Intriguing question about Time, Physics and SRT in general

Zero is a constant, not a variable, and evidently does not capture anything remotely physical; even vacuum energy is evidently very far from zero energy, zero mass, or anything resembling a number in our minds that is little more conceptually than a place holder for manipulations related to simple arithmetic.
Try balancing a sharpened pencil on it's point for a few minutes and then repeat the claim (if you still wish to) that zero is inconsequential...

Say-- You aren't trying to "google" relativity, are you? Do you have any idea how much disinformation is out there about relativity, not even including Metapedia? When I learned relativity, not only did google not exist, but attention spans were evidently much, much longer, which would seem to be a requirement to actually understand this particular subject. I passed dozens of written examinations at the college level that all seem to say I do know something about relativity. How many have you taken?
Fortunately, I merely had to do problem sets and projects. A more civilized approach.

I couldn't help noticing that googling relativity actually does give you a lot of wrong answers. SRT derived of the null result of the Michaelson-Morely experiment, not an inconsistency of Galilean relativity with Maxwell's equations. Although the inconsistency existed and was resolved, for the most part relativity derived first of MECHANICS, not EM.
This doesn't change the fact that you were apparently surprised that relativity theory requires more than one "observer", when that is what relativity theory has been about since Galileo.
And who cares anything about coordinate systems? It's not relevant to the part of relativity I was talking about, unless you are referring to what I said about absolute space and absolute time. COORDINATE SYSTEMS (SPACE, TIME) THAT MOVE WITH INERTIAL REFERENCE FRAMES ARE NOT "ABSOLUTE", UNDERSTAND? The speed of light is the ONLY thing that can be measured that is the same in any given inertial reference frame. Not any other velocities. Not any other time intervals. Not any energies or forces.
Both special and general relativity are both explicitly about coordinate systems, so explicitly that it is hard to believe that you just wrote that and it is hard to believe that you are a competent and rational human being.

"...however the end result is no there is only the need for the one light cone."

No. Consider a bound electron in an atom separated by a distance d from an observer, emitting a photon in a line opposite the line connecting the observer and the event of emitting a photon.

This observer will NEVER see that photon, because to do so would require the observer not only move, but to EXCEED THE SPEED OF LIGHT. I will further stipulate that you cannot use a mirror some distance behind the event in order to observe it, because a photon reflecting from said mirror could have come from anywhere, besides which, THAT WOULD BE ANOTHER, UNRELATED EVENT. This is the case where the event that occurred is OUTSIDE OF THE LIGHT CONE of the observer. It doesn't matter whether the observer and the particle are separated by light years or only angstroms.

EACH AND EVERY PARTICLE IN THE UNIVERSE HAS ITS OWN INDIVIDUAL LIGHT CONE. This is one reason that this particular fixture of Minkowsky space-time is pretty much a useless one.

"This doesn't change the fact that you were apparently surprised that relativity theory requires more than one "observer"…

No. What I was "surprised" about was that no one bothered to tell me the real reason (pairwise photon, or else bound electron change of state or acceleration type photon production) was the actual principle responsible for the need for a second observer. "Galilean" relativity does not feature a constant nor a limit of the speed of light. Velocities add. Time is the same for all observers. Truth be told Galileo never even heard of the term "relativity". It was literally all he could do to figure out that masses falling under the influence of gravity did so at a rate that was proportional to t^2.

Yes, they called it "Galilean relativity" when I went to school too. The term is misleading. The concept is misleading. It really has no place in science. Must have been something dreamt up by a educator/facilitator or by one of those annoying "philosophy of science" folks. -- with only cursory apologies to QQ here.

Try balancing a sharpened pencil on it's point for a few minutes and then repeat the claim (if you still wish to) that zero is inconsequential...

I understand that a pencil balanced on its tip is an analog of symmetry, and that when it falls, symmetry is broken.

What does that have to do with whether or not zero is a "variable". Whenever zero is in the denominator or something, you ALWAYS get an infinity. What other "variable" can do that, unless you stipulate that the variable has a value of zero to begin with, that is?

Zero only means: "nothing to count here", and infinity only means "not a number". Can you relate the idea to that?

"...however the end result is no there is only the need for the one light cone."

No. Consider a bound electron in an atom separated by a distance d from an observer, emitting a photon in a line opposite the line connecting the observer and the event of emitting a photon.

This observer will NEVER see that photon, because to do so would require the observer not only move, but to EXCEED THE SPEED OF LIGHT. I will further stipulate that you cannot use a mirror some distance behind the event in order to observe it, because a photon reflecting from said mirror could have come from anywhere, besides which, THAT WOULD BE ANOTHER, UNRELATED EVENT. This is the case where the event that occurred is OUTSIDE OF THE LIGHT CONE of the observer. It doesn't matter whether the observer and the particle are separated by light years or only angstroms.

EACH AND EVERY PARTICLE IN THE UNIVERSE HAS ITS OWN INDIVIDUAL LIGHT CONE. This is one reason that this particular fixture of Minkowsky space-time is pretty much a useless one.

Oh I do not disagree... and actually I believe you to be in essence correct, however you need to indicate that you are pushing the understanding of SRT beyond that which mainstream tends to do.
Extending the logic of SRT often leads to a confrontation with the paradox mentioned earlier and you end up with issues such as "every observer has his own unique light cone" or "photon sphere" which has often been used in the past here at sciforums as a way of attempting to debunk SRT. That light speed could be deemed to be variant depending on observer relative velocity and RF.

Imagine a 3 observer system.
A = source of photon sphere (rest frame)
B = observer rv=0.5c, vector towards A
C = observer rv=0.8c, vector towards A

To maintain invariance of 'c' how many hoops does SRT have to jump through?
And remember that to assess the above example absolute time or space must be used in the assessment.. which is even more ironical.

Any ways if delta t= 0 and d= 0 then all the above is moot as absolute space is proven by the theory that attempts to disprove it. And photons do not travel across space to begin with.
You see, the issue of extending the logic of Minkowski space can lead to all sorts of contradictions.

I understand that a pencil balanced on its tip is an analog of symmetry, and that when it falls, symmetry is broken.

What does that have to do with whether or not zero is a "variable". Whenever zero is in the denominator or something, you ALWAYS get an infinity. What other "variable" can do that, unless you stipulate that the variable has a value of zero to begin with, that is?

Zero only means: "nothing to count here", and infinity only means "not a number". Can you relate the idea to that?
Dan, can you offer a description of what exists at the Center of gravity (mass) of any object?

To balance a pencil on it's tip means that all force (differentials) acting on the pencil, apart from the down ward one, (Gravity) have to be zero. You will find when you apply infinite reduction to any math used that it is actually impossible to find an absolute balance point. ( metastability ) Which will lead you to a surprising understanding about zero, inherent or pseudo perpetual movement. IMO

Zero [nihilo] happens to be the most important "non-value" this universe has (oops! doesn't have )

If you wish to start a thread in Physics and math... titled

"Why can't we balance a pencil on it's pointed end?"
and go explore....and I'll join the thread as well...
(if I open the thread it will be moved with in two pages... hee hee)

The "point" being, if we are able to "perfectly" balance a pencil on it's sharpened tip we would have had to solve the paradox that generates inherent "movement", "spin", time, energy etc and I might add when extended to the inth, generates 4 dimensions generally.

"This doesn't change the fact that you were apparently surprised that relativity theory requires more than one "observer"…

No. What I was "surprised" about was that no one bothered to tell me the real reason (pairwise photon, or else bound electron change of state or acceleration type photon production) was the actual principle responsible for the need for a second observer.
Nobody told you that because it is a ludicrous idea. I'm sure you have some kind of half-baked engineering idea in your head, but this doesn't excuse your ignorance.

"Galilean" relativity does not feature a constant nor a limit of the speed of light. Velocities add. Time is the same for all observers. Truth be told Galileo never even heard of the term "relativity". It was literally all he could do to figure out that masses falling under the influence of gravity did so at a rate that was proportional to t^2.
Your ignorance on this subject is its own reward.
Yes, they called it "Galilean relativity" when I went to school too. The term is misleading. The concept is misleading. It really has no place in science. Must have been something dreamt up by a educator/facilitator or by one of those annoying "philosophy of science" folks. -- with only cursory apologies to QQ here.
Yeah, you really do a great job of showing how ignorance of science makes engineering cranks.

Danshawen as you know one of the challenges faced by persons who actually have a creative approach to Physics is to tolerate and otherwise deal with those who can't see past their own narrow view.
Physbang has no intention of supporting any of his accusations because, well , he can't. Too bored with the whole subject is my guess...

Question for Physbang,
To help demonstrate Danshawen's point about the need for at least two RF [as I understand him]

If you take a snap shot of the universe at any t=0 regardless of what RF you choose to take it from explain how the notion of relative time is valid? ( using only the information available from that snap shot )
then repeat the exercise for a second RF.

...take a few breaths...

now extend a little:

employ the scientific method,

Then make a comparison of the two RF's and derive Relative time WITHOUT making use of Absolute time to do so...

Claim:

"Under SRT absolute time [Space] is forbidden so therefore calculating relative time using absolute time is ridiculous."

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"… if delta t= 0 and d= 0 then all the above is moot as absolute space is proven by the theory that attempts to disprove it. And photons do not travel across space to begin with.
You see, the issue of extending the logic of Minkowski space can lead to all sorts of contradictions."

Agreed. I will admit, about the whole "light cone" thing -- I largely ignored it when I saw it first introduced in Taylor & Wheeler's space-time physics, over 40 years ago. When I saw it again, in Sean Carroll's "From Eternity to Here", it finally explained that every particle was in its own light cone. Then it simultaneously made sense to me for the first time, and made me question why the heck would someone put forth such a limited concept as that. It neither explains anything of substance, nor provides any means for extending the idea for deeper understanding of what is happening.

However, the existence of the Higgs Field, the Higgs mechanism, and the Higgs boson definitely does provide a means to extend and understand relativity, time and energy on a much deeper level. The vacuum interacts rather energetically with the matter immersed in it. That explains a lot, and this, if anything, is an understatement.

Dan, can you offer a description of what exists at the Center of gravity (mass) of any object?

To balance a pencil on it's tip means that all force (differentials) acting on the pencil, apart from the down ward one, (Gravity) have to be zero. You will find when you apply infinite reduction to any math used that it is actually impossible to find an absolute balance point. ( metastability ) Which will lead you to a surprising understanding about zero, inherent or pseudo perpetual movement. IMO

Zero [nihilo] happens to be the most important "non-value" this universe has (oops! doesn't have )
It hasn't yet come to me where you are coming from with your discussions that highlight the concept of zero. But maybe this time will be different. An answer to your request for a description of what exists at the center of gravity seems quite straight forward, though a little tricky for a layman to put into words that PhysBang will let pass. Would I be missing the point if I use a non-space time description to say what exists at the center of gravity is a location in space that represents the point where all of the net gravitational "downward" forces of all of the components exerting gravity within the volume of space under consideration would net out to zero at any given instant in time?

Further, the pencil analogy simply means to me that in any gravitational environment, there is a constant that can be added to the equations to make the pencil stand on end, but that is only a mathematical constant that would achieve the balance given the exact gravitational environment, the arrangement of matter, at an exact point in time; the constant would represent a mass necessary and the location of said mass that would solve the "balance" equation. A new math "fix" would be required for each instant that you want the pencil to stand on end, and that would require a new mass and location for that mass every instant as well. Such a constant is a "fix" to the reality that no gravitational environment can exist that allows a pencil to stand on end for more than an instant. The "why that is", again from the perspective of a simple layman" (I'm always tempted to say "simple pie man, for some reason, lol) (leave me alone PhysBang) is because the center of gravity is not a fixed point in space, but a point that is continually being refreshed as a result of the relative motion of the objects in the given volume of space. For practical purposes, they never arrange themselves in a way that will establish an enduring fixed center point.

The problem is similar to the vacuum energy density aka the cosmological constant that Einstein added to make the universe "steady state". The value of the cosmological constant is a fix to an otherwise dynamic universe that naturally wants to expand or contract, but will never be flat for more than a passing instant.

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@Physbang:You have not made any statement here that is:

1) specific enough to be of a constructively critical nature
2) disabused yourself of the same libelous assertions you constantly wield against others.

What exactly is wrong with you? It's like talking to an automated insult machine.

Gravity evidently is not about mass or matter. I don't care about the center of mass of a pencil, or any other body. Mass is an emergent property, just like space. Inertial mass doesn't happen without vacuum energy, which although randomized, can never be quite perfectly balanced in any direction, in any reference frame.

Gravity evidently is not about mass or matter. I don't care about the center of mass of a pencil, or any other body. Mass is an emergent property, just like space. Inertial mass doesn't happen without vacuum energy, which although randomized, can never be quite perfectly balanced in any direction, in any reference frame.
danshawen, do you know how to use the "quote" function that is available at the bottom right of all points. When you want to respond to a specific member, hit "Reply with Quote". You can then go in and select any portion of that members quote that you want to respond to, and you can delete any portion that you don't want to respond to. Otherwise it is hard to follow your posts, though they are generally interesting.

It hasn't yet come to me where you are coming from with your discussions that highlight the concept of zero. But maybe this time will be different. An answer to your request for a description of what exists at the center of gravity seems quite straight forward, though a little tricky for a layman to put into words that PhysBang will let pass. Would I be missing the point if I use a non-space time description to say what exists at the center of gravity is a location in space that represents the point where all of the net gravitational "downward" forces of all of the components exerting gravity within the volume of space under consideration would net out to zero at any given instant in time?

Further, the pencil analogy simply means to me that in any gravitational environment, there is a constant that can be added to the equations to make the pencil stand on end, but that is only a mathematical constant that would achieve the balance given the exact gravitational environment, the arrangement of matter, at an exact point in time; the constant would represent a mass necessary and the location of said mass that would solve the "balance" equation. A new math "fix" would be required for each instant that you want the pencil to stand on end, and that would require a new mass and location for that mass every instant as well. Such a constant is a "fix" to the reality that no gravitational environment can exist that allows a pencil to stand on end for more than an instant. The "why that is", again from the perspective of a simple layman" (I'm always tempted to say "simple pie man, for some reason, lol) (leave me along PhysBang) is because the center of gravity is not a fixed point in space, but a point that is continually being refreshed as a result of the relative motion of the objects in the given volume of space. For practical purposes, they never arrange themselves in a way that will establish an enduring fixed center point.

The problem is similar to the vacuum energy density aka the cosmological constant that Einstein added to make the universe "steady state". The value of the cosmological constant is a fix to an otherwise dynamic universe that naturally wants to expand or contract, but will never be flat for more than a passing instant.

ahhh I see you are starting to get the drift of what I have been alluding to for ages... but a little way to go yet, I think.
It is in the application of "reductio ad absurdium" or infinite reduction that allowed Heisenberg to come up with his Nobel winning HUP.
It is not a pseudo or partial infinite reduction but an absolute infinite reduction that I am referring to as did Heisenberg.
To say that a mass even fleeting is at the center of gravity allows us to further reduce by /2 and so on until you are left with the inevitable result that at exact COG is a self justifying zero, however once you get there there appears to be a surprise, which is why the fundamental paradox is present. It is able to be contended that this paradoxical state is anathema to an ordered universe which seeks at all times to resolve or reconcile a paradox that it can not reconcile. This leads to perpetual motion of all things and a perfectly balanced pencil being not possible as it would have to be at absolute rest. [nihilo or non-existent]

Would I be missing the point if I use a non-space time description to say what exists at the center of gravity is a location in space that represents the point where all of the net gravitational "downward" forces of all of the components exerting gravity within the volume of space under consideration would net out to zero at any given instant in time?

I think this image of a series of balloons indicating micro "mass" particles might help...

or

Suffice to say that I believe the COG for a pencil or any complex system is a Culmination of all G forces with in that pencil. It is not a specific particle but a floating zero point.
The COG of planet Earth for example is a culminate point of all gravitational particles generating a central point of attraction.

I think this image of a series of balloons indicating micro "mass" particles might help...

Suffice to say that I believe the COG for a pencil or any complex system is a Culmination of all G forces with in that pencil. It is not a specific particle but a floating zero point.
The COG of planet Earth for example is a culminate point of all gravitational particles generating a central point of attraction.
Understood. Agreed.

My view is of an infinite universe filled everywhere on a large scale, with big bang arenas continually interacting with each other in a big bang multiverse. On that basis there is no center of gravity, fixed or otherwise, and the concept of order being a fixed center is not applicable. There is order only to the extent that the natural laws apply everywhere, IMHO.

Understood. Agreed.

My view is of an infinite universe filled everywhere on a large scale, with big bang arenas continually interacting in a big bang multiverse. On that basis there is no center of gravity, fixed or otherwise, and the concept of order being a fixed center is not applicable. There is order only to the extent that the natural laws apply everywhere, IMHO.
From left field...
Your view of the Great Attractor is?
snip wiki: The Great Attractor is a gravity anomaly in intergalactic space within the range of the Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster that reveals the existence of a localized concentration of mass tens of thousands times that of the Milky Way. This mass is observable by its effect on the motion of galaxies and their associated clusters over a region hundreds of millions of light-years across.
My view is that it is the culminate COG zero point of this particular universe, observable ONLY by the effect it has on surrounding galaxies. A pseudo singularity.

You view of the Great Attractor is?
See the video in the link. That is how I view the GA that is present in our particular big bang arena.
My view is that it is the culminate COG zero point of this particular universe.
Ok, but my universe is the only one, meaning that all big bang arenas are in one greater infinite universe, free to interact with the neighboring arenas, and each likely has it's own great attractor. But since the universe is unbounded, and has expanding/overlapping arenas no matter where you look, there is no culminate COG, as I see it.

Maybe our different views make the "zero" unreconcilable between us .