Friday, May 23, 2014

A simple way to prove that simultaneity is NOT relative

Relativity makes the following claim:
“Events which are simultaneous with reference to the embankment are not simultaneous with respect to the train, and vice versa (relativity of simultaneity). Every reference-body (coordinate system) has its own particular time; unless we are told the reference-body to which the statement of time refers, there is no meaning in a statement of the time of an event.
“Now before the advent of the theory of relativity, it had always tacitly been assumed in physics that the statement of time had an absolute significance, i.e., that it is independent of the state of motion of a body of reference. But we have just seen that this assumption is incompatible with the most natural definition of simultaneity.” (Relativity Chapter Nine)
Einstein comes to this conclusion by using the thought experiment of two bolts of lightning striking either end of the train. An observer along the embankment sees the lightning strikes as simultaneous, while an observer inside the train, moving with respect to the embankment, is also moving toward the lightning flash at the front of the train, and receding from the flash at the rear of the train. The train’s observer will thus see the flash at the front of the train first, and conclude that the lightning struck the front of the train first.
Einstein uses this simple thought experiment to draw sweeping conclusions about the nature of time and simultaneity.
But adding a tiny detail to Einstein’s thought experiment will actually invalidate his conclusions about the relativity of simultaneity.
Let’s take Einstein’s thought experiment and add a simple device I will call a “simultaneity detector,” or SD. This device consists of several parts. First is a clock at the center of the train carriage. This clock need not be synchronized with clocks at the front and back of the train, or anywhere else. It’s simply a clock whose time can be independent of any other clock, since it will only be recording its reading of an event in its immediate vicinity. Next, there is a lightning rod at each end of the train, equidistant from the central clock. Each rod has an attached length of wire that feeds into the central clock. Each wire is exactly the same length as the other. The central clock is able to detect when a current reaches it through either wire, and records the time at that instant, so that any observer will be able to consult the clock for a readout of the exact time (according to that clock) that a current was detected in either wire.
Now, when the lightning bolts strike the lightning rods at either end of the train, a current will flow through the rod’s respective wire and reach the central clock, where the time of the current’s detection will be recorded.
How does this alter Einstein’s experiment in any significant way? Well, it takes the determination of simultaneity out of the realm of relativity and puts it into classical Newtonian-Galilean physics. This is because the current in the wire will not behave as the lightning flashes of Einstein's experiment does. Consider: electrical current is a flow of electrons within a wire. The wire is moving along with the train, and hence will obey classic addition of velocities, which light does not. Thus, the detection of current in the wires will be an arbiter of simultaneity.
How so?
Well, if the embankment observer sees the lightning strikes as simultaneous, while he will see the train’s observer rushing toward the forward flash and receding from the rear-ward flash, he will not likewise see the train’s observer rushing toward the front current and away from the rear current. The two currents will reach the central clock together and will each receive the same time stamp from the clock.
However, the train’s observer will see things differently. He will see the flashes as non-simultaneous, yet will be astonished to find that the central clock tells him the currents have the same time stamp. He will thus conclude that he must be moving.
Unlike with Einstein’s thought experiment, where the observers are free to accept that they disagree on simultaneity because there are no actual, physical consequences of such disagreement, the central clock cannot physically display different time stamps depending upon who consults it. There is an absolute fact as to what time the currents were detected, according to the central clock.
You might wonder why I don’t just have the central clock recording the time at which each flash reaches it. I’ll reiterate my earlier reasoning for you: the current in the wire obeys classic addition of velocities, while the light flashes, according to relativity, do not. The current in the wire is not light; it is movement of electrons.
Think about it. If the observer on the embankment were to consider the current in the way that he considers light, then he must also consider the train observer in the same way. Light does not hold to addition of velocities. If the electrons and the train observer likewise did not hold to such, then if the train’s observer were to walk from the rear of the train toward the front, then the rear wall would be racing toward him even as the front wall was receding, just as with the flashes of light. Same with the current. Even as the current from the rear flowed through the wire, the central clock would be receding from it even as the central clock raced toward the front current, and the central clock would stamp the current from the front as reaching it first, in conflict with the embankment observer’s assertion that the strikes were simultaneous.
You might object that the train’s observer would indeed drift backward if he were to jump up and down; he only moves forward with the train because he is attached to it. But this violates physics; remember Newton’s first law of motion, and Galilean relativity? Relativity doesn’t discard those. If you believe that the Earth is rotating, then if these laws weren’t true, you could jump straight up in the air and land in a different spot.
You might further object that I am incorrect. Current in a wire behaves the same as light, and thus the time stamps from the central clock will confirm the train observer’s conclusion that the front strike happened first. OK. But in such a case, we are left with physical evidence that contradicts the embankment observer’s assessment that the strikes were simultaneous. We now have the testimony of the train observer and the testimony of the central clock to contradict the embankment observer. This would allow the train’s observer to assert that the embankment observer is the one in motion, which on the face of it seems okay, since we now have reciprocity, one of the hallmarks of special relativity. Each observer is allowed to conclude that he is at rest while the other observer is the one in motion. But this objection, as I’ve pointed out above, comes at the cost of violating physical laws which relativity retains: “…in reality there is not the least incompatibility between the principle of relativity, and that by systematically holding fast to both these laws a logically rigid theory could be arrived at.” (Relativity Chapter Seven).
As simple evidence that electrons must hold to classical relativity, I offer the following: our bodies contain many, many electrons. So if you try to assert that electrons don’t hold to classical relativity and instead behave as light does, then you must throw out the classical principle of relativity, since EVERYTHING within the rocket (rocket, train, whatever) is made of electrons. Even the walls of the train. So if the ship, train, rocket, whatever, is moving at near light speed, in what sense could the outside observer say that he sees the train observer racing toward the forward flash even as he recedes from the rear flash? Matter does not behave like light. Matter adheres to addition of velocities, light does not.
NOTE TO SELF: But perhaps matter behaves more like light the faster it goes, so that at near light speed it is a lot more like light than matter. And perhaps in such a case the central clock actually CAN display two different time stamps depending upon who observes it, existing in both states until one or the other observes it, much like Schrödinger’s Cat. Connection between relativity and quantum mechanics? Even such a situation would still be a blow to relativity, since, as evidenced by Einstein’s thought experiments, relativity still considers matter to behave like matter even at relativistic speeds, as evidenced by matter adhering to the addition of velocities in the thought experiments
Now, I should point out that the weakness of the preceding is my assertion that electricity flowing through a wire does not behave like light, instead obeying addition of velocities. I can find nothing to support this assertion. I recall stumbling across an article long ago that confirmed this, but I have no idea where I stumbled across that article, and I can find nothing to support me now. But I can find nothing to refute my assertion either. But it seems reasonable to me that since electrons carry the flow of electrical energy through a wire, then they can’t behave in such a way that, were someone in a moving spaceship to flick a light switch on the front wall, then a light bulb at the center of the ship would turn on sooner than it would if the person flicked a switch on the rear wall. Such behavior would require the electrons to forsake the addition of velocities, and if electrons in a wire do so, why shouldn’t my entire body also forsake the addition of velocities? Such behavior would lead to a different world than the one we observe.
Anyway, realizing as I do that the weakness of my preceding thought experiment is its reliance on the wire current not behaving like light, I have a few variations on the thought experiment, using things that definitely don’t have a relation to electricity. These are earlier iterations of the above thought experiment. I actually wrote the following well before I came up with the final version as above.
Imagine a cube-shaped ship moving through space. There is relativistic motion between this ship and an outside observer. All the dimensions of the ship are exactly equal as measured by an observer within the ship. Also, there is a strip of some sort of substance connecting the forward wall with the aft wall, like a string or something. The strip, when struck by lightning, undergoes a chemical reaction that proceeds along the string from the source of the strike, so that it changes to a different color, the different color depending upon the source of the strike. Say a strike on the forward wall causes the string to turn blue traveling backward, and a strike on the aft wall causes the string to turn red traveling forward. The chemical reaction stops when each reaction meets the other.
It seems to me that the chemical reaction will travel along the string at a constant rate that can’t possibly depend upon the motion (or lack of it) of either the ship or an outside observer. In other words, you can’t run into a situation where the walls are moving toward or receding from the “leading edge” of the chemical reaction, since the reaction is relative to the string alone rather than relative to an observer, i.e. it’s not the same situation as light traveling fore or aft.
Now lightning strikes the fore and aft walls, kicking off the reaction, which travels along the string in each direction, heading aft along the strip from the forward wall, and running forward along the strip from the aft wall.
If simultaneity is truly relative, then when the reactions run their course, the length of the string that is red and the length that is blue will depend upon which observer examines the strip. If the outside observer says the lightning strikes were simultaneous, and he considers the ship to be in motion, then the string should be equal lengths red and blue when he examines it, the point at which blue turns to red being at the exact center of the ship. Likewise, when the ship’s observer, considering the strikes to have been non-simultaneous, examines the string, he should find that more of the string is red, the point at which red turns to blue being off center toward the rear of the ship. If simultaneity is truly relative, then the amount of red and blue on the string should be different depending upon who examines it, which should be physically impossible, therefore simultaneity cannot possibly be relative.
Here’s an even better visualization: imagine that the fore and aft walls of the ship are connected by a steel pipe, and that the pipe is filled with gunpowder. This is some sort of strange gunpowder that explodes at the point where the two flames come together, bursting the pipe. So the lightning strikes set off the gunpowder, and a flame runs forward from the rear wall and rearward from the front wall. Where the two flames meet, the pipe explodes, marking the spot. If relativity is correct, then the spot at which the pipe explodes will depend upon which observer we ask.
Better yet, let’s put a rifle at each wall, triggered by the lightning strikes. And the interior of a ship is a perfect vacuum, so that there’s no drag on the bullets. According to relativity, depending upon which observer we ask, the observer at the center of the ship is struck by both bullets at the same time, or he’s struck by the front bullet first.
All of the above versions transfer a relativistic problem into the realm of Galilean relativity. You could argue that the difference in the timing of the bullet strikes, or the difference in the amounts of red and blue on the string, or the position at which the pipe burst, as measured by either observer, would be too infinitesimal to measure, that such a Galilean experiment would be too “coarse,” or lack the temporal or spatial resolution to measure such relativistic effects, and is hence worthless, but that’s just avoiding the issue. I could argue back that in Einstein’s thought experiment, human observers couldn’t possibly tell with their naked eyes whether or not two lightning strikes are simultaneous because our conscious brains lack that sort of temporal resolution, and that Einstein’s thought experiment is worthless.
The take-home lesson from this thought experiment is that we can’t rely on our eyes and upon mathematical calculations to determine simultaneity. Just because someone SEES events as simultaneous or non-simultaneous, he is not justified in using mere math to support the conclusion of his eyes. There MUST be an absolute physical fact as to whether the lightning strikes are simultaneous or non-simultaneous.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Einstein Himself Responds to Me

Going back to an earlier post in which I said that the proper way to resolve the Twins Paradox is to follow it into general relativity where it belongs, which leads to the foolish nonsense of saying that the pressing of the brakes on Einstein’s train generates a gravitational field that causes the entire universe to lurch to a halt — today I’ve been heartened to discover that Einstein himself has already responded to my objections, in a short paper titled Dialog About Objections Against the Theory of Relativity. I came up with the ideas in my earlier post all on my own, and it pleases me to find that I’m treading in the footsteps of great minds.
And what do Einstein and his sock-puppet critic have to say about my criticism? (I say this facetiously. I actually do have great respect for Einstein. You can’t argue with the greatness of the theory he came up with, and that it took a brilliant mind to do it. I can acknowledge that, even as I acknowledge that the theory is complete bunk).
He agrees with me that the Twins Paradox can be resolved in terms of general relativity. And it’s basically resolved exactly how I said: the gravity field generated by the pressing of the train brakes, or the turning of the rocket’s steering wheel, affects the clocks of both frames, thereby resolving the supposed paradox.
Einstein’s hypothetical critic then asks what I basically asked: isn’t this gravity field merely fictitious?
To which Einstein responds: “..the distinction real - unreal is hardly helpful.” He says that it’s a real gravitational field as far as the observer in question is concerned, so let’s not quibble over unimportant things like real or unreal, gravity or pseudo-gravity.
And my answer to that? What a lame answer, Einstein! Bollocks! I call bull**** on this! I demand that we quibble over such terms!
He also talks about “just how little merit there is in calling upon the so-called ‘common sense…’”
So: Einstein’s considered response is basically that where relativity is concerned, we shouldn’t worry about concepts like real or unreal, and we shouldn’t appeal to common sense.
He further says that the main difficulty most people have when studying relativity is that “…the connection between the quantities that occur in the equations and the measurable quantities is much more indirect than in terms of the usual theories.” Read: relativity is mainly a theory of mathematical abstractions that has little obvious bearing on actual physical reality. Just as I’ve been saying all along.
In this paper Einstein also has some interesting things to say about the universe revolving around the Earth: “For example, strictly speaking one cannot say that the Earth moves in an ellipse around the Sun, because that statement presupposes a coordinate system in which the Sun is at rest, while classical mechanics also allows systems relative to which the Sun rectilinearly and uniformly moves…Nobody will use a coordinate system that is at rest relative to the planet Earth, because that would be impractical. However as a matter of principle such a theory of relativity is equally valid as any other…For the decision which representation to choose only reasons of efficiency are decisive, not arguments of a principle kind.”
In other words, if I choose to say that the Earth is in an absolute frame at the center of the universe, there is little the relativist can muster in the way of scientific principle or empirical evidence to refute me. The best relativity can do is to say, “Hey! Relativity demands that all reference frames are equal, so you can’t say there’s an absolute frame.” Yeah, well, since I don’t subscribe to relativity, then I’ll say it, and you can’t disprove me. It reminds me of an old Robin Williams joke about cops in England who don’t carry guns, so they can only shout, “Stop! Or I’ll say stop again!” The relativists, in effect, have no gun with which to force Geocentrists to cease and desist.
In reality, rather than the idiot being the one who proclaims that the Earth is at the center of the universe, the idiot is actually the one who proclaims that no way, no how can the Earth be at the center of the universe.
“But come on,” the relativist objects. “You can’t possibly believe that the Earth is really at the center of the universe, can you?”
What? So now the relativist wants to quibble over concepts like real or unreal? Again, in the words of Einstein himself, ““..the distinction real - unreal is hardly helpful.”
So as to whether we’re really at the center of the universe — why are we arguing about such trivial concepts as the reality or unreality of our position in the universe? Surely it can’t bother the relativist if one chooses to believe that we absolutely are at the center of the universe.
Gravity or pseudo-gravity, Earth-centered or non-Earth-centered, real or unreal, up or down, left or right, man or woman…these distinctions are hardly helpful, people.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reciprocity in Relativity

In an earlier writing, I laid out a summary of The Facts according to relativity. Here they are again for reference:
The following is a summation of how two observers in motion at near light speed relative to each other view the situation, according to relativity. I call these The Facts.

From Observer A’s viewpoint:
  • Observer B is in motion.
  • Observer B is experiencing time dilation.
  • Everything in Observer B’s reference frame (stationary relative to B) is length-contracted, as measured against a yardstick in my reference frame.
  • We both measure the same speed for light.

From Observer B’s viewpoint:
  • Observer A is in motion.
  • Observer A is experiencing time dilation.
  • Everything in Observer A’s reference frame (stationary relative to A) is length-contracted, as measured against a yardstick in my reference frame.
  • We both measure the same speed for light. 

In the past, The Facts have led me to berate relativity, since it makes the prediction that two biological twins will each age more slowly than the other.
But let me reconsider The Facts. Basically, The Facts have each observer saying, “Everything is normal from my viewpoint, but I believe that everything is not normal from viewpoint of the other observer.”
Each observer reports that physically, everything is normal within his reference frame. He also expresses his belief that everything is not normal for the other observer.
Do you see what’s wrong with this picture? Each observer gives a description of his current experience of the natural world, as well as a description of what he believes to be the other observer’s current experience of the world.
Do you see it yet?
It does not matter what one observer believes about the other observer’s experience of the world. All that matters is each observer’s own experience. Both observers report that everything is normal in their reference frame. It’s completely irrelevant what each observer believes about the other’s reference frame! Both observers have firsthand experience that their world is normal. They have no experience of the other observer’s reference frame.
In the case of science, reality must trump belief, whether that belief is based upon logic or upon mathematical calculations. In other words, it is indeed a fact that both observers believe that the other is experiencing time dilation and other effects of motion. But if it is a fact that I believe Santa Claus exists, the fact that I believe in Santa Claus does not make Santa Claus exist. There is thus actually no conflict generated by The Facts, since we are free to discount the beliefs of each observer as to what the other is experiencing. The seeming paradox that The Facts predict that each biological twin will age more slowly than the other is due to a mere conflict of beliefs, a conflict that is resolved by allowing physical reality to trump beliefs about physical reality.
Both observers report that everything is normal. Therefore, everything MUST BE NORMAL in both reference frames! This is why, despite The Facts, both observers in my muon thought experiment in a previous writing report that their muons have decayed, in conflict with each observer’s expectation that the other observer’s muons should still be alive when they exchange their reports, which led me to discount the existence of time dilation when two observers are in relative uniform motion.
However, despite the preceding, there is experimental evidence that time dilation exists in the case of cosmic-ray muons when compared to their Earth-bound counterparts.
Taking this experimental fact together with my demonstration that time dilation is logically ruled out in the case of relative motion at constant velocity, it would appear that time dilation only exists within a gravitational field, or when an object undergoes acceleration. In all other situations, time dilation ceases to be a consideration, as it does not exist.
In light of this, one must wonder how Einstein came to theorize the existence of time dilation, since acceleration was excluded from the special theory. After all, according to relativity, time dilation is a consequence of the constancy of the speed of light. But if it’s shown that time dilation does not exist in cases of uniform relative motion, then light speed should not be constant. It need only be constant for all observers undergoing acceleration or gravitation.
Of course, if light speed is not constant, then interferometer results once again become a problem. Unless you’re a Geocentrist.
But wait, you might object. If one of the observers, considering himself stationary, looks through a telescope at the other observer, he’ll see a clock on the other observer’s ship ticking more slowly. Therefore time dilation MUST exist.
My response: not really. Because depending on whether the other ship is approaching or receding when our observer looks through his telescope, he’ll see the other clock either ticking faster or slower. Do you really think the rate at which time passes depends upon the direction of the other ship’s travel? The Doppler Effect doesn’t tell us about time dilation. It tells us whether the ship is approaching or receding.
Yes, you object, but the time dilation is in addition to the Doppler Effect.
My response: Okay, fine. The rate at which time is passing depends upon which direction the ship is traveling. Throw a new complication into relativity if you want to. And then YOU try to explain why time dilation should depend upon direction of travel.
You could further protest that The Facts as I’ve formulated them presuppose my conclusion because The Facts are written from a subjective viewpoint. You protest that it’s not a subjective belief of one observer whether or not the other observer is experiencing time dilation. There is an objective fact that whichever frame is regarded as being at rest, the other is time dilated and length contracted. It’s not a matter of belief; it’s a matter of reality.
But isn’t “objective” another way of saying “absolute”? Isn’t bringing objectivity into relativity forbidden by relativity? Relativity involves being able to move from one subjective viewpoint to another and find that all viewpoints are equal. There is nothing objective about it. Relativity is inherently subjective.

Besides, by trying to rephrase The Facts objectively, you will basically be saying that it is an objective fact that whichever frame subjectively regards itself as being at rest…It’s redundant, because relativity requires that you assume the subjective viewpoint of one particular frame, but that you’re not bound to remain in that frame. But you are always viewing things subjectively from one particular frame. So The Facts are not framed in such a way that they presuppose my conclusion. They’re framed in the only way allowed by relativity.

Muons II

The following is a summation of how two observers in motion at near light speed relative to each other view the situation, according to relativity. I call these The Facts.

From Observer A’s viewpoint:

  • Observer B is in motion.
  • Observer B is experiencing time dilation.
  • Everything in Observer B’s reference frame (stationary relative to B) is length-contracted, as measured against a yardstick in my reference frame.
  • We both measure the same speed for light.
From Observer B’s viewpoint:

  • Observer A is in motion.
  • Observer A is experiencing time dilation.
  • Everything in Observer A’s reference frame (stationary relative to A) is length-contracted, as measured against a yardstick in my reference frame.
  • We both measure the same speed for light.
Applying The Facts to biological twins, one asks the relativist, “If one twin stays on Earth and the other goes on a rocket tour of the galaxy before finally returning to Earth, how can each twin have aged less than the other?”
And the relativist answers, “Because the twin on the rocket experiences forces (acceleration) during his trip that the Earth-bound twin does not. This breaks the symmetry and allows us to say that the Earth-bound twin is older upon their reunion.”
(Of course, I’ve written earlier that this answer is really a non-answer, because the instant you bring up acceleration, you’ve brought the so-called paradox into the realm of general relativity, which turns out to be simply shifting the problem without resolving it).
Applying The Facts to the situation of cosmic-ray muons, one asks the relativist, “If observation shows that muons generated by cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere live longer than their twins who are stationary relative to the entire atmosphere, why do The Facts predict that each type of muon will outlive the other?”
And the relativist answers, “Because from their viewpoint, the cosmic-ray muons have the same life expectancy as ‘normal’ muons, but the upper atmosphere is length-contracted due to its motion, thus the cosmic-ray muons survive to reach the ground.”
“Yes, but,” one objects, “according to The Facts, from the viewpoint of the cosmic-ray muons, muons stationary relative to the ground and the atmosphere are the ones experiencing time dilation, and so should still be alive when the cosmic-ray muons reach the ground, and should actually outlive the cosmic-ray muons.
“According to Einstein for Dummies (page 141), muons in their own reference frame only live for 2.2 microseconds, while time-dilated muons live for 34.8 microseconds. So in the Earth’s reference frame, a muon on the ground will live for 2.2 microseconds, while a cosmic-ray muon will live for 34.8 microseconds. Conversely, the cosmic-ray muons will see themselves live for 2.2 microseconds, while an Earth muon will live for 34.8 microseconds. So how can each type of muon outlive the other, because the length contraction answer you gave doesn’t seem to pass muster?”
And the relativist answers, “Hey, I never said anything about one outliving the other. We were discussing why cosmic-ray muons are able to traverse the length of the atmosphere, which, without the relativistic effects of time dilation and length contraction, they should not be able to do. Once they reach the ground, what they do after that is their business. They’ve reached the ground, therefore they’re experiencing time dilation.”
And one objects again, “Yes, but you’re not answering the question. Even after they reach the ground, relativity still predicts that each one will decay before the other. How is that possible? You said that in the case of the biological twins, acceleration broke the symmetry and let us know who was really aging faster than the other. There’s no acceleration in the case of the muons. So how do we explain that the cosmic-ray muons definitely outlive the Earth-bound muons? Because obviously they must, since we’ve already established that the cosmic-ray muons are the ones actually undergoing time dilation.”
The only possible resolution I can see is that, despite protestations about there being no acceleration to appeal to here, there actually is acceleration to appeal to here: there’s a gravitational field. And gravitation and acceleration are equivalent, correct?
The problem with this approach is that in this case, both sets of muons are within the same gravitational field. Granted, the Earth-bound muons are deeper inside the gravitational field, so maybe that breaks the symmetry.
But let’s appeal to acceleration anyway, as in the standard Twins Paradox, thereby dragging the problem into the realm of general relativity. As I wrote earlier in another bit of writing, this leads us to pseudo-gravity and other considerations, which ultimately leads to the fact that all reference frames are not created equal, thereby sounding the death knell for relativity.
And anyway, what about the case of muons far enough out in space that they are essentially in a gravity-free environment? Suppose we have two rockets in relative motion at near light speed, each carrying a cargo of muons in its stern. The Facts predict that the cargo in each ship will decay before the cargo in the other ship. So which ACTUALLY decays first? There’s no gravity or acceleration to appeal to here to break the symmetry.
I suppose the relativist would object that it’s meaningless to ask the question, because if they attempt to get together to solve the problem, one of them must accelerate to match speeds with the other, thereby breaking the symmetry (but not really, because due to general relativity, we can say that the one who activates his thrusters to apparently maneuver into position with the other rocket is actually merely generating a gravitational field that affects the entire universe, causing the universe and everything in it to accelerate, which is absurd).
Suppose they simply communicate by radio, to which the relativist would object that there’s no hope there due to the meaninglessness of NOW when considering two observers in relative motion. Trying the radio method complicates the issue by adding a relativity of simultaneity problem.
OK, then. Do it this way: we have two identical rockets ships in constant relative motion at near light speed, and one or the other is said to be moving along a straight line that runs parallel to the other ship. Each ship is so long that the muons in its own reference frame, if traveling at near light speed in the absence of time dilation, would decay before they were able to traverse one ship length. The two ships are so closely situated that when their sterns are aligned, a small protrusion in the stern of each ship will just contact the same protrusion in the other ship without causing any impediment to the relative velocity, allowing the exchange of a brief burst of information as to the status of each ship’s cargo. The Facts predict that each ship should receive a burst saying that the cargo of the other ship has decayed. And each observer will say to himself, “Wait a minute! This violates The Facts! That other guy’s cargo should have outlived my own!”
Now wait a minute, I myself protest. Haven’t I been ranting that relativity predicts that each biological twin will outlive the other, yet due to symmetry-breaking acceleration, upon their reunion the twin finds that the Earth-bound twin is older? Why does my little thought experiment above now predict that both sets of muons are decayed at the brief instant of their would-be union?
It’s because I have just logically shown that time dilation in the absence of gravitational influence does not exist.
And since the thought experiment I outlined above is actually just the standard cosmic-ray muon/Earth’s atmosphere setup moved into outer space, what I’ve shown is that The Facts predict complete reciprocity in the decay, which the relativist modifies to predict asymmetric decay due to gravitation, which is what is found in actual experiment.
What we must conclude at this point is that time dilation, by relativity’s own logic, is caused either by gravitation or acceleration, not by simply moving at constant relativistic velocity.
Further following this logic, it must be the case that only things undergoing acceleration or being influenced by gravitation can be time-dilated. When we compare two frames that are simply in relative uniform motion, neither frame will be time-dilated.
Let me outline my logic in case it isn’t clear.
First, we have The Facts, as given at the start of this essay.
Next, we have my thought experiment involving two rockets each carrying a cargo of muons. Each rocket is so long that, in the absence of the existence of time dilation, muons traveling at near light speed would decay before they traversed the length of the rocket. Thus, in the time it takes the moving rocket to traverse the length of the stationary rocket, the stationary rocket’s cargo will have decayed (since each rocket regards itself as being at rest and thus not experiencing time dilation as given in The Facts). Thus, when the protrusions on the stern of each ship come into contact, each rocket will report that its cargo has decayed. In other words, neither cargo of muons has outlived the other as predicted by The Facts, thus leading to the inescapable conclusion that time dilation cannot be a reality in this case.
Continuing. We then have the case of the long-lived muons, where cosmic-ray muons traveling at near light speed outlive their Earth-bound counterparts. This is proven by experiment. According to the general relativistic explanation, this asymmetric deviation from the symmetric prediction of The Facts is caused by gravity. But both sets of muons (Earth-bound and upper-atmosphere cosmic-ray muons) are experiencing gravity. However, the cosmic-ray muons are experiencing an increasing gravitational force. They start off in the upper atmosphere where gravity is slightly weaker, and travel downward, into increasing gravitational strength. It thus cannot the mere presence of gravity which breaks the symmetry in the case of the cosmic-ray muons, but changing gravitational strength, or potential.
Considering both situations, I conclude that, if time dilation exists, it must be caused by gravity or acceleration, and that time dilation only exists when either is present. Time dilation is not present in the absence of gravity or acceleration, regardless of relativistic velocity.
Okay, I guess I’m done rambling now.