: "It is common to dismiss the passage of time as illusory
since its passage has not been captured within modern physical
theories. I argue that this is a mistake. Other than the awkward fact
that it does not appear in our physics, there is no indication that
the passage of time is an illusion."

http://www.fqxi.org/community/articles/display/148
"Many physicists argue that time is an illusion. Lee Smolin begs to
differ. (...) Smolin wishes to hold on to the reality of time. But to
do so, he must overcome a major hurdle: General and special relativity
seem to imply the opposite. In the classical Newtonian view, physics
operated according to the ticking of an invisible universal clock. But
Einstein threw out that master clock when, in his theory of special
relativity, he argued that no two events are truly simultaneous unless
they are causally related. If simultaneity - the notion of "now" - is
relative, the universal clock must be a fiction, and time itself a
proxy for the movement and change of objects in the universe. Time is
literally written out of the equation. Although he has spent much of
his career exploring the facets of a "timeless" universe, Smolin has
become convinced that this is "deeply wrong," he says. He now believes
that time is more than just a useful approximation, that it is as real
as our guts tell us it is - more real, in fact, than space itself. The
notion of a "real and global time" is the starting hypothesis for
Smolin's new work, which he will undertake this year with two graduate
students supported by a $47,500 grant from FQXi."

http://www.fqxi.org/community/articles/display/151
"The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly
persistent illusion." It was none other than Einstein who uttered
these words. He was speaking about how our perception of time differs
from the fundamental nature of time in physics. Take our perceptions
first: We have a clear sense of the present moment, what came before,
and what might come after. Unfortunately, physics treats time rather
differently. Einstein's theory of special relativity presents us with
a four-dimensional spacetime, in which the past, present and future
are already mapped out. There is no special "now," just as there's no
special "here." And just like spacetime does not have a fundamental
direction - forcing us to move inexorably from east to west, say -
time does not flow. "You have this big gap between the time of
fundamental science and the time we experience," says Craig Callender,
a philosopher at the University of California, San Diego. It's this
gap that he has set out to narrow, using ideas from physics,
evolutionary theory and cognitive science."

http://hps.master.univ-paris7.fr/cours_du_temps.doc
Etienne Klein: "Aujourd'hui, L'astrophysicien Thibault Damour
développe à sa manière des idées qui vont dans le même sens. Selon
lui, le temps qui passe (qu'il sagisse d'un fait ou de notre
sentiment) est le produit de notre seule subjectivité, un effet que
nous devrions au caractère irréversible de notre mise en mémoire, de
sorte que la question du cours du temps relèverait non pas de la
physique, mais des sciences cognitives. Il écrit : « De même que la
notion de température n'a aucun sens si l'on considère un système
constitué d'un petit nombre de particules, de même il est probable que
la notion d'écoulement du temps n'a de sens que pour certains systèmes
complexes, qui évoluent hors de l'équilibre thermodynamique, et qui
gèrent d'une certaine façon les informations accumulées dans leur
mémoire. » Le temps ne serait donc qu'une apparence d'ordre
psychologique : « Dans le domaine d'espace-temps que nous observons,
poursuit-il, nous avons l'impression qu'il s'écoule "du bas vers le
haut" de l'espace-temps, alors qu'en réalité ce dernier constitue un
bloc rigide qui n'est nullement orienté a priori : il ne le devient
que pour nous [35]. » L'existence même d'un « cours du temps », ou
d'un « passage du temps », n'est ainsi que simple apparence pour de
nombreux physiciens contemporains. Certains vont même jusqu'à
considérer le passage du temps comme une pure illusion, comme un
produit culturel abusivement dérivé de la métaphore du fleuve. C'est
en effet la conception dite de l'« univers-bloc » qui semble avoir les
faveurs d'une majorité de physiciens. Dans le droit fil de la théorie
de la relativité, celle-ci consiste à invoquer un univers constitué
d'un continuum d'espace-temps à quatre dimensions, privé de tout flux
temporel : tous les événements, qu'ils soient passés, présents et
futurs, ont exactement la même réalité, de la même façon que
différents lieux coexistent, en même temps et avec le même poids
ontologique, dans l'espace. En d'autres termes, les notions de passé
ou de futur ne sont que des notions relatives, comme celles d'Est et
d'Ouest. En un sens, tout ce qui va exister existe déjà et tout ce qui
a existé existe encore. L'espace-temps contient l'ensemble de
l'histoire de la réalité comme la partition contient l'uvre musicale :
la partition existe sous une forme statique, mais ce qu'elle contient,
l'esprit humain l'appréhende généralement sous la forme d'un flux
temporel."

Pentcho Valev

  #5  
Old June 25th 11, 09:23 AM posted to sci.astro,sci.math
Pentcho Valev
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Default GUILTY CONSCIENCE IN EINSTEINIANA'S SCHIZOPHRENIC WORLD

http://www.nature.com/news/2005/0503...s050328-8.html
Philip Ball: "In general relativity, there is no such thing as a
'universal time' that makes clocks tick at the same rate everywhere.
Instead, gravity makes clocks run at different rates in different
places. But quantum mechanics, which describes physical phenomena at
infinitesimally small scales, is meaningful only if time is universal;
if not, its equations make no sense."

http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Moon-Corru.../dp/1846271088
The Sun and Moon Corrupted
Philip Ball: "Light was no longer a beautiful beam, a wave stretching
from here to infinity. Light was quanta. Light was discrete. Light was
particles. Call them photons. These photons won Einstein a Nobel
Prize."

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/0807....2008.933.html
Philip Ball: "Effective field theories are a way of not having to
answer everything at once. But if they simply mount up into an
infinite tower, it will be an ungainly edifice at best. As philosopher
of science Stephan Hartmann at Tilburg University in the Netherlands
has put it, the predictive power of such a composite theory would
steadily diminish "just as the predictive power of the Ptolemaic
system went down when more epicycles were added". Einstein seemed to
have an intimation of this. He expressed discomfort that his theory of
relativity was based not simply on known facts but on an a priori
postulate about the speed of light. He seemed to sense that this made
it less fundamental."

Philip Ball, some day your guilty conscience will force you to extract
valuable information about the speed of light from two important
confessions: Einstein's 1954 confession and Banesh Hoffmann's
confession:

http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/ind...ecture_id=3576
John Stachel: "Einstein discussed the other side of the particle-field
dualism - get rid of fields and just have particles."
EINSTEIN'S 1954 CONFESSION: "I consider it entirely possible that
physics cannot be based upon the field concept, that is on continuous
structures. Then nothing will remain of my whole castle in the air,
including the theory of gravitation, but also nothing of the rest of
contemporary physics."
John Stachel's comment: "If I go down, everything goes down, ha ha,
hm, ha ha ha."

http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its.../dp/0486406768
"Relativity and Its Roots" By Banesh Hoffmann
"Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested
in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second
principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do
far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the
particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it.
And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these
particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian
relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the
Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths,
local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein
resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of
particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and
introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less
obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether."

Pentcho Valev

  #6  
Old July 5th 11, 07:02 AM posted to sci.astro,sci.math
Pentcho Valev
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Default GUILTY CONSCIENCE IN EINSTEINIANA'S SCHIZOPHRENIC WORLD

Gatekeepers of professional physics shed crocodile tears but still
some guilty conscience is beginning to emerge:

http://www.place-publique.fr/spip.php?article6280
"On observe ces dernières années une désertion des filières
scientifiques qui témoigne du déclin de la formation scientifique des
jeunes. (...) Les questions posées avec le plus d’insistance par les
jeunes mais aussi les moins jeunes concernent les liens entre science
et pouvoir, entre science et démocratie. C’est ce que souligne une
étude menée par Etienne Klein... (...) Les sciences et les techniques
sont devenues un sujet politique, au sens large et de manière
prosaïque, une sorte de boite noire. « Il existe un sentiment de
désinformation et de dépossession démocratique du débat sciences/
société, souligne ce rapport. La science est perçue comme un
instrument de pouvoir dont l'effet advient de façon déterministe »."

http://www.dogma.lu/txt/EK-ScienceQuiestion.htm
Etienne Klein: "Votre science dit-elle réellement le vrai ? Comment
osez-vous prétendre qu'elle se réfère à la rationalité alors que les
jugements esthétiques, les préjugés métaphysiques et autres désirs
subjectifs imprégnent sinon sa démarche tout entière, du moins
certaines de ses phases ? Votre légitimité incontestée est-elle fondée
sur autre chose que des effets de pouvoir ? Les mythes, que vous
méprisez, ne disent-ils pas eux aussi une part de la vérité ? Le
relativisme bénéficie, sous toutes ses formes, d'une sympathie
intellectuelle quasi-spontanée. Pourquoi séduit-il tant ceux qui
s'interrogent sur la portée des discours de la science ? Sans doute
parce que, abusivement interprété comme une remise en cause des
prétentions de cette dernière, il semble nourrir un soupçon qui se
généralise, celui de l'imposture : « Finalement, (là comme ailleurs)
tout est relatif. » (...) Comment inciter ceux qui ne connaissent pas
la science à vouloir la connaître ? Comment convertir le droit de
savoir, légitime mais gratuit en termes d'effort, en désir de
connaître, qui, lui, demande un engagement chronophage et un véritable
travail personnel ? Et comment inciter les moins intéressés d'entre
nous à se tourner vers les scientifiques pour les questionner : " Que
faites-vous au juste ? Que savez-vous exactement ? En quoi ce que vous
proposez est-il pertinent pour nous ? " Réciproquement, comment
obliger les experts à ne plus s'en tenir à leurs seules propres
raisons et à écouter celles des autres ?"

http://archives.lesechos.fr/archives...077-80-ECH.htm
"Physicien au CEA, professeur et auteur, Etienne Klein s'inquiète des
relations de plus en plus conflictuelles entre la science et la
société. (...) « Je me demande si nous aurons encore des physiciens
dans trente ou quarante ans », remarque ce touche-à-tout aux multiples
centres d'intérêt : la constitution de la matière, le temps, les
relations entre science et philosophie. (...) Etienne Klein n'est pas
optimiste. Selon lui, il se pourrait bien que l'idée de progrès soit
tout bonnement « en train de mourir sous nos yeux »."

Guilty conscience par excellence:

http://hps.master.univ-paris7.fr/cours_du_temps.doc
Etienne Klein: "Aujourd'hui, L'astrophysicien Thibault Damour
développe à sa manière des idées qui vont dans le même sens. Selon
lui, le temps qui passe (qu'il sagisse d'un fait ou de notre
sentiment) est le produit de notre seule subjectivité, un effet que
nous devrions au caractère irréversible de notre mise en mémoire, de
sorte que la question du cours du temps relèverait non pas de la
physique, mais des sciences cognitives. Il écrit : « De même que la
notion de température n'a aucun sens si l'on considère un système
constitué d'un petit nombre de particules, de même il est probable que
la notion d'écoulement du temps n'a de sens que pour certains systèmes
complexes, qui évoluent hors de l'équilibre thermodynamique, et qui
gèrent d'une certaine façon les informations accumulées dans leur
mémoire. » Le temps ne serait donc qu'une apparence d'ordre
psychologique : « Dans le domaine d'espace-temps que nous observons,
poursuit-il, nous avons l'impression qu'il s'écoule "du bas vers le
haut" de l'espace-temps, alors qu'en réalité ce dernier constitue un
bloc rigide qui n'est nullement orienté a priori : il ne le devient
que pour nous [35]. » L'existence même d'un « cours du temps », ou
d'un « passage du temps », n'est ainsi que simple apparence pour de
nombreux physiciens contemporains. Certains vont même jusqu'à
considérer le passage du temps comme une pure illusion, comme un
produit culturel abusivement dérivé de la métaphore du fleuve. C'est
en effet la conception dite de l'« univers-bloc » qui semble avoir les
faveurs d'une majorité de physiciens. Dans le droit fil de la théorie
de la relativité, celle-ci consiste à invoquer un univers constitué
d'un continuum d'espace-temps à quatre dimensions, privé de tout flux
temporel : tous les événements, qu'ils soient passés, présents et
futurs, ont exactement la même réalité, de la même façon que
différents lieux coexistent, en même temps et avec le même poids
ontologique, dans l'espace. En d'autres termes, les notions de passé
ou de futur ne sont que des notions relatives, comme celles d'Est et
d'Ouest. En un sens, tout ce qui va exister existe déjà et tout ce qui
a existé existe encore. L'espace-temps contient l'ensemble de
l'histoire de la réalité comme la partition contient l'uvre musicale :
la partition existe sous une forme statique, mais ce qu'elle contient,
l'esprit humain l'appréhende généralement sous la forme d'un flux
temporel."

A honest acccount of the problem:

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...ent=a909857880
Peter Hayes "The Ideology of Relativity: The Case of the Clock
Paradox" : Social Epistemology, Volume 23, Issue 1 January 2009, pages
57-78
Peter Hayes: "The prediction that clocks will move at different rates
is particularly well known, and the problem of explaining how this can
be so without violating the principle of relativity is particularly
obvious. The clock paradox, however, is only one of a number of simple
objections that have been raised to different aspects of Einstein's
theory of relativity. (Much of this criticism is quite apart from and
often predates the apparent contradiction between relativity theory
and quantum mechanics.) It is rare to find any attempt at a detailed
rebuttal of these criticisms by professional physicists. However,
physicists do sometimes give a general response to criticisms that
relativity theory is syncretic by asserting that Einstein is logically
consistent, but that to explain why is so difficult that critics lack
the capacity to understand the argument. In this way, the handy claim
that there are unspecified, highly complex resolutions of simple
apparent inconsistencies in the theory can be linked to the charge
that antirelativists have only a shallow understanding of the matter,
probably gleaned from misleading popular accounts of the theory.
The claim that the theory of relativity is logically consistent for
reasons that are too complex for non-professionals to grasp is not
only convenient, but is rhetorically unassailable - as whenever a
critic disproves one argument, the professional physicist can allude
to another more abstruse one. Einstein's transformation of the clock
paradox from a purported expression of the special theory to a
purported expression of the much more complicated general theory is
one example of such a defence. (...)
The defence of complexity implies that the novice wishing to enter the
profession of theoretical physics must accept relativity on faith. It
implicitly concedes that, without an understanding of relativity
theory's higher complexities, it appears illogical, which means that
popular "explanations" of relativity are necessarily misleading. But
given Einstein's fame, physicists do not approach the theory for the
first time once they have developed their expertise. Rather, they are
exposed to and probably examined on popular explanations of relativity
in their early training. How are youngsters new to the discipline
meant to respond to these accounts? Are they misled by false
explanations and only later inculcated with true ones? What happens to
those who are not misled? Are they supposed to accept relativity
merely on the grounds of authority? The argument of complexity
suggests that to pass the first steps necessary to join the physics
profession, students must either be willing to suspend disbelief and
go along with a theory that appears illogical; or fail to notice the
apparent inconsistencies in the theory; or notice the inconsistencies
and maintain a guilty silence in the belief that this merely shows
that they are unable to understand the theory.
The gatekeepers of professional physics in the universities and
research institutes are disinclined to support or employ anyone who
raises problems over the elementary inconsistencies of relativity. A
winnowing out process has made it very difficult for critics of
Einstein to achieve or maintain professional status. Relativists are
then able to use the argument of authority to discredit these critics.
Were relativists to admit that Einstein may have made a series of
elementary logical errors, they would be faced with the embarrassing
question of why this had not been noticed earlier. Under these
circumstances the marginalisation of antirelativists, unjustified on
scientific grounds, is eminently justifiable on grounds of
realpolitik. Supporters of relativity theory have protected both the
theory and their own reputations by shutting their opponents out of
professional discourse."

Pentcho Valev

  #7  
Old July 6th 11, 09:19 AM posted to sci.astro,sci.math
Pentcho Valev
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Guilty conscience par excellence:

http://www.panchamama.net/Einstein-aujourd-hui.pdf
Olivier Darrigol: "Einstein cessa de s'interroger sur la possibilité
éventuelle d'effets du vent d'éther et admit le principe de
relativité. Contrairement à Poincaré (mais comme Bucherer), il décida
de rejeter l'éther devenu complètement indétectable et d'admettre que
la vitesse de la lumière dépendait de la vitesse de sa source, comme
elle l'aurait fait dans une théorie corpusculaire newtonienne. Ce
point de vue, développé par Walter Ritz en 1908, satisfait
immédiatement au principe de relativité et permet de retrouver la
plupart des résultats de l'électrodynamique de Lorentz, dans la mesure
où les actions d'une source sont décrites par une expression modifiée
des potentiels retardés tenant compte du mouvement de la source. Mais
au bout d'un certain temps, Einstein se persuada que ce point de vue
conduisait à des effets paradoxaux d'auto-couplage. Le dilemme de
l'électrodynamique des corps en mouvement restait donc entier : si la
vitesse de la lumière avait une valeur constante, indépendante de sa
source (comme le suggérait la théorie de Lorentz), alors d'après le
principe de relativité cette constante devait être la même dans tout
référentiel inertiel, contrairement à la loi galiléenne d'addition des
vitesses."

Olivier Darrigol, ces "effets paradoxaux d'auto-couplage", c'est
sérieux? Vous en croyez? Pourquoi est-ce que Banesh Hoffmann n'en
parle pas?

http://www.decitre.fr/livres/La-rela.../9782842450199
Banesh Hoffmann, "La relativité, histoire d'une grande idée", Pour la
Science, Paris, 1999, p. 112: "De plus, si l'on admet que la lumière
est constituée de particules, comme Einstein l'avait suggéré dans son
premier article, 13 semaines plus tôt, le second principe parait
absurde: une pierre jetée d'un train qui roule très vite fait bien
plus de dégâts que si on la jette d'un train a l'arrêt. Or, d'après
Einstein, la vitesse d'une certaine particule ne serait pas
indépendante du mouvement du corps qui l'émet! Si nous considérons que
la lumière est composée de particules qui obéissent aux lois de
Newton, ces particules se conformeront à la relativité newtonienne.
Dans ce cas, il n'est pas nécessaire de recourir à la contraction des
longueurs, au temps local ou à la transformation de Lorentz pour
expliquer l'échec de l'expérience de Michelson-Morley. Einstein, comme
nous l'avons vu, résista cependant à la tentation d'expliquer ces
échecs à l'aide des idées newtoniennes, simples et familières. Il
introduisit son second postulat, plus ou moins évident lorsqu'on
pensait en termes d'ondes dans l'éther."

Pentcho Valev

  #8  
Old July 16th 11, 06:31 AM posted to sci.astro,sci.math
Pentcho Valev
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Posts: 8,078
Default GUILTY CONSCIENCE IN EINSTEINIANA'S SCHIZOPHRENIC WORLD

In Einsteiniana's schizophrenic world guilty conscience is always
combined with ideas of more efficient camouflage:

http://www.pantaneto.co.uk/issue33/henry.htm
Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns
Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Richard Conn Henry: "How grotesquely badly we teach special relativity
encapsulates the practical problem of teaching physics to the freshman
physics major. I have never found a single freshman physics textbook
that teaches Minkowski spacetime; I have never found a single text on
General Relativity that mentions "Einstein's two postulates." Every
physics freshman is taught ... well, let me quote an example. In the
fall of 2007 I will, for the second time in my career, teach
introductory physics for physical science majors at the Johns Hopkins
University. One text that has recently been used for that course is
"University Physics," by R. L. Reese. On page 1155 we read "The entire
special theory stems from only two postulates. ... Postulate 1: The
speed of light in a vacuum has the same numerical value c when
measured in any inertial reference frame, independent of the motion of
the source and/or observer."... Postulate 2: The fundamental laws of
physics must be the same in all inertial reference frames." The reader
is invited to recoil, not only at the bizarre re-numbering of the
infamous two postulates, but of course at the use of the postulates at
all. There is no doubt that, historically, Albert Einstein, in 1905,
did introduce two postulates (and also, that it is he who discovered
special relativity). But the second of these postulates (the one
concerning the constancy of c, just in case Reese has confused you!)
did not survive the year. In September of 1905 Einstein published a
development from relativity—the discovery of the implication that E =
mc2 , and in this new paper he mentions a single postulate only. But
the paper contains a sweet footnote: "The principle of the constancy
of the velocity of light is of course contained in Maxwell's
equations." How I love that "of course!" Einstein was human! I do not
know if it is true, but I recall being told that during the Middle
Ages undergraduates learned to multiply and divide using Roman
numerals, while the exotic Arabic numerals were reserved for the more
advanced students. That is exactly what we do today in teaching
special relativity. Antique postulates that are not of anything but
historical interest to genuine physicists are presented to students as
"Special Relativity." Some books do better than others in warning
students how seemingly impossible the second postulate is; but all
have the students working out true but unintuitive consequences (e.g.
relativity of simultaneity) using thought experiments with of course
the second postulate producing the bizarre result. A small number of
texts (Ohanian, Knight, a few others) at least follow Einstein's
second paper in having but a single postulate; but none do what needs
to be done, which is to drop Einstein and adopt Minkowski."

Pentcho Valev

 




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