Friday, 23 September 2011

speed of light

Today we have suggestions from the Italian team working with the Large Hadron Collider that some particles are reaching then at greater than the speed of light. If this is true and confirmed (by no means certain) I would regard this as very good news. Modern physics, post-Einstein, seems to have riddled with logical fallacies and inconsistencies, which physicists have been happy to live with since the standard theory works well in practice and delivers on its predictions. I have asked physicists: what if your basic definitions of mass, velocity, energy etc. - essentially 19th-C definitions - are not suitable or adequate to deal with the new data? Most become rather irritated by such a stupid question; a few admitted that this might be the case, but then moved on, saying we have nothing to put in their place and what we have works OK. The same applies to definitions of space. Einstein's space-time paradoxically is defined in relation to the standard metrical parameters of space and time. "Bent" is bent in relation to the standard "box" of space, which should not be the referent since in theory  it does not exist other than as an working approximation for relatively small portions of cosmic space. We are told that time is warped, just like space, again in relation to regular increments of time. We are told that light acts  as a wave under certain conditions of observation and as a particle under other conditions. We are told that the speed of light is the one constant and cannot be exceeded. To me it seems that in any system, any one of the parameters may be taken as the constant with the other variables plotted against it. We are dealing with a mode of analysis not a question of one parameter being absolute and invariable. The relationship between the geometrical format of the spatial method of analysis and the physical reality has become confused. You can't define the relative in relation to the relative.
Could we be at the point, as when Newton "invented" his laws, or when Copernicus cleaned out the epicycles and eccentrics that saved the Ptolemaic system, that a great act of cleansing becomes possible? Might we be in a position to sweep away the ugly illogicalities of modern physics? Any new system will, I suspect be subject to the same process of crystalline simplification followed by steady incremental complication, which will in turn need cleansing. I hope so, but maybe this is a false dawn.

1 comment:

  1. And it seems that calculations of time are now complicated. One example is here by Ben Still:

    http://neutrinoscience.blogspot.com/2011/09/arriving-fashionable-late-for-party.html

    "neutrinos were seen just 3 hours before SN1987a was seen by optical telescopes. In this case the neutrinos did not arrive early for the party it was the light that was fashionably late!"

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