[ExI] QT and SR

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 24 01:41:02 UTC 2008


I want to thank everyone who participated in this discussion, Lee, who
started it, Damien, Stefano, Mike, Scerir, and John.  Particularly
John, who stuck to his guns and spent some time and effort
provoking/inviting me to dig deeper and explore this  delightfully
fascinating stuff.   I had a grand ol' time.

Everything I've googled up suggests that the string breaks.  I'm
studyin' the math used by the folks who have an opinion on this
matter, and I will likely remain skeptical until the math makes sense
to me.  Tentatively, I'm thinking that as John suggests it's a General
Relativity issue with the acceleration of the two ships the source of
the increase in the intervening distance.

I wish we could all get together for pizza and intoxicants and really
hash this out.  Call me a geek, but that's my idea of a great party.
Perhaps when virtual worlds become a bit more user friendly,


that will be possible (BYOP&I).

Youse guys went real easy on me, if Eugen had shown up I'd probably be
smartin' somethin' fierce. {;-)

Best, Jeff Davis

      "We don't see things as they are,
             we see them as we are."
                        Anais Nin

On Sat, Aug 23, 2008 at 10:00 AM, John K Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> "Jeff Davis" <jrd1415 at gmail.com>
>> I cannot compete with Mr. Bell's rep on this matter, nor can I agree
>> with  him.  So I'm screwed.
> You're not screwed. I think you would agree that if relativity is
> consistent and the string breaks in one point of view it must break in
> them all.
> So let's forget about the string for the moment and just imagine
> observing 2 distant spaceships at rest relative to you in the night sky
> 90 degrees apart. Suddenly at the same instant (from your point of
> view) both start accelerating to the same very high speed in the
> same direction. The apparent distance between spaceships does not
> change, but imagine if it did; 90 degrees of the night sky would start
> to contract to a point even though neither you nor any of the trillions
> of stars in that part of the sky changed their motion one bit.
> Obviously it's crazy that now we can only see 270 degrees of the
> universe because of what two distant spaceships did. In the real
> world particles really do accelerate up to very high velocities but the
> night sky does not behave in this chaotic fashion. If you trained a
> very powerful telescope on each individual spaceship you would find
> they have contracted in the direction of motion, but not the distance
> between them.
> Now forget the spaceships and just observe a string moving very
> fast, it will contract in the direction of motion just like spaceships;
> put these two things together and you can only have a broken string.
> I admit it's a little more difficult to see that the string must break
> from the point of view of the spaceships, especially the trailing ship.
> I think much of the confusion comes from using terms and reasoning
> appropriate for Special Relativity but don't work at all for General
> Relativity, and in this thought experiment things are accelerating
> so it's General Relativity's gig.
> Although it can be a useful approximation if things don't become too
> extreme there really is no such thing as an "accelerating frame of
> reference". For example, an observer on the lead ship will know
> with certainty that he is accelerating and know the direction it is
> occurring, he will note that the following spaceship is keeping up
> with him so it must be accelerating too. According to the equivalence
> principle this is the same as neither spaceship having an engine and
> both are just sitting on the surface of the Earth, one at sea level and
> the other on top of a small hill. The lead spaceship must be deeper
> into that gravitational well (the one at sea level), so when he looks
> at the clock in the following spaceship (the one on the hill) he will
> find that clock running faster than his own.
>> alas, the time lag thing upon which Johns argument is built is merely the
>>  plain vanilla time lag of information transmitted by
>> speed of light EM, and can be disposed of with a mere wisp of
>> effort.
> Einstein's made his breakthrough in Relativity not through mathematical
> skill but because his intuition told him that this "time lag" was not an
> artifact of the particular commutation system used but a fundamental
> property of the universe. It is all very well to say that "the instant I
> started moving the fellow at the other end of the string told me he's not
> moving,
> but "really" he is moving"; but this "reality" can never be
> confirmed. Einstein's intuition said this "time delay" was saying
> exactly what it seemed to be saying, everything came from that.
> John K Clark
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