Hidden Variables
Photon path .. - Printable Version

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RE: Photon path .. - Schmelzer - 05-23-2016

(05-23-2016, 02:01 AM)ALT Wrote: I can't seem to find any formatting buttons for selective quoting.

The normal way is simply to press the reply button.  Then, the whole post is quoted.  And then one simply deletes all what one does not want to answer.


RE: Photon path .. - ALT - 05-25-2016

Hi secur;

ALT, thanks for Mr. Calkin's paper "A REPORT ON HOW THE OPTICAL LASER DISPROVES THE SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY - SUBMITTAL FOR PEER REVIEW".

Your question in this thread, regarding the photon emitter on a moving platform shooting at a co-moving target, is right on, and captures the essence of the paper. As Schmelzer, John Duffield, and I say, yes it does hit it. But none of us has given a "mechanical" reason: that's just the way SR works. You (and Mr. Calkin) aren't satisfied with that answer, and neither am I. "The theory says so" is not enough.

Agree. To say that's just how it works is saying nothing other than 'I don't know'. Nothing is metaphysical - all is physical, even if not yet understood.

I don't know "why" and am not sure anyone else does either. As I mentioned a few posts ago, the first task is to make sure it's really true. That means finding an experiment which clearly demonstrates it. It's conceivable there isn't one; instead we infer it from experiments which, while not clearly showing it, wouldn't work without this fact. If lucky, someone will post a link to the relevant experiment tomorrow. Else it might take a while to find it; I'm busy these days.

I can't emphasize this point enough. Theory is all very well and good but experiment is trumps. Experiments can't be wrong (when replicated sufficiently).

A long time ago, I recall that I DID come up with some experimental evidence to the effect that the photon misses. From real scientists, using real equipment. I have been struggling to find it again, but no luck. If I do, I will post it.

What are the chances SR is wrong about this: that actually the photon will not hit the target? Sorry, the chance is zero (IMHO). All these facts are tied together. If this one (rather obscure) point were wrong no doubt other, much less obscure, points are too; but they're not (more on this later).

We are moving away from the OP .. probably into Philosophy of science, but quickly ..

The chances of SR being wrong in our world today are about the same as the flat earth or the geocentric universe being wrong to the prevailing cosmology of those eras .. also then thought to be zero. Why, even questioning of 'turtles' would have probably resulted in you being boiled, garnished and eaten for dinner, were you a member of the particular tribe who held that cosmology.

Personally I strongly suspect that Lorentz was right, there is an absolute reference frame.

Ah (my bolded)! Isn't THAT then, basically a powerful doubt of  SR ?

This may be yet another place where explaining it in his terms makes more sense than SR. If the emitter (or laser) is physically length-contracted, that may provide a "mechanical" explanation for the phenomenon.

If one questions (I repeat QUESTIONS) SR, then by default, they are questioning length contraction, time dilation, etc. In any case, going with your 'may', in which direction would it be contracted ? And how would that put it on a slant ?

But now let me back up a bit. Since I don't really know the photon hits the target (except by trusting SR's math, which of course I do, in situations which have been accessible to current test apparatus) I'm not in a position to simply dismiss this paper out of hand. So let me review it without that assumption.


Mr. Calkin's understanding of Maxwell's equations is flawed. "As predicted by Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves, including light, do not conform to the principle of relativity." That's wrong. Relativity is implied by Maxwell, as Einstein discussed in "The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies". "The reference frame for which Maxwell’s equations took their simplest form was ... at rest in the ether." He doesn't explain why he thinks this. It's more-or-less wrong, but he may have a good reason for saying it; I can think of a couple; could come down to mere semantics.

Highly recommend you read Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_special_relativity. One quote: "Maxwell's equations, when they were first stated in their complete form in 1865, would turn out to be compatible with special relativity." Mr. Calkin should also read this excellent historical article: it will open his eyes.

"This was one of the great puzzles of physics at the beginning of the 20th century. Einstein solved the puzzle using his famous thought experiments." No, the puzzles were solved by Lorentz, Poincare and others; Einstein "borrowed" their solutions. Of course these historical matters aren't physics, but they help understand why SR is so confusing. Lorentz's work is (usually) more illuminating when dealing with good questions like this one.

"Neither Dr. Einstein nor any physicist in the early part of the 20th century had the benefit of possessing a laser ... The directionality of light wasn’t even recognized as an issue." They didn't have lasers but they understood "directionality of light" very well. Read that Wikipedia article. Those guys were far more sophisticated than Mr. Calkin thinks. He's misled by pop-science.

It turns out my intuition about Calkin's ideas re. bending of light by gravity was correct (mentioned in post above) - no surprise there. Mr. Calkin needs to reject it, given his basic thesis, and does so. He also has to reject time dilation! His logic might be correct and it illustrates what I said above. If you deny this apparently small fact about the photon hitting the target, the whole edifice crumbles and you wind up denying other, undeniable, facts too. IF his logic is correct it disproves his thesis! Because time dilation and light-bending are experimentally proven. Time dilation is demonstrated by muons travelling from the upper atmosphere to Earth and many other experiments. Bending of light by gravity is demonstrated by much more than just going through the Sun's atmosphere (as Mr. Calkin clearly thinks). For instance, gravitational lensing.

Finally his comments about the "human condition" are good: sociological factors can, and do, lead science down blind alleys which waste, literally, centuries of effort. I suspect Einsteinian relativity might be such a case.

I sympathize with Mr. Calkin. I'm sure he asked physicists this question, expecting a reasonable response, and instead was treated as though he'd spit on the Koran (metaphorically). So he decided physics had become some sort of weird religious cult (somewhat true); that he knew as much as they did (not true); and went off disgusted, but undaunted, to develop his ideas. Admirable, but the result is incorrect IMHO.

I am not a scientist, not a physicist, not even good at basic maths - except when it relates to my occupation which is in the area of finance, investments, trading, etc. Much of what you say above is therefore totally over my head, and I do not have the inclination to persue it. NOT because I an being unfair, but because I believe if something is tainted at the source, what's the point ? If your steering wheel is breaks on the motorway, chances are, the rest of your car will soon be too.

Also, understand, I offered Calkins material, ONLY so as to articulate better, the simple issue I was trying to make about the photon. I might add, that the 5 papers I referred to earlier which he has sent me recently, seem to cover the issues you raise. I say 'seem', because they are totally beyond my level of expertise.

Ah, yes, the human condition. Let me tell you something. I am very familiar with it. In my profession, I often deal with highly complex, highly intelligent, super wealthy individuals, who try to convince me of certain dubious things. And the methods and style they display in doing so, are often, not different to those I see from SOME scientists in the course of their defence of SR.

To summarize.

SR must be right: the photon hits that target. However since I don't thoroughly know this (by experiment, I mean) I'm not asserting it like some High Priest. Let's get the experimental evidence, and if possible understand "why" the photon takes the path it does. The physics community "owes" Mr. Calkin an explanation, understandable without years of study, and I'd like to give it to him. However I'm busy and it may take a while (like, months).

Why does the physics community owe you, and Mr. Calkin, that? One, because, ultimately, taxpayers pay their salaries. Two, because they don't understand it themselves if they can't explain it to laypersons.

I have commented on this in an earlier post.

To summarise.

No physical evidence has been given as to why the photon is not influenced by the rectilinear motion of the emitter, but supposedly, IS influenced by it's transverse motion.

To say it is because of SR, when it seems that it is SR that I am therefore questioning, is circular nonsense.


(05-23-2016, 11:32 AM)Schmelzer Wrote:
(05-23-2016, 02:01 AM)ALT Wrote: I can't seem to find any formatting buttons for selective quoting.

The normal way is simply to press the reply button.  Then, the whole post is quoted.  And then one simply deletes all what one does not want to answer.

That, however, gets somewhat unworkable, when one wants reply as I have, in above post. I saw no formatting marks, such as /[ ..  ], etc as in other forums. It is not a problem, I just thought I would let you know.


RE: Photon path .. - Schmelzer - 05-25-2016

(05-25-2016, 02:01 AM)ALT Wrote: That, however, gets somewhat unworkable, when one wants reply as I have, in above post. I saw no formatting marks, such as /[ ..  ], etc as in other forums. It is not a problem, I just thought I would let you know.
To see the formatting marks, press the button on the right of the  top of the editor window.  Or press Shift-Ctrl-S.  

(05-25-2016, 02:01 AM)ALT Wrote: Personally I strongly suspect that Lorentz was right, there is an absolute reference frame. 
Ah (my bolded)! Isn't THAT then, basically a powerful doubt of  SR ?
Basically not of SR, but of the spacetime interpretation of SR. It is the Lorentz interpretation of SR.


RE: Photon path .. - ALT - 05-25-2016

(05-25-2016, 11:00 AM)Schmelzer Wrote: Basically not of SR, but of the spacetime interpretation of SR.  It is the Lorentz interpretation of SR.

Not sure what that means. If you can elaborate a little, it would be good. BTW, it reminded me of a paper I read once about spacetime. Have just posted another thread on it.


RE: Photon path .. - secur - 05-26-2016

secur previous: Personally I strongly suspect that Lorentz was right, there is an absolute reference frame.
ALT: Ah! Isn't THAT then, basically a powerful doubt of SR ?
Schmelzer: Basically not of SR, but of the spacetime interpretation of SR.  It is the Lorentz interpretation of SR.
----
ALT: To say it is because of SR, when it seems that it is SR that I am therefore questioning, is circular nonsense.
----

There is a simple explanation for this apparent contradiction, as Schmelzer indicates. No math required!

BTW I've always used the term "Special Relativity" to mean only Einstein's interpretation. But I notice Schmelzer refers to "Lorentz interpretation of SR". I would call it "Lorentzian relativity" or so (without the word "Special"). Herein I'll continue to use my terms but perhaps should switch to his. Extremely minor point but a potential source of confusion.

Lorentz Ether Theory (LET), 1904, and Einstein's Special Relativity (SR), 1905 (BTW those are not the actual titles of the original papers), come up with identical math calculations: the "Lorentz transformation". So they give the exact same answer for any experiment. In particular if one says "the photon will hit the target", as in your original question, so will the other.

I refer to "SR math", particularly, for two reasons. One, many problems are easier to formulate in SR (although, again, the answers will be the same). Two, more-or-less all papers that perform relativistic calculations use the SR approach.

The big difference is their underlying physical model. LET assumes an absolute reference frame (which I sometimes call "arf"). SR says there's no such thing, all frames are equally valid. SR's attitude allows many problems to be formulated easily. But LET's model provides a mechanical explanation for the underlying physical processes, while in SR everything happens by magic (or as Mr. Calkin says, a "parlor trick").

So, for math calculations I'll often use SR, but to answer questions like yours LET is better; at least it tries to explain it mechanically.
That should clear up the apparent contradiction, I hope.

ALT: No physical evidence has been given as to why the photon is not influenced by the rectilinear motion of the emitter, but supposedly, IS influenced by it's transverse motion.

SR deliberately gives no physical explanation, and mainstream physics uses nothing else. We need to go to alternative theories for physical explanation. As I said, maybe Lorentz can provide one.

But recently I've understood Schmelzer's ether theory approach a bit better, and have "exciting news". I think it does provide a physical explanation for your question! When the moving object travels through the ether I think we can say it shoots the photon off at an angle for similar reason this happens with a ship going through water, or a plane through air.

BTW I was wrong in an earlier post about this; Schmelzer was right.

Roughly a ship or plane pushes the water or air ahead of it; it "bunches up" and causes waves to be emitted at an angle. The process is extremely well understood by the engineers and not controversial in any way. I've been trying to understand it better but haven't found any good ref's yet.

Schmelzer's ether is not liquid so perhaps the same explanation will not apply. But my intuition (for what that's worth) says that, indeed, ether theory can provide the mechanical explanation you're looking for. At this time I can't give any details, but it seems a real step forward (for me anyway).

Finally, your statement above is a bit off. All emitted photons are influenced by the motion of the transmitter. But photons emitted straight forward (or back) are unique in that their velocities aren't affected. All others' velocities are affected, they're sent off at a different angle, as we've discussed a lot. The ones going forward are still affected, however: their frequencies increase (blueshift). Going back, they're redshifted.


RE: Photon path .. - ALT - 05-28-2016

Hi secur


The big difference is their underlying physical model. LET assumes an absolute reference frame (which I sometimes call "arf"). SR says there's no such thing, all frames are equally valid. SR's attitude allows many problems to be formulated easily. But LET's model provides a mechanical explanation for the underlying physical processes, while in SR everything happens by magic (or as Mr. Calkin says, a "parlor trick").

You know the main issue with my photon thought experiment, don't you ? If it misses the target (ie, not being influenced by the transverse motion of the emitter) it proves absolute motion / rest .. I think .. 

SR deliberately gives no physical explanation, and mainstream physics uses nothing else. We need to go to alternative theories for physical explanation. As I said, maybe Lorentz can provide one.

The above is a little vague. I assume you mean .. mainstream physics uses nothing else than physical explanation ..

But recently I've understood Schmelzer's ether theory approach a bit better, and have "exciting news". I think it
does provide a physical explanation for your question! When the moving object travels through the ether I think we can say it shoots the photon off at an angle for similar reason this happens with a ship going through water, or a plane through air.

Roughly a ship or plane pushes the water or air ahead of it; it "bunches up" and causes waves to be emitted at an angle. The process is extremely well understood by the engineers and not controversial in any way. I've been trying to understand it better but haven't found any good ref's yet.

I have difficulty accepting this (though who am I to categorically refute it). It would cause waves to be emitted to the right and to the left - assuming straight forward travel. The photon - or a projectile in the case of a ship, plane, etc, - would easily be fired from the centre to travel straight forward.

Schmelzer's ether is not liquid so perhaps the same explanation will not apply.

But my intuition (for what that's worth) says that, indeed, ether theory can provide the mechanical explanation you're looking for. At this time I can't give any details, but it seems a real step forward (for me anyway).

Though I too am a fan of ether theory, I think my photon thought experiment goes to the heart of the nature of light. See my closing comments.

Finally, your statement above is a bit off. All emitted photons are influenced by the motion of the transmitter. But photons emitted straight forward (or back) are unique in that their velocities aren't affected. All others' velocities are affected, they're sent off at a different angle, as we've discussed a lot. The ones going forward are still affected, however: their frequencies increase (blueshift). Going back, they're redshifted.

OK about the change of colour, but as I've said in my earlier posts, this is irrelevant, as the receptor will register  the photon on arrival (or not) no matter what colour it is.

Just WHY are all other velocities affected ? Why can't they be, emm, green or yellow shifted rather that velocity affected ?

A lot, yes, we have discussed it a lot. And it's fun to stretch the imagination.

It is interesting to close ones eyes, free oneself of all prejudices and prior learning, and just meditate on the very instant a photon is emitted. It is wonderfully invigorating. Deep enough, and it's like an instant of creation absolute of any other thing.

But I'm not going to continue pushing the same point which I myself don't know much about.

Thanks for your forbearance so far. I got some reading to do, but more importantly, some more meditating :-)


RE: Photon path .. - Schmelzer - 05-28-2016

(05-28-2016, 06:45 AM)ALT Wrote: Just WHY are all other velocities affected ? Why can't they be, emm, green or yellow shifted rather that velocity affected ?
Everything else which you throw is affected too. It gets the velocity you throw it, and the velocity of the train. Why do you think light would be different?

The relativistic formula for adding velocities has to be used also for everything, in the same way. And it is more about correcting the distortion you introduce with the Lorentz transformation. Else, it would be simply addition of velocities.


RE: Photon path .. - secur - 05-29-2016

ALT: You know the main issue with my photon thought experiment, don't you ? If it misses the target (ie, not being influenced by the transverse motion of the emitter) it proves absolute motion / rest .. I think ..

Sure it does. If the photon is not affected by motion of emitter then it would hit the target only when at rest in the absolute reference frame (arf, as I sometimes call it).

secur previous: SR deliberately gives no physical explanation, and mainstream physics uses nothing else.

ALT: The above is a little vague. I assume you mean .. mainstream physics uses nothing else than physical explanation ..

No, that's exactly what they don't do. They provide no physical explanation, no mechanism. That's the problem, I might say, that this website is trying to fix. I meant: mainstream uses nothing but SR. That's almost always the easiest approach for calculation.

ALT: ... meditate on the very instant a photon is emitted. It is wonderfully invigorating.

I wish more people would do that instead of what they do do!

ALT: Thanks for your forbearance so far.

No forbearance required. You're reasonable, do homework and are willing to learn (not perfect but who is). Plus I like your thought experiment. I've been "meditating on" photon emission myself.

------------------------

First let me repeat: I don't know, from my own observations, that Mr. Calkin is wrong. Maybe scientists really are falling for an illusion as he describes. However my opinion, based on an awful lot of accepted physics, is that the photon hits the target. I'll continue to take that perspective until proven otherwise - which I doubt.

But given that, I still say the thought experiment is valuable. It makes the hole in SR very clear. Anyone can see the photon must be affected by emitter's motion, but according to SR it's just magic.

I've seen dozens of cnversations asking the same sort of question, but they're all about either length contraction or time dilation. These are extremely non-intuitive so when SR says it's magic, people just accept it. But here it's a simple physical mechanism. The photon is obviously being "thrown" forward just like a rifle bullet. And, it's explained by ether theory. So this example is much better (than length contraction or time dilation) for motivating an arf. I tried it on a couple non-physicist friends with good success.

Furthermore, I never thought about it until you brought it up. Especially Calkin's paper made the point clear. So, thanks to both of you.

As for why the photons going forward are "not affected" while the others are - Schmelzer is of course right. It occurs to me that the example of a plane approaching sound barrier is relevant. The sound waves behave much like the light waves, in this regard. The analogy might help.


RE: Photon path .. - ALT - 05-29-2016

(05-28-2016, 05:06 PM)Schmelzer Wrote:
(05-28-2016, 06:45 AM)ALT Wrote: Just WHY are all other velocities affected ? Why can't they be, emm, green or yellow shifted rather that velocity affected ?
Everything else which you throw is affected too.  It gets the velocity you throw it, and the velocity of the train. Why do you think light would be different?  

The relativistic formula for adding velocities has to be used also for everything, in the same way.  And it is more about correcting the distortion you introduce with the Lorentz transformation.  Else, it would be simply addition of velocities.

Schmelzer, I'd like your opinion on this .. (I haven't got the reference I got it from, but no matter) .. particularly that which I've underlined;

Referring to the critique of Poincaré from 1900, Lorentz wrote in his famous paper in 1904, where he extended his theorem of corresponding states: "Surely, the course of inventing special hypotheses for each new experimental result is somewhat artificial. It would be more satisfactory, if it were possible to show, by means of certain fundamental assumptions, and without neglecting terms of one order of magnitude or another, that many electromagnetic actions are entirely independent of the motion of the system.

If Lorentz is on the right track, what can 'entirely independent of the motion of the system' mean, other than exactly what it says, word for word ?

secur
   ALT: You know the main issue with my photon thought experiment, don't you ? If it misses the target (ie, not being influenced by the transverse motion of the emitter) it proves absolute motion / rest .. I think ..

   Sure it does. If the photon is not affected by motion of emitter then it would hit the target only when at rest in the absolute reference frame (arf, as I sometimes call it).

   Yes, only when at absolute rest. Thus a test for absolute motion - if I am right in my thought experiment.

   secur previous: SR deliberately gives no physical explanation, and mainstream physics uses nothing else.

   ALT: The above is a little vague. I assume you mean .. mainstream physics uses nothing else than physical explanation ..

   No, that's exactly what they don't do. They provide no physical explanation, no mechanism. That's the problem, I might say, that this website is trying to fix. I meant: mainstream uses nothing but SR. That's almost always the easiest approach for calculation.

   OK, got it now. It was a little unclear at first.

   ALT: ... meditate on the very instant a photon is emitted. It is wonderfully invigorating.

   I wish more people would do that instead of what they do do!

   ALT: Thanks for your forbearance so far.

   No forbearance required. You're reasonable, do homework and are willing to learn (not perfect but who is). Plus I like your thought experiment. I've been "meditating on" photon emission myself.

   I am happy to hear that :-)

   ------------------------

   First let me repeat: I don't know, from my own observations, that Mr. Calkin is wrong. Maybe scientists really are falling for an illusion as he describes. However my opinion, based on an awful lot of accepted physics, is that the photon hits the target. I'll continue to take that perspective until proven otherwise - which I doubt.

   But given that, I still say the thought experiment is valuable. It makes the hole in SR very clear. Anyone can see the photon must be affected by emitter's motion, but according to SR it's just magic.

   I've seen dozens of cnversations asking the same sort of question, but they're all about either length contraction or time dilation. These are extremely non-intuitive so when SR says it's magic, people just accept it. But here it's a simple physical mechanism. The photon is obviously being "thrown" forward just like a rifle bullet. And, it's explained by ether theory. So this example is much better (than length contraction or time dilation) for motivating an arf. I tried it on a couple non-physicist friends with good success.

   THAT is the issue. I thought that mainstream say it is NOT being thrown forward. I don't want to go over the same stuff we've discussed here many times, though. I need to think about it a lot more.

   Furthermore, I never thought about it until you brought it up. Especially Calkin's paper made the point clear. So, thanks to both of you.

   As for why the photons going forward are "not affected" while the others are - Schmelzer is of course right. It occurs to me that the example of a plane approaching sound barrier is relevant. The sound waves behave much like the light waves, in this regard. The analogy might help.

   I'm not too convinced by the forward wave analogy. It seems redundant. Waves being bunched up in front does not prevent a projectile going rectilinear to the emitter, nor does it require that they go off to either side.

   BTW, I would appreciate your view as well, about the Lorentz comment, above.


RE: Photon path .. - ALT - 05-29-2016

Oh, BTW - I noticed secur mentioned length contraction and time dilation above. Two issues that confound and confuse.

I like to keep snippets of interesting things I've read. Here is a snippet of something I got from a very serious thread on Physicsforums a long time ago ...

The "length contractions" and "time dilations" of SR refer to what is OBSERVED. Perhaps an analogy will help. Suppose two observers look at each other through a magnifying glass. A will see B bigger and B will see A bigger. That's not a "paradox" or a "nonsense", is it? It's a statement about OBSERVATIONS made by means of light signals. Similarly, length contraction and time dilation are statements about observations made by means of light signals.

The achievement of relativity has been to explain that proper quantities do not change, iow there is no cause or effect to explain.

That, to me, is the most I can accept of these strange animals. I'm looking at my car through my front window - I can see it only front on. But I'm sure it's not only 1.5 metres long - it's only an illusion of perspective.

So what's all the fuss about ?