Lincoln wrote:Without the tiniest shred of doubt Special Relativity theory implies spatial contraction, not just object length contraction.
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(P.S. Dr. Lincoln is far too stuffy. Don will do.)
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Lincoln wrote:I will read, absorb and answer, but first require clarification. I expect that you have used some language in a sloppy manner. Either that, or we already have deviated from special relativity.
Specifically in point 1, you state that you are accelerating at high velocity. These two terms cannot be used in this context. Further, acceleration is outside the purview of SR. Ditto in point 2.
The short response to point 3 is yes, SR says exactly that (at least sort of). But I await your clarifications before I further respond.
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Lincoln wrote:Hi....
First some minor details. As I may have mentioned to BioWizard, the months of March through May will require me to focus my efforts on some critical equipment refurbishment. Thus I will have fewer waking moments for this debate.
Now back to your points. To use SR in an accelerating reference frame is always a bit dangerous and frequently not done. Nontheless, as you pointed out, one can solve some carefully-designed problems using SR and acceleration. Since I had not done such a problem for a while, it took a little longer to do the calculation than a standard one might have.
Further you use the word intuitive rather liberally. Intuition is not an extraordinarily good guide. It is possible to generate a relativistic intuition and many physicists have. So you really can't use intuition as an supporting principle. Measurement and consistency of theory are the only true arbiters between different world views.
For your point 1, ./...................................................................................................................
In any event, for any gamma above that threshold, yes, I think the distance shortens with increasing acceleration. Below that threshold, you get increasing distances in both frames.
For point 3, I guess I concur, with the amplification that the lorentz contraction is only in the direction of motion. Thus the universe is still infinite in the transverse direction. So the volume is clearly decreased due to lorentz contraction, but not to the degree that you suggest.
Your point 2 is described with insufficient precision to solve. While your basic point is quite understandable, I await a more precisely defined problem. For instance you do not define specify the relative directions of your 0.866 c and 0.9 c.
I also am uncertain as to the need for two velocities for the point you are attempting to make.
Further, at least one of your numbers (accelerating at 1 g for 12 days bringing you to a distance of 3% of a light year) is, I believe, wrong.
Such an acceleration over the specified time will bring the speed of the object to 3%c, while the distance covered is more like 0.05% of a light year. Given the small velocities in the problem, you can do this calculation using simple Newtonian dynamics. In any event, tighten the definition of the problem and I'll take another look at it.
Finally, your analogy to other readers is a bit weak. It presupposes no lorentz contraction effects and therefore posits non-uniform light speed. You need to describe how the wavelength and frequency of light is affected by the non-constancy of the speed of light, in order to see how they would be manifested in interferometer experiments.
What precisely is it that offends you about relativity?
The time dilation is essentially trivial to establish experimentally.
The constancy of the speed of light is less so.
The lorentz contraction is established (even pre-Einstein) by the null result of Michelson-Morley experiment.
I am attempting to translate a more modern example of lorentz contraction from recent heavy-ion data, but the calculation and comparison to experimental results will take some additional work, as I do not have access to the most modern data in the most useful format. Additional massaging will be required.
The really fundamental insight into relativty and its most interesting property is that each and every object is always travelling through spacetime (not space) at the speed of light. The more velocity it has in space, the less velocity it has in time. And that's the fundamental crux of the whole thing. This idea requires a more sophisticated mathematical structure...the so-called 4-momentum formulation. But from it one can easily see that everything that bothers non-physicists about relativity comes from the equivalence of space and time and the constancy of the speed of light in spacetime. It even explains why the maximum speed is the speed of light. Now specifically why the speed of light has the numeric value it does, well that's an unanswered question. But not an interesting one for the context of this debate.
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:shock: :DLincoln wrote:Bad physicist! Bad! No donuts for you!
However, one thing I do know is the following. ....................................................
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There is no way that relativity would predict such a stupid thing.
Lincoln wrote:First I am sure that SR does not apply to the edge of the universe.
No fair. Perhaps we must withhold donuts from you too.....
Secondly, unless I made a mistake, the orbital velocity of the Earth is about 30 km/s. The speed of light is 3E8 m/s. So the orbital velocity change is not 0.001, but rather 0.0001.
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