[ExI] QT and SR

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sat Aug 30 06:14:04 UTC 2008

John Clark writes

> Lee writes
>> No, you *cannot* change anything on the other side of the
>> universe faster  than light. And to even use the word
>>"instantly" in your sentence displays  a lack of familiarity or
>> understanding of special relativity.
> We've been over this before, and in harping on this point I strongly
> suspect you are trying to imply a subtlety and vast understanding
> of this subject that in fact you do not have.

Not at all. I mean only to imply that I have superior knowledge
on this point to *you*. But don't that personally, because IMO
whenever anyone disagrees with anything someone has written,
he's making the same claim.

> If by "instantly" you mean changing matter or energy or information
> at a distance without a time delay then it's true, relativity says that
> is imposable and no experiment has ever contradicted it. However
> in the experiment I was referring to the thing that was changing
> was not composed of matter or energy or information; and don't
> ask me what it was composed of, the English language does not
> have a word for it.
> But clearly it is SOMETHING and that something changed; and the
> experimenters did not claim to prove that change occurred at
> infinite speed, but they did find a lower bound, 4 orders of
> magnitude faster than light.

What logic is there in that? If some effect *did* propagate
at lightspeed, then this would be of littler interest. Someone
is misinterpreting this result when claiming that there was a
cause in one place and an effect somewhere else, and this
effect followed just as if it had traveled at least at a
speed of 4 orders of magnitude faster than light.

In your email, I do see any concession to the fact that
there can be no causality involved (on the fairly obvious
and common convention that causality involves certain
events called "causes" which are followed in time by 
certain events called "effects".) Your repeated failure 
in this an other email conversations to simply and clearly
admit when you have misspoken or are incorrect has caused
you unnecessary discomfort, and a lot of superfluous
writing on my part and the parts of many other people.

>> Just memorize this: every elementary textbook on Relativity
>> Theory  dismantles the notion of simultaneity or "instant
>> changes" over space and  time.
> Thanks a bunch for the helpful hint but I have read that before,
> the first time when I was about 8 and read "The Big Boy's Book
> of Science".

Well---then do you or do you not retract having used the word
"instantly"---which conveys that two things happened at the same
time in different places? To recall, your words were

> > > You really can instantly change something on the other side
> > > of the universe, or at least do so better than 4 orders of
> > > magnitude faster than light.

(As an aside, my most honest and upright interlocutors on this
list never flinch at re-quoting their own exact words, and I see
here that you avoided doing so in your opening blast.)

> However unlike cold fusion events in this field have
> not remained static. After that book was published, especially
> after 1967, [I believe that the reference is to Tailor and
> Wheeler's excellent "Spacetime Physics"] things have
> happened that would lead me to believe that if a second edition
> of that fine volume were to come out today it might be wise to
> make a few revisions. At least put in a few "howevers" and
> maybe a "on the other hand" or two.

Well, I don't think so. *If* we are talking about the same book,
then it's mission was to explicate the Special and (a bit) the
General Theories of Relativity. These are untouched in my
opinion by any discoveries made since 1967.

Besides, just what discoveries are you talking about anyway?
Isn't this issue completely exemplified by the 1935 EPR paradox?

> You can try to sweep it under the rug all you want but it is
> now beyond dispute that things can change in ways that Relativity
> and even early Quantum Theory (before 1967) did not think possible.

Sorry---I do honestly beg forgiveness (hey, you should try it
sometime!) and regret that I have not carefully enough studied
your last posts to know what you are talking about (laziness
on my part). What things, in particular? (In effect, I ask
again below.)

(By the way, that is another *great* word that you should try
out sometime. It's "sorry". Many people have what must be a
genetic predisposition that cannot be overcome by any known
means which simply does not permit them to use this word.
It would be fascinating to see just which posters on this
list have *never* used it, and which have. I'll boast that
no one has used it more often, even correcting for the
volume of my posts, than have I.)

>> [MWI also offers an explanation that includes] no action at a distance
> Bullshit! Even if Hugh Everett's theory turns out to be 100% true
> it would be no help in explaining WHY a mass moves the way it does
> in a gravitational field. We can say it moves that way because
> Spacetime is curved...

Sorry. You misunderstood what I was saying, I think. (E.g., I should
have written this more clearly.) The phrase "action at a distance" was
used historically to include instantaneous action, and, as you know,
even Newton was aghast at the idea of action taking place distantly
with no intermediate changes in something. Hugh Everett's theory
concerns only quantum mechanics, and is silent about SR and GR
topics. No one ever claimed differently. This seems to be an
unwarranted supposition on your part. "No action at a distance"
is succinctly modeled by field theory, whereas all the standard
competitors to MWI demand---quite in excess of the usual quantum
theory---extreme action at a distance whereby the wave function

> and we can say how it is curved, but we can't say WHY matter
> does that to Spacetime. All we can say is "action at a distance".

No. Fields supply the counter to that, as was well-understood in
the 19th century. The effect of any field is supposed to be in accordance
with SR and limited by the speed of light. In fact, the very concept of
"field" may have evolved to eliminate the need for action at a distance.

> Nor can it explain why charged particles effect [affect] each
> other's motion at a distance, more "action at a distance".

Again, no. A charged particle creates an electric field that
emanates from it strictly at the speed of light (as you know),
and it's *that* which carries an effect (continuously through
space) where a further effect finally affects a distant object.
We have no current need for action at distance in any modern
physical theory.


> But that's OK, a good theory (and I think Everett's theory is good
> and perhaps even true) need not explain everything, a good theory
> just needs to explain something.

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