There is so much mystique, and so much elegant mathematics attached to Dr. Einstein’s ideas that for one to even hint in the presence of most physical scientists that there is a flaw in Relativity is like standing on a street in Vatican City and averring, “Jesus was a Zealot leader.” Saying that the “no-speed-faster-than-light” dictum has a definite limitation in application is tantamount to heresy. The reader is, therefore, being warned that the following essay will have some comments that are not, as yet, accepted in the “scientific community,” so, if they wish to say, “This is just another crank,” and sign out now, be my guest….
For over a hundred years, Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity-now called the Special Theory of Relativity, after he generalized his ideas from moving “frames of reference” to accelerated frames of reference-has been treated as “fact” by the scientific establishment. It is long since time that his ideas were reexamined to determine to what extent the conclusions are indeed fact, and to what extent they have been misapplied.
Let us look at statements of Dr. Einstein’s two basic premises in a couple of different ways and see what happens.
Premise 1. There is for every observer a frame of reference in which the normal laws of physics hold true. (This is, I am sure, not an exact translation of his original wording, but should carry the original intent.)
Premise 2. There is no possible speed greater than the speed of light. Nothing can move faster than the speed of light. (Again, undoubtedly not an exact translation; but it is the way that the second premise is generally understood.)
Now, looking from a different viewpoint, we can write two statements which make essentially the same point.
Statement 1. All information coming to a receiver from a transmitter which is not in motion with respect to the receiver will not be distorted during transmission. (Things that are in the same frame of reference are not moving with relation to one another.)
Statement 2. No information can be transmitted at a velocity greater than the speed of light. No information nor energy can be transmitted at beyond the speed of light. (The fastest carrier wave of information and energy of which we have any knowledge is electromagnetic radiation.)
What we have done in the above is to restate Dr. Einstein’s premises in the form of statements having to do with the transfer of information. Having done this, we can see clearly that the ideas are clearly fact as related to information transfer.
The next stage is wherein the mathematical equations relating “rest values” -that is, the values of any measurement made wherein objects are not moving with relation to one another-and, “relativistic values”-the values that measurements will apparently have when they are transmitted between transmitter/receiver pairs that are in motion with respect to one another. These equations accurately portray the distortion that will occur in such cases; but, can be misinterpreted and misapplied. These equations are all of the following form:
A*=A/(1-v^2/c^2)^1/2, where, “A*” is the “Relativistic Value.” “A” is the “rest” value. “v” is the relative velocity between transmitter and receiver, and “c” is a constant, the speed of light in a vacuum. These equations become meaningless when “v” is equal to or greater than “c.” The “Relativistic Value” becomes “Infinite.”
The term, “Infinite,” is usually interpreted, erroneously, as, “Totally beyond all measurement.” What it should be interpreted as is, “Not measurable by the assumptions were are making, or the tools we are using.” The first interpretation leads to such ideas as, “The mass of an object moving at the speed of light is ‘Infinite.'” The more correct statement would be, “The mass of an object moving with respect to an observer cannot be measured accurately by any means of which we are aware. ” Another correct statement would be. ” If an attempt is made to accelerate an object to beyond the speed of light with energy supplied from an external source, the effect of attempting to transmit energy at the speed of light will make the object appear to have ‘infinite mass.'” The mass of the object will not have been changed, its “apparent mass” is changed by the problems of information/energy transmission.
Since equations of the form cited above can be generalized by inserting other “carrier wave” velocities in place of the speed of light, the Einsteinian Relativity ideas can be applied to an unlimited number of what could be called “Perceptual Universes” which could be defined by a particular viewpoint and a particular maximum velocity of information transfer. One could use the basic ideas in Sonar Research, in research having to do with nerve impulses, and possibly in many other ways. Einstein’s work is totally valid as long as we are talking about information/energy transfer.
There are, however, several misinterpretations which seem to be pervasive in the scientific community. One is that “relativistic values” are taken as having total reality. Relativistic effects at a receiver may be the same as if they were “real.” However, if we consider the “real” facts as those measured closest to the origin, we can see that “relativistic values” are distortions.
Another pervasive misuse is the application of the “no-speed-greater-than-light dictum to the relative motion of freely moving bodies, and to the maximum velocity along a predetermined vector which a moving object might attain. A few moments of reflection should show any thinking person that application of the dictum to these cases is almost surely arrant nonsense. However, these two misinterpretations seem to be generally accepted.
Dr. Einstein, himself, does not seem to have realized that his work more properly belonged on the area of information theory than in physics. The extension of “Special Relativity” to accelerated systems resulting in General Relativity, has the same problems related to the misuse of the ideas to systems/situations wherein information/energy transfer is either unnecessary or impossible.
[The Space/Time model can, also, be related to “Information theory.” If one wishes to identify exactly a happening, one must tell “where” and “when.” In mathematical terms one must identify the happening in three dimensions of space and one dimension of measured sequence. If one is unsure of a location in three-dimensional space, one can “triangulate” it from three known points. Having done this, one would yet have to locate this point with reference to a sequence. Now if you don’t have any reference points to start with you can do what Einstein apparently did, he simply set up three dimensions (vectors) for each of his unknown reference points, then added another dimension to each, converting his “3-D vectors into “Tensors.” Having done so, he said that he could describe Space/Time with nine tensors. (More recently, Hawkings, et al, in String Theory, talk about a ten-dimensional universe. Presumably, this “10-D-Universe” is based on the same idea, as nine “tensors” would add up to ten dimensions.)]
In summary, Einstein’s work is totally valid when applied to cases wherein information or energy is necessarily transmitted/received. It has no apparent validity in cases wherein such transfer cannot take place.
Just because something cannot be readily measured does not mean that it is impossible.