Posts Tagged relativity

Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

Posted by on Friday, 19 October, 2012



If this is science, I will eat my shoe.

James Hill and Barry Cox  are mathematicians from the University of Adelaide. They say Einstein’s special theory of relativity can now cover phenomena faster than light speed ( Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences). Einstein missed this; they fixed it.

They say if you extend the math properly it can describe phenomena at any speed – even infinite speed at which, they say, your mass will shrink to zero.

Pretty good, huh?

But the math breaks down at the speed of light itself. They say that’s not a problem. It’s like breaking the sound barrier, something which was once was “impossible”.  We do it all the time now, right? With some new technology – maybe better spacecraft propulsion- sooner or later, we’ll be wondering why we poked along at a less than 186 thousand miles a second.

Here’s the thing. And where do I begin?

The special theory explains how, as you approach the speed of light, you appear to be gaining mass. The closer you get to the speed of light, the more mass you appear to have gained. (This is all relative to an “observer”.) Although your rocket engine (and your fuel) will get bigger too, you won’t be able to get ahead of the effect of your gain in mass and your speed will remain “subluminal”. Fast, yes. Light speed? Not gonna happen.

Says Einstein.

If you can’t GET to light speed, you can’t PASS light speed. And, if you can’t pass it, you can’t take advantage of the mathematics of Hill and Cox.

The authors admit that they aren’t physicists – just mathematicians having a nice day.

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Credits for the animation: to Heather’s Animations. Please note that donations are gratefully accepted in return for which (or even without a contribution) you can utilize the work you find there in your emails, articles, and what not.

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Fair disclosure: I’m not a physicist either.  And I’m having a nice day too.

Hey Einstein! What About Dark Energy?

Posted by on Thursday, 20 September, 2012

Al Einstein


Einstein’s General Theory Of Relativity has a flaw. Shouhong Wang, and Tian Ma found it,

Here’s the story.

Wang – Dr. Shouhong Wang of Indiana University’s Science’s Department of Mathematics –  and  Ma –   Dr. Tian Ma of Sichuan University – were at the candy store discussing the Yankees when Dr. Wang said, “Hey, Tian? How come energy and momentum don’t add up in that general relativity thing? Aren’t they supposed to?”

Dr. Ma said “Course they should.”

“Well they don’t.”

“You aren’t doing it right, knucklehead,” said Ma

“Here’s the slide rule, genius, “ said Wang. “You do it.”

“Geez. I see what you mean! Maybe he should have included dark matter and dark energy.”

“Holy Moly!” Wang said, “The difference between the new field equations and Einstein’s equations is the addition of a second-order covariant derivative of a scalar potential field; Gravity theory is fundamentally changed and is now described by the metric of the curved spacetime.”

“Huh?” said Ma.

This is an almost true story of the way that Wan and Ma discovered a crucially important (to about 14 physicists) thing – that Einstein’s general theory of relativity which has dominated modern science since 1915, needs modification to account for dark matter and dark energy which (as they point out) hadn’t been discovered when Einstein shocked the world with his incomprehensible explanation of energy, matter, time, and light and so on that he called the general theory of relativity.

Dr. Ma and Dr. Wang are on to something. Dark energy and dark matter constitute much too much of the universe to be ignored in the basic equations of physics and their second order adjustments appear mathematically sound. If the work is validated empirically (always somethin’, right?) they can be mighty proud.

ScienceAintSoBadRating = 9 . Still needs to be proved but a fearless effort.

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Thank you Creative Commons for the photo from Madame Tussaud’s museum, Amsterdam.

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