Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Doctor Dread, Oct 6, 2017.

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I understand the basics of the theory of relativity, E= mc2 and its practical observed implementation in things like GPS satellites or they wouldn't work. I understand that the theory is sound but I'm skeptical about WHY things slow down as they move faster (again i'm a layman, bear with me)

The orbit earth at speed of light example confuses me. I've hear this for along time, A man launches in a spaceship and orbits earth near the speed of light for an hour, when he lands again, everyone has aged 100 years. to the man in the ship it was only an hour to HIM but for everyone else it took nearly a century.

But if this is true then how many times did the man record he circled the earth and how many times did the earthlings record he circled the earth, assuming they can see him circling the earth. They should be the same number of orbits but one guy saw it happen in an hour and the earthlings watched it happen over a course of 100 years? That makes no sense.

Light goes around the earth 7 times a second(?) that's pretty observable for both sides. There is about 31,536,00 seconds in a year so it would be about 45 million orbits of the earth in 100 years. But the MAN is obviously seeing the earth swing by once every 7 seconds and recorded about 25,200 orbits in the hour but it took the people on the ground 100 years to witness the same amount of orbits? Observing his spacecraft the earthlings must be seeing it move MUCH slower than orbiting the earth 7 times a second, like 876,000 times slower. If they did witness it orbit 7 times s second then they would only of aged an hour also. If they watched him orbit the earth for 100 years at the speed of light at 7 orbit per second they would of recorded 45 million orbits.

How is this explained?

I have this alternate theory on relativity in my mind since I was a kid, not details just the concept. The faster you go the "slower" YOU age, not slower you go through time. The electrons orbiting the atoms in your body and your ship are not orbiting the same way as you speed up because they can't go faster then light. The electron orbiting your atom is moving almost the speed of light but if you are moving half the speed of light traveling in a certain direction, that electron can't go 1.5x the speed of light in the exact same direction so it changes course in its orbit around your atoms, they all do. As you approach the speed of light the electrons are actually forced to be wiggling almost stationary towards the "back" of the atom not being able to orbit normally at all because they can't go faster then light and you are almost at the speed of light. This causes YOU to essentially slow down in all respects the faster you go until you, your ship, your on board atomic cloak are all virtually in a stasis YET you are in fact moving almost the speed of light and everyone else can see that.

You and the ship orbited the earth 25,000 times,the people on the ground watched you orbit the earth 25,000 times both within an hours. But you didn't age an hour, your atomic clock didn't move an hour. To you it seemed like you did the trip in half a second actually, because your brain and your metabolism were all slowed down to a standstill. You actually took an hour but you and all your measurements say it took half a second.

When GPS satellites atomic clocks move slower then the ones on earth and it has to be accounted for ,its because of this phenomenon, not because they are in a time warp or bending space-time. If I had two identical pendulum swinging grandfather clocks but I left one on the street and I put the other in the back of a pickup and drove it 100 MPH down the street,then turned around and drove it 100 MPH back, it would show a much earlier time on the clock because of the thing that makes the clock measure time (pendulum) couldn't swing normally in the same way the atomic clock on the satellite is measuring the atom "slower" because of its speed or its cintrifical force against gravity or whatever disrupting and essentialy slowing down the atoms or electrons (I realize that is momentum but its the best analogy I got) . But in the end its something that prevents the atoms from operating/orbiting normally and at full speed which seems to, and kind of does, make it go slower through time.

Does this make any sense? Am I crazy? =)

3. ### Janus58Valued Senior Member

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Here's the basic problems with your idea:
1.It assumes that there is a notion of absolute motion or rest. In order for motion to physically effect the action of atoms, you need an absolute frame of reference to measure that motion with respect to. But if that is the case, then you would have to take the Earth's own motion into account, and that would show up in particle accelerator experiments. When particle are accelerated in one direction with respect to the Earth motion vs. another, you should get different results. No such differences have shown up in accelerator experiments.

2. It is inconsistent with Gravitational time dilation. Regardless of what you sometimes hear, clocks at higher elevation do not run faster because gravity is weaker there, but because they are at a higher gravitational potential. To illustrate what this means, you can imagine two pairs of clocks, both are separated by 10 km in altitude. One is in a gravity field that falls off quickly with altitude, while the other is in a gravity field that does not fall off at all with altitude. In both cases, the strength of gravity experienced by the lower of the two clocks is the same. Relativity predicts that the clocks in the second pair, where there is no difference between the gravity felt by the clock will differ in tick rate by a greater amount than the pair where the two clocks feel different strengths of gravity. In other words, the greater difference occurs between the two clocks for which no difference in local conditions for the clocks exists that could affect them in any physical way.

5. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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You actually took a half a second, but the other people's measurements say it took an hour.

Same as.

7. ### originIn a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect.Valued Senior Member

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Oops! That is an error, the man in the spacecraft sees the earth swing by many more than 7 times in 1 of his seconds. Just to be clear the spacecraft cannot go the speed of light, you can say it is going at 99.99% of the speed of light for your example

The observers on earth and in the spacecraft would agree on the number of orbits but would disagree on the time it took AND the distance traveled.

So there is no need to come up with a novel explanation.

8. ### Confused2Registered Senior Member

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I'm neither a teacher nor an expert but I have been looking at special relativity for some years now. First point would be that it's a geometric theory - so some geometry might be involved. E= mc2 isn't a starting point - it's way down the line.
First point (1) would be that the laws of physics are the same in every frame. A consequence of the first point would be that the speed of light is the same in every frame - a kind of point 1a.

Using only points 1 and 1a and a little high school geometry (Pythagoras) and some simple algebra you can derive the equations for time dilation and length contraction with little effort - I'll happily post how to do it if you are interested. Experience suggests people switch off at the first equation so I won't post further unless you are actually interested.

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If I saw you go around 25k orbits in an hour, then it means I watched you move at a speed close to 186,000 miles per second or you crossed the same point in the sky 7 times per second as I watched you. But If you say you went around the Earth 25k times but it happened in a second then you must have crossed the same point in the sky 3600 times faster then that, and by your calculations you were moving several thousand times faster then the speed of light to accomplish that. You literally saw the earth as a giant blur for half a second if you went around it 25k times in a second.

I'm suggesting that, you did in fact go around it 25k times in an HOUR, not a second like it seemed to you but because all the matter in your body, your ship, your atomic clock etc were being slowed down dramatically as you moved through space-time near the speed of light, it only seemed that you did it in a second TO YOU and your ship. You and all your equipment were in a 99.9% stasis almost frozen "sub-atomically". And I theorize that moving through "space" or darkmatter or whatever energy is there in a vacuum that we don't understand, causes a sort of friction on you at a subatomic level that slows you down. Suggesting that you aren't moving through time or bending space so much as as simply having all your atoms slowed down as you move that fast. And that is why there is what APPEARS to be a time distortion but in reality, you are moving near the speed of light,just not aging at all why you do it.

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Im suggesting its reverse. You ACTUALLY took an hour, it seemed to YOU that it took a second which means it appeared to YOU that you orbited the earth the same 25k times we witnessed over an hour but you did it in a second. which means the earth was a giant blur for half a second to YOU and it looks likes you were traveling several times the speed of light in order to circle it 25k times in a second. But you WEREN"T actually going that fast, it only seems that way to YOU because you and your ship and equipment were all slowed down to almost a standstill as you moved that fast.

The faster you move THROUGH "space" the slower all the matter that is moving (you the ship, the atmoc clock) is "metabolizing". A the speed of light all your atmons would essential be standing dead still while you fly through space at the speed of light . Its actually all your particles which normally run around and orbit other particles are all slammed to the back of the atoms as they meet so much "friction" against "space"/DarkMatter/WhateverEnergyWeDontUnderstand, thats my theory anyway

Last edited: Oct 6, 2017

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I don't suggest there is an absolute point of rest in the universe and the speed of light goes against that point. I think that the speed of light is "relative" because the section of space you are in, lets say the solar system, is "standing still" and your speed of light limit applies while you move through the space inside the solar system,because you can only move "through" space at the speed of light BUT the solar system itself is actually moving, say, half the speed of light in some direction but it is acting as sort of a bubble. It is moving through the ocean of space very quickly but INSIDE the bubble of the solar system the "space" is standing still. The speed of light is not a galactic speed limit against a standstill point. it is simply the fastest you can cut through the "space" you are in. Not so much in a physical sense (firction with asteroids) but its more like cutting through the DarkMatter/QuantumFoam or whatever we don't understand about space at an "energy" level.

I akin it to Finding Nemo movie when they are with Crush the turtle in the "underwater river". They are all in the water which is standing still to them, but all the water they are in, "there space", is moving at 1000 miles an hour in a "river" in space towards Australia. They can still only swim 100 mph through the water in any direction, because the faster they go the more resistance they get from the "space" they are in but the water itself is ALL moving 1000 miles an hour in a certain direction. They can actually swim down river and go 1100 miles an hour towards Australia if they wanted.

Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
12. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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It's neither or both of them, according to Albert Einstein's most famous theory.
The one is exactly as true as the other. Same as.
That is specifically what Relativity Theory says is not the case - that's how it got it's name: "Relativity". There is no actual situation - you did not "actually" take an hour - and all the frames of reference are equivalently valid: none of them are "seeming" compared with any other.
That would conflict with a century of astronomical observation, the Theory itself, and some occasionally questioned but normally accepted basic assumptions of physics (that the laws of physics are the same everywhere, say).

Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
13. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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That depends on the distance you measured yourself as traveling.
What you "saw" is an interesting and difficult question - one which Einstein asked himself, according to the historical accounts of this theory, leading to some of the key insights. You did not see the earth as a giant blur going by faster than the speed of light: the theory forbids that.

14. ### Neddy BateValued Senior Member

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Here is one of the simplest explanations:

Take a sheet of paper and draw a circle on it.
Draw a dot in the center of the circle.
Imagine two identically constructed clocks.
Place one clock stationary at the center of the circle.
Let the other clock travel around the circle as many times as you wish.

Relativity predicts the clock traveling the circle will tick at a slower rate than the clock at the center dot, (this is a simplified example of time dilation).
This means that the clock traveling the circle will accumulate fewer ticks than the clock at the center dot.
But there is no contradiction, because...
Relativity predicts that both clocks will agree on the number of times the circle was traveled by the outer clock, and their total number of ticks at the end.

Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
15. ### Janus58Valued Senior Member

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This is just a variation of the "Ether drag" idea. It is inconsistent with experiment and observation. In order for this model to be consistent with experiments done on the Earth, the Earth itself (not the solar system as a whole) would have to be carrying around its own "bubble". However, this would be inconsistent with stellar aberration measurements which deal with light that originates outside of the Earth's "bubble". Believe me, every conceivable model that has tried to explain Relativistic effects as due to some type of mechanical effect on the action of atoms caused by motion has already been proposed and discarded as being inconsistent with experiment and observation.

16. ### phytiRegistered Senior Member

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/ That is not an alternate theory, but part of SR. Timekeeping has always involved a periodic process that is uniform and constant. The light clock is the simplest form known and easily demonstrates the phenomenon of time dilation.

17. ### phytiRegistered Senior Member

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Time dilation

The phenomenon of time dilation is introduced via the light clock.

In fig.3 light is emitted from a source in a direction p, perpendicular to x, the direction of motion, and reflects from a mirror a distance d=1, to a detector/counter. For the clock to function, the photon path must have an x and p component. The x component compensates for the motion of the clock at speed v. The p component becomes the active part of the clock. Since the photon speed is constant, its path in any direction generates a circular arc for the 90º between the p axis and x axis. This means the relative photon speed u, along p, equals c*sqrt(1-(v/c)^2) = c/γ, i.e. the clock ticks slower, the faster it moves past an observer. This phenomenon is not restricted to clocks but applies to all processes involving light interactions. Fig.4 is the perception of the observer moving with the clock that is simultaneous with the static observer in fig.3.

18. ### originIn a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect.Valued Senior Member

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That is really, really close to the correct answer. You may think that since you are circling the earth thousands of times in a second that you were traveling faster than the speed of light, but alas you are not. If during your orbits you were able to measure the speed of light passing you, you would see the speed of light is still moving at c. This is confusing stuff because it is outside of our normal experiences.
It is possible to orbit the earth 45 million orbits in just 1 hour (in this example) based on the clock onboard the space craft. So when you land on earth you would jump out and say, "did you see that I traveled faster than the speed of light!!! I circled the earth 45 million time in 1 hour!!!" The people on earth would say sorry you were orbit for 100 years you were not going faster than the speed of light.

If you had an odometer on your craft you would also see that the distance of one orbit around the earth was way shorter than the distance the people on the ground would measure, due to length contraction.

The people on the ground measure 1 hour elapsed for 25k orbits, the guy on the ship measures 1 sec elapsed for 25k orbits. It is not that it 'seemed like' it took 1 second, it did take 1 second.
Since time was dramatically slowed for the guy on the ship he would appear to move in supper slow motion.
None of this is necessary to explain what is going on.
You are going through these alternate explanations and mental gymnastics because you do not like the idea that time passes at different rates for different inertial frames. I know that is a hard concept because it is outside our normal experiences but all experimentation confirms it. I find it easier just to accept what the data tells us and come to grips with it.

Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
19. ### Confused2Registered Senior Member

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Let's suggest you are walking along by the beach. A child lets go of a helium filled balloon and it rises vertically at a constant speed of 4 miles per hour. You are walking past at 3 miles per hour.
Relative to you the balloon is moving diagonally. Can you use Pythagoras Theorum to say how fast the balloon is moving relative to you?

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Sure.

21. ### Confused2Registered Senior Member

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That's really good. I have friended you on spoofbook. So if we watched while the ballon travelled (say) 40 feet up from the beach, we'd have walked (say) 30 feet forwards and for us the balloon would have travelled further relative to us than what it travelled in what we might call the 'beach frame'. Relative to us I'm going to guess the ballon will have travelled 50 feet at 5mph. So far we haven't needed to use any magic or Ether Drift to get this result Are we OK with this?

22. ### originIn a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect.Valued Senior Member

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Sure, and the 2 legs of the triangle could be 4 mph and 3 mph and then the answer would be directly in mph.

23. ### Confused2Registered Senior Member

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Yes indeed. So far we've avoided any equations - which is good.
In the general case, given a vertical velocity and a horizontal velocity we can use Pythagoras to work out the actual relative velocity. So now we want to do the same thing with a pulse of light. For the sake of clarity let's have the pulse start at ground level and hit the bulb of a lamp post (say) 30 feet above. Again walking past at 4mph, pulse fires and hits the bulb 30 feet above. While the pulse was moving up we have been moving forwards (not a lot but more than nothing) so for us the light pulse has travelled more than 30 feet. From the Laws of physics being the same in every frame we know the pulse has travelled at 'c' for us (walking) and at 'c' for the guys standing watching on the beach. If the light has travelled less distance at speed 'c' on the beach then it must have done so in less time. So from the laws of physics being the same in every frame we are forced to accept the reality of time dilation. No Ether or magic needed.