Science, Physics, Relativity, Faq's and Feedback

Historical Overview #2

This homepage is now roughly 13 years old and again it is time to give an overview of what I have done.
This is not my first Historical Overview. 7 Years ago I wrote my first. To read it go to: Historical Overview #1


What is Science ?
Science is the art to study all what is and all what is happening in the Universe specific close to us on Earth, implying human behaviour.
Studying meaning, finding the most accurate description of the physical reality.
Starting point IMO should be the famous sentence by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853-1926) "Meten is Weten". Translated as: "To measure is to know". Apparently Lord Kelvin had the same thoughts: Lord Kelvin (William Thomson)
In laymans words these means: We only know what we can measure. Specific in laboratory experiments. To say it in more general terms: Starting point of any discussion are the facts.
However the task of a scientist is not only to search for the truth but also to identify what we do not know. That is why it is so important to emphasize the concept of accuracy.


If you want to study the Universe one of the best ways to start is have a look at The Extended Local Group of Galaxies part of Enceclopaedia Galactica
What this picture IMO should represent is a 3D sketch showing the position of all the Galaxies (Including all the stars and planets) of a certain area of the Universe at a certain moment. For Example 1 Jan 2000 at 12.00 hours.

What this picture does not represents is what We See from a certain point in space. For Example 1 Jan 2000 at 12.00 hours from Earth. If you want to see what you see at that particular moment from any particular point you have to take the speed of light into consideration.
The same reasoning applies if you want to make this sketch based on observations; you have to take the speed of light into consideration.
Because what you See is the position in the past.

To do this even more accurate one more concept has to be included: The bending of Light.

Why is this picture so important ?

Astronomy & Mercury

One of my main interests in Astronomy are the movements of planets in our Solar System around the Sun. Specific the movement of the Planet Mercury and what is involved if you want to simulate this.
In order to simulate two things of almost equal importance are:
  1. Observations i.e. the positions of the planets involved over a certain period of time
  2. A Model or algorithm in order to calculate the future positions.
One of the easiest algorithms to be used is Newton's Law.
If you want to simulate the positions of planets of our Solar system using Newton's Law 2 things are important:
  1. Initial conditions of all the planets and the Sun. This are the positions and velocities of each at a certain moment t0.
  2. The masses of each.
The question is how do you calculate those ?
The answer is "simple" by using Newton's Law and by using the observations.
In practice this is not so simple.
If you start from scratch, you begin with the Sun and 1 planet and you make an estimate of the initial conditions of both objects and of both masses. You calculate the positions and an overall error compared with the observations. You repeat the process for example 10 times and you search from those solutions the one with the smallest error
Next you include planet #2 and you repeat the whole process. You calculate an error each time and you search the solution with the smallest error. Next you include planet #3 etc untill all are done.
Now you have the best estimates of all the initial conditions and masses which closest match observation and you are ready to calculate the positions of any moment in the future.

Newton's Law

As mentioned the purpose is to simulate the planet Mercury over a long perod of time. For example 200 Myr. This is roughly equivalent for the time it takes for the Sun to make one revolution in our Galaxy.
The question is does such a long trip have any special influence on the behaviour of planets of Our Solar System ?
IMO it does:

The effect that the direction of the gravitational field does not point to the present position but to the past is identical as why we see the position (obseved from the Earth) of the Sun in the past.

The issue is are the speeds of both effects identical? Light is propagated by photons. The gravitational force is propagated by gravitons. Are those speeds identical ? Why should they be ? What is the physical relation between both concepts ? None ?
That is my opinion.

The interesting part is it is relatif easy to make a simulation of The planet Mercury including the famous 43 arcsec movement when you assume that the speed of gravitation is 100 * c and when you take the speed of the Sun into consideration.
What you can learn from such an exercise that this 43 arcsec angle is not constant.

Special Relativity

Why is this sketch so important to study Special Relativity ? IMO there are many reasons.

For a discussion in Usenet about this topic see: CBR Rest Frame, Special Relativity and the Twin Paradox


How important is Light ?
In fact there are two questions:

Light is Electric radiation with a certain frequency created by certain (chemical) reactions.
IMO from a physical point of view it is of average importance. From a human point of view it is of immence importance, because, described by the concept of evolution, we have eyes in order to see.

The second question is much more difficult.
First a slightly different questions: Should the descriptions of Nature (ie the laws of Nature) be any different if there were no human beings (or if human beings would have no eyes)?
IMO not. The laws of nature are completely independent of humans.
On the other hand I have the feeling that the concept of light (the speed of light) is not always used correct. Of course we have laws which describe the physical behaviour of light and photons direct. Those laws are not under discussion.
Also we use light to observe astronomical objects. As such we need the speed of light in order to convert all observations to one particular reference frame.
What is not clear to me that we need the speed of light in order to describe the behaviour of the objects in one particular reference frame such as the one shown in Enceclopaedia Galactica
To be more specific why should the speed of the gravitons be identical as the speed of the photons ?


The most recent discussion is about Teleportation i.e. Quantum Mechanics.
My interest comes from two questions:
  1. How is it possible that two highly respected scientist could have a disagreement about a subject that apparently both could not solve.
  2. What is the current position of the scientific community. Who is right: Einstein or Bohr ?
The current solution comes from the Bell Inequalities, named after John Bell.
Common understanding is that if you perform an experiment and the outcome is in agreement with the Bell Inequalities than EPR is correct, otherwise it is quantum mechanics and Niels Bohr wins.
Current experiments by Alain Aspect are in disagreement with the Bell Inequalities. As a consequence Albert Einstein is wrong.

I have great doubts. Specific how you can mathematical demonstrate how physics works. Specific to make a distinction between local and non local.

IMO you can only demonstrate that by performing experiments.
and I think that that is not possible.
I have also doubt that certain experiments demonstrate that teleportation is involved.
Specific I advise the reader to study the experiments using domino pieces: Question 6: Teleportation in slow motion

Dark Matter

In Historical Overview #1 Dark matter was indicated as an issue but no details were shown.

The concept of Dark matter is introduced to match physical behaviour with calculated bahaviour. The two different areas to study that require Dark Matter are: Galaxies and the Universe.

Literature - Comments

For Comments about Literature in Nature See: For a discussion about the simulation of the Solar system and the speed of gravity See: Reflection
Last modified: 10 June 2009

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