Thursday, July 14, 2011
Where Do People Conjure This Stuff Up? (2)
We now continue examining the "theories" of one person who believes he's actually radically extended or replaced Einstein's special theory of relativity. Of course, he wouldn't be the first. The last I checked, he'd be somewhere around number 405! He needs to take a number and wait in line!
He continues in writing:
In fact light's measured velocity moves (increases, decreases) directly proportionally to the observers speed. It doesn’t actually change velocity.
Of course, this is one of the most fundamental errors and all our measurements and evidence contradict it! The truth is that the velocity of light is constant at c, irrespective of the observer's velocity. So there is NO increase or decrease in "proportion" to the observer's speed.
For example, for an observer travelling at a velocity of 0.5c who dispatches a light signal from his craft, that light signal is not going at 1c + 0.5 c = 1.5 c but rather at c.
Moreover, light (as all EM radiation) can and does change speed when it enters a medium of different density, i.e. with different refractive index. For example, in a plasma with anomalous dispersion (See Fig. 1) the plasma refractive index n runs below 1 above the resonant position (maximum). Since we already saw (in Introduction to Basic Physics: Refraction):
n1/n2 = v/c
and: v = c (n1/n2)
then if n2 < 1, we have v > c.
If, on the other hand, n2 > 1, we have a wave speed v < c.
Thus, in the anomalous region of the plasma the EM-wave speed exceeds c. But this is because of the change in the density of the medium. (Note: this doesn't violate relativity because energy E (= mc squared) doesn't travel at the wave speed).
My point is that this "theorist's" conjectures are total bonkers.
He goes on:
In the 99% speed of light example in space from the perspective of the ship you would appear to be stationary in space. Just like right now you appear to be stationary yet are traveling around 1,892,062 mph.
Of course, this is also wrong. One can in fact use the relative velocity equations to show exactly what one's speed ought to be, as referenced by the faster moving observer and it isn't stationary!
Again, the relativistic equation for relative velocities is:
u = (u' + v)/ 1 + u'v/c^2
According to our theorist, u given above ought to be 0 (stationary) for u' = 0.99c. Of course this isn't so as readers can verify themselves.
So we can never hit the speed of light. But does it matter since its measured velocity even at near light speed is the FULL speed of light. So there for at light speed you would appear to be stationary. All physics for you would be the same (Einstein’s first postulate). There for you can travel faster than 186,282mps which is NOT the speed of light but just another possible velocity threw space given the proper energy source.
This is totally garbled and confused, muddled. He seems to be contradicting himself, at once asserting one can never 'hit the speed of light' and in the next breath claiming one can travel faster than the speed of light, but showing no objective examples to back this up. He arrives at the latter by the claim that the speed of light c, is not the "real speed of light".
Of course, if one is dealing with inertial reference frames, which all of special relativity does, it follows that the laws of physics are the same for the observers in those frames. So he isn't stating anything new. Where he is original, he's wrong...and when he is correct, he isn't original!
As we shall see, things get even murkier in his next bit of theorizing!