## Is inertia correlated to mass?

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### Is inertia correlated to mass?

Hi everybody,

When I was at school in the fifties, we were told that inertia was the result of bodies carrying mass. Nowadays, inertia has left half of its definition to the Higgs mechanism, which is only concerned with the resisting part of inertia, letting in limbo its motion one. I still believe that mass and motion are linked, and I even have a good reason to think so: I found a way for them to share the same mechanism. But before developing this idea, I want to make sure nobody is going to state that, according to the standard model, mass has nothing in common with motion.

If anybody thinks that, it is time to rise an objection to the marriage, otherwise he is asked to shut up for the rest of this thread! :)

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertia

I would recommend reading the entire article, especially the section on inertial mass.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Hi Brainivat,

Here is the part about mass that I was talking about:
"Physics and mathematics appear to be less inclined to use the popular concept of inertia as "a tendency to maintain momentum" and instead favor the mathematically useful definition of inertia as the measure of a body's resistance to changes in velocity or simply a body's inertial mass."

Mainstream has made a choice, as if it could not really support the idea that a resistance to a change in velocity had something to do with velocity. The idea I am about to develop needs that change and resistance to change share a common mechanism, otherwise it is better to stay with the Higgs' one. I had a problem with my motion mechanism on other forums, people refused to analyse it because it explained mass differently than the Higgs. This mechanism is about constant motion, but it also explains resistance to change direction or speed, which is a property of mass.

You referred me to wiki about inertia, but you did not say if you could accept my definition of inertia during this thread. Can you? After all, "appear to be less inclined" is not totally restrictive, is it?

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Inchworm,

I'd think that attempting to develop your theory is the way to go. While I'm skeptical that this particular idea will pan out, trying stuff like this is exactly how people learn.

Beyond that, my first thought is that quantum mechanics has momentum as the compliment of position, e.g. as in the common statement of the uncertainty principle,
$\large{{\sigma}_{x}{\sigma}_{p}{\ge}\frac{h}{4{\pi}}}$
where:
• ${\sigma}_{i}$ is the uncertainty in $i$;
• $x$ is position;
• $p$ is momentum;
• $h$ is Planck's constant.
I'm assuming that you understand the consequences of this, because if you don't, you've got a long, long ways to go. Still, every journey's gotta start somewhere, right?
Natural ChemE
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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

I have no objection to the idea that resistance to change in direction or speed is a property of mass and that they share a common mechanism other than Higgs.

One of my favorite models is Sciama's model of “inertial induction” which leads to an extra force when a mass accelerates with respect to other massive objects all within the gravitational background of the total mass of the universe.
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### Re: "Inertia" Inertia

I'm not yet a great fan of the Higgs model, but I applaud the ongoing investigations at CERN. I think sentiments toward "the" Higgs boson could face dilution if ever-higher energy collisions produce a few dozen very massive "Higgs class" particles.

Inchworm wrote:Here is the part about mass that I was talking about:
"Physics and mathematics appear to be less inclined to use the popular concept of inertia as "a tendency to maintain momentum" and instead favor the mathematically useful definition of inertia as the measure of a body's resistance to changes in velocity or simply a body's inertial mass."

I don't see much of a shift here. Nothing that would indicate a backing away from a physical law.

One potential problem with "a tendency to maintain momentum" is that when the velocity of a body is zero (in its rest frame), some might confuse zero momentum with no momentum. Those who interpret "no momentum" could mistakenly feel there is no momentum to change.

By focusing on "changes in velocity", the object's mass is separately and continuously recognized. Further, people more commonly relate change in velocity to acceleration. F= ma relates inertial mass to the force required to accelerate it.

The right question might be, since Einstein equated inertial mass and gravitational mass, do we really need to retain the term "inertia" at all? Mass is mass.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Inertia once seemed helpful to me, when I was understanding mass that was accelerated to relativistic speeds, but maybe it's really just better to speak just of the increase in mass from the perspective of the observer's frame of reference. Breaking it down, where is "inertia" ? Mass equals (in a composite particle) binding energy plus Higgs field resistance plus kinetic energy. Motion, in itself, says nothing about mass - it's collision that counts (like the old joke - falling won't hurt you, it's landing that's painful....). To measure kinetic energy means to convert kinetic energy, we don't know those mesons are more massive than expected until they strike our counter.

Regarding Sciama's model, and his efforts to revive Mach, it just seemed needlessly complicated to add another field, IIRC a sort of "special gravity." It would only be a workable physical explanation if the gravitational effects operated instantaneously.

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### Re: Inertia correlates to mass-energy

Braininvat wrote:Breaking it down, where is "inertia"?

You ask the right question, but it's simpler and clearer to stick with a fundamental particle, such as an electron (I love those little buggers!) Your reference gives:

"There is no measurable difference between gravitational mass and inertial mass. The gravitational mass is defined by the quantity of gravitational field material a mass possesses, including its energy. The "inertial mass" (relativistic mass) is a function of the acceleration a mass has undergone and its resultant speed. A mass that has been accelerated to speeds close to the speed of light has its "relativistic mass" increased, and that is why the magnetic field strength in particle accelerators must be increased to force the mass's path to curve. In practice, "inertial mass" is normally taken to be "invariant mass" and so is identical to gravitational mass without the energy component. ...

No physical difference has been found between gravitational and inertial mass in a given inertial frame. In experimental measurements, the two always agree within the margin of error for the experiment. ...

At high speeds, relativistic mass always exceeds gravitational mass. If the mass is made to travel close to the speed of light, its "inertial mass" (relativistic) as observed from a stationary frame would be very great while its gravitational mass would remain at its rest value, but the gravitational effect of the extra energy would exactly balance the measured increase in inertial mass.
"

The differential treatment of inertial and gravitational mass "at high speeds" is unnecessarily confusing! Jorrie and I wrestled (in a nice way) over this, a little while ago.

So, instead of my glib "Mass is mass.", it would have been better for me to say "Mass-energy is mass-energy." While physics seems to want to preserve the identity of a gravitational "rest mass"*, the bottom line is that a single gravitational field centers on a single point location. That point is referred to as the "particle", whether it has rest mass or relativistic mass. As far as the gravitational field is concerned, relativistic mass-energy is the same, inertial or gravitational.

*To be sure, "rest mass" (a.k.a. "mass") is always recoverable by entering the rest frame of the particle.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Natural ChemE » January 31st, 2016, 6:12 pm wrote:Inchworm,

I'd think that attempting to develop your theory is the way to go. While I'm skeptical that this particular idea will pan out, trying stuff like this is exactly how people learn.

Beyond that, my first thought is that quantum mechanics has momentum as the compliment of position, e.g. as in the common statement of the uncertainty principle,
$\large{{\sigma}_{x}{\sigma}_{p}{\ge}\frac{h}{4{\pi}}}$
where:
• ${\sigma}_{i}$ is the uncertainty in $i$;
• $x$ is position;
• $p$ is momentum;
• $h$ is Planck's constant.
I'm assuming that you understand the consequences of this, because if you don't, you've got a long, long ways to go. Still, every journey's gotta start somewhere, right?
Hi Natural ChemE,

I like your introduction, it's inviting! Yes I know the principles of quantum mechanics, but probably not as well as you do, especially the maths part. My idea also contains a probability effect, which is about the way massive particles succeed to change speed or direction despite their resistance to do so. I think it sheds a new light on the properties of particles, but as you say, new ideas are always uncertain, so lets try it and see what it has to offer.

Faradave wrote:The right question might be, since Einstein equated inertial mass and gravitational mass, do we really need to retain the term "inertia" at all? Mass is mass.

Yes, mass is mass, but my idea shows that it could be due to the way motion is induced at the particle scale, so it kind of fits the old definition of inertia.

Braininvat wrote:Mass equals (in a composite particle) binding energy plus Higgs field resistance plus kinetic energy.
The equivalence between mass and energy is actually one of the things that my idea explains more "mechanically" than usual.

Ok, lets get to the point: this idea is about the constancy of information carried by light inducing small constant steps between bonded sources of light, for instance atoms. As a mind experiment, let's consider two bonded atoms that exchange some kind of light they produce constantly by mutual induction. I assume that this light carries the information for the distance and the strength of the bond, and that it stays within the two atoms if their bond parameters do not change. Now, if we push the first one towards the second one, it will move before the information from this move will have traveled to the second one, and once it has, the second one will then also move while the first one will have stopped moving, or might even have begun moving backwards, if we have stopped pushing it.

Those atoms have to keep at the same distance from one another all the time, so if one of them gets pushed and the information takes time to travel, to my opinion, it should induce very precise small time shifted steps between them, what would induce indefinitely their motion in the direction of the initial push if light travels straight line once it is emitted by one of them. To help the imagination, I add that the steps between two bonded atoms would be time shifted the same way our own steps have to be made one after the other to produce the motion of our body as a whole, or more precisely as the steps an inchworm does, whose feet stay inline during their steps instead of passing one beside the other.

The steps are made to follow the light pulses, so their frequency has to stay constant, which means that if the push is stronger or longer, only their length or their direction can change. This way, mass is the result of the steps resisting to change their length or their direction when accelerated from the outside. You probably have noticed that this mechanism does not explain the mass of each atom taken separately, but it does if you extrapolate it to the bond between their own components, which means that during the time an atom makes a step toward the other, their components make billions of them toward one another, thus justifying very precisely the longer step of the atom they are part of.

I usually use doppler effect as the information that produces the steps, but again, I had problems with people not accepting that an effect due to relative motion could suddenly become a cause for the same motion. I personally find more interesting to discuss the fact that it cannot explain the mass of the electron since it is not supposed to carry components. On the other hand, it explains mechanically mass increase and mass/energy equivalence: mass increase being due to the steps having a beginning and an end thus having a top speed in the middle that cannot exceed the speed of the information that induce them, and mass/energy equivalence being due to the steps being induced by light, so the more the bond between the particles is short, the more light intensity is important, and the more the resistance they offer to be accelerated towards that light.

The principle of the longer steps being driven by the shorter steps between the components imply that some light has to escape from the components to produce the steps of the particle they are part of, which would only be possible when the steps are accelerated, thus when they change lengths or directions, and this is exactly what happens to the steps between the components since they have to increase and decrease in length billions of times during the execution of the longer sinusoïdal step they are part of. Some light should also escape from the steps when they get accelerated in a particle accelerator, and this is precisely what we observe. There are a lot of other points to be discussed, but I will let everybody decide which one he is interested in.
Last edited by Inchworm on February 1st, 2016, 4:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Sorry, doublon!

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Thanks, Farad, I want to go back and watch your rassling with Jorrie again (a thread I started, then neglected, my bad...). I appreciate your "mass-energy" coinage.

Inchworm, I don't quite understand what your basic theoretical framework is here...your terminology is so casual that it's a bit mystifying.

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### Re: An Inch at a Time, Please.

I'm also having trouble understanding. We don't need to tackle the whole theory at once.

Inchworm wrote:I assume that this light carries the information for the distance and the strength of the bond, and that it stays within the two atoms if their bond parameters do not change.

My impression is that "light" is ordinarily considered the transmission of energy quanta associated with transitions by electrons from a higher to lower atomic (or molecular) orbitals. The information they carry relates to the energy difference of those orbitals. In addition, information about the trajectory of the light, its polarity (orientation of EM oscillation) and the motion of the emitter relative to the absorber can often be surmised.

I'm not sure how this relates to two atoms sharing a covalent bond (to become a molecule). A disturbance can indeed be transmitted from atom to atom in a molecule, but this is not usually considered in terms of light.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Sorry for going too fast guys, let me try again.

I think that the principle is going to be easier to understand if we use two identical cars instead of two atoms. Let us imagine two cars on a straight road one km away from one another and heading in the same direction. Let us put a source of sound waves and a detector on each car, and a mechanism to detect doppler effect and to accelerate or decelerate the cars as soon as it detects some. What will happen if we force a first car to accelerate towards the other for one second while both are emitting continuously the same frequency?

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### Re: Acceleration is Relative

That's better.

Inchworm wrote:What will happen if we force a first car to accelerate towards the other ... while both are emitting continuously the same frequency?

A increasing frequency observed by both car receivers during the acceleration phase of either toward the other.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Yes, but not at the same time. The detector on the first car will immediately detect doppler effect, but it will take a while for the sound to reach the second car. What will the mechanism on the first car do when it begins to detect it, and what will it do when its forced acceleration will have stopped?

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### Re: Finite Flight

Both cars emit and receive signals which have a finite propagation speed.

The car which accelerates (changes reference frames) will immediately receive a corresponding frequency change (in the direction of acceleration). It will also immediately reflect an identical change in its emission. The non-accelerating car will detect these changes, with an expected propagation delay.

Frequencies will stabilize as acceleration goes to zero, with the same sequence. That's immediately for the car changing reference frames (to a new, higher velocity). The non-accelerating car will observe stabilization (at a new, higher frequency), after the expected propagation delay.

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### Re: Finite Flight

Faradave » February 2nd, 2016, 6:03 pm wrote:Both cars emit and receive signals which have a finite propagation speed.
Exact!

The car which accelerates (changes reference frames) will immediately receive a corresponding frequency change (in the direction of acceleration). It will also immediately reflect an identical change in its emission. The non-accelerating car will detect these changes, with an expected propagation delay.
Also exact, but with an important addition: as soon as it detects doppler effect, the car who suffers a forced acceleration will resist to move, because its mechanism is designed to nullify doppler effect. However, if the force is sufficient, it will nevertheless be forced to move.

Frequencies will stabilize as acceleration goes to zero, with the same sequence. That's immediately for the car changing reference frames (to a new, higher velocity).
Right, as soon as the force stops, the car will stop by its own power.

The non-accelerating car will observe stabilization (at a new, higher frequency), after the expected propagation delay.
It depends on what you mean by stabilization. If you mean that it will accelerate and decelerate to stay synchronized with the sound waves, I agree. But it means that it will produce doppler effect on the sound that it emits backwards to the first car, which will force it to step forward once again to nullify it, what will produce again doppler effect in the direction of the second car, and so on as long as their mechanism works. Notice that it's the resistance to get unsynchronized that induces the steps, thus the motion, a resistance that we call mass in the case of atoms. Do you see any flaw in the reasoning?

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Inchworm wrote:its mechanism is designed to nullify doppler effect

You lost me here. If it's your theoretical mechanism, it needs to be explained.

Inchworm wrote:as soon as the force stops, the car will stop by its own power

That's what Aristotle said. Newton said otherwise in his first law. As soon as the force stops, the acceleration stops, not the velocity. No power or energy is involved at that point.

Inchworm wrote:what you mean by stabilization. If you mean that it will accelerate and decelerate to stay synchronized with the sound waves, I agree.

That's not what I (nor any physics reference) mean. When force stops, the acceleration stops and the frequencies of both cars stop shifting. The sounds become stable at a frequency, Doppler shifted to match the final relative velocity between the cars. The car that had no acceleration will sense the stabilization after a propagation delay:
delay = separation/propagation speed.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

I realize that I haven't been clear enough about the mechanism. If the cars can detect doppler effect, it is only to be able to stay synchronized with the sound waves by means of small physical steps, thus, when the second car detects blueshift on the first car's sound, its motor accelerates forward, and when the first one detects redshift on that second car's sound, its motor also accelerates forward. There is a time gap between the two cars, so they don't make their steps at the same time. The information from the initial acceleration is thus remembered in the wave between the two cars, not in the cars themselves.

It is true that the first car will go on moving for a while after the initial acceleration has stopped, but its mechanism will also force it to decelerate until it detects no more blueshift, so it will stop if no new information comes from the second car that it has moved away from it. While one car is moving, the other car is not. As a system, the cars are moving at constant speed, but not individually. Is it clearer?
Last edited by Inchworm on February 4th, 2016, 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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### Re: Park Ranger

Inchworm wrote:when the second car detects blueshift on the first car's sound, its motor accelerates forward

Not if the second car is parked (and turned off, and the engine removed, and out of gas)! Its detector is in no way controlling the car's velocity. No car at all is needed to detect Doppler shift.

Inchworm wrote:The information from the initial acceleration is thus remembered in the wave between the two cars, not in the cars themselves.

It may be argued that the energy of the transmitted wave depends entirely on the relative velocity between emitter and receiver.

Inchworm wrote:after the initial acceleration has stopped, but its mechanism will also force it to decelerate ... Is it clearer?

Honestly, no. An object will retain its velocity unless acted upon by an external force.

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### Re: Park Ranger

Faradave » February 4th, 2016, 1:47 pm wrote:
Inchworm wrote:when the second car detects blueshift on the first car's sound, its motor accelerates forward

Not if the second car is parked (and turned off, and the engine removed, and out of gas)! Its detector is in no way controlling the car's velocity. No car at all is needed to detect Doppler shift.
The detector is only meant to adjust the car velocity to each incoming sound wave. It can adjust very precisely. It can accelerate and decelerate at each incoming wave.

Inchworm wrote:The information from the initial acceleration is thus remembered in the wave between the two cars, not in the cars themselves.

It may be argued that the energy of the transmitted wave depends entirely on the relative velocity between emitter and receiver.
Do you mean that doppler effect is not a kind of memory? Even if motion is relative, how could we measure speed at a distance if it wasn't a kind of memory?

Inchworm wrote:after the initial acceleration has stopped, but its mechanism will also force it to decelerate ... Is it clearer?

Honestly, no. An object will retain its velocity unless acted upon by an external force.
Maybe my English is not accurate enough, I use to speak french. The cars are not only massive bodies, they carry their own power and their own energy, and they can thus accelerate or decelerate on demand. Their mechanism only helps them to stay at the same distance from one another all the time even if sound is not instantaneous, nothing else. From our viewpoint, their distance changes, but not from theirs since they automatically move to nullify doppler effect. It's only a mind experiment, it's not perfect, but I find it logical. Not you?

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### Re: Cruise Control

Inchworm wrote:The detector is only meant to adjust the car velocity to each incoming sound wave. It can adjust very precisely. It can accelerate and decelerate at each incoming wave.

My mistake! Apologies. I looked back at your post and you did specify that the detector controls the car! So, your English is OK, mine needs some work.

(However, I don't see how this will relate to particles.) And my point remains that red and blue shift can be detected by a stationary detector, if the emitter changes velocity. But we can proceed with your example.

I don't understand what the rules are for the control mechanism. If a detector picks up a blue shift, will it slow down? (I believe you answer below.)

Inchworm wrote:Do you mean that doppler effect is not a kind of memory?

What if you have one emitter and two detectors? One detector could be moving toward the emitter and one detector moving away from the emitter. They each see different frequencies ("memories"). If a detector moves away at greater than the speed of sound, it gets no signal.

With light (and any EM signal), no massive particle can outrun it but different particles will see different frequency shifts. That means that a light quantum does not have an absolute frequency or energy. Energy and frequency are relative. So, we can't for example look at a single photon and say, "this came from hydrogen". That kind of information comes from looking at a collection of photons and how their energies compare to each other. Those relationships between photons do carry information that could be considered "memory".

Inchworm wrote:Even if motion is relative, how could we measure speed at a distance if it wasn't a kind of memory?

In systems such as police radar, a signal (of known frequency) originates from the (usually stationary) police car, travels to the traveling car and is reflected back to the police car. A change in the frequency of the returning signal indicates the traveling car's relative speed. This can be adjusted to account for approach speed (blue shift), separation speed (red shift) and distance (how long it takes the signal to make the round trip, divided by propagation speed).

Inchworm wrote:Their mechanism only helps them to stay at the same distance from one another all the time even if sound is not instantaneous, nothing else.

I did not understand this from the earlier posts.

Inchworm wrote:...they automatically move to nullify doppler effect.

This is also an important qualification. I can see now, that is what you were referring to. I would emphasize these last two points in the beginning, if you need to present this model elsewhere.

A system like that, allowing for small oscillations, relating to mechanical delays, would tend to reflect in both cars, any force applied to either one. Such systems are often referred to as "servo mechanisms". Many cars use this in their cruise control feature.

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### Re: Cruise Control

Faradave » February 5th, 2016, 12:22 am wrote: ... your English is OK, mine needs some work.
Thanks for spotting the mistake, I could not find exactly what was going wrong.

I don't understand what the rules are for the control mechanism. If a detector picks up a blue shift, will it slow down?
A blue shift will accelerate a car away from the sound, which will always be the case for the leader, and a redshift will accelerate it towards the sound, which will always be the case for the follower.

Inchworm wrote:Do you mean that doppler effect is not a kind of memory?

What if you have one emitter and two detectors? One detector could be moving toward the emitter and one detector moving away from the emitter. They each see different frequencies ("memories").
When measuring the speed of stars from a detector on earth, we can differentiate the doppler effect produced by the stars from the one the different motions the earth produces. If the detector was on the moon, we could do the same and obtain the same speeds for the same stars. But my example is simpler than that, there is only two cars and they cannot acquire an individual speed. Once a car gets a speed, the other one gets the same after the information has traveled between the two.

Those relationships between photons do carry information that could be considered "memory".
Good, this will help us with the next step.

Inchworm wrote:...they automatically move to nullify doppler effect.

This is also an important qualification. I can see now, that is what you were referring to. I would emphasize these last two points in the beginning, if you need to present this model elsewhere.
Thanks for the information! I know precision isn't my force, but I do not always pay enough attention to that.

A system like that, allowing for small oscillations, relating to mechanical delays, would tend to reflect in both cars, any force applied to either one. Such systems are often referred to as "servo mechanisms". Many cars use this in their cruise control feature.
Yes, it can be considered as a servo mechanism that uses sound to keep the two cars at the same distance from one another, which brings us to a specific problem: synchronization. How to be sure that the two emitters will stay synchronized after a while without using a faster than sound device to synchronize them? Will they stay sync just because their mechanism is designed to do so? You will probably notice that I am anticipating the problem that we will have with atoms.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

J'ai un douleur dans mon cerveau! Au secours!

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Your brain is too heavy Baininvat, your spine is probably pressurizing it. :^)

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

A blueshift will accelerate a car away from the sound, which will always be the case for the leader, and a redshift will accelerate it towards the sound, which will always be the case for the follower.
I realize that this wording is unclear, I should have written away or towards the "sound source" instead of the "sound" itself.

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

Depends on where you are going with your model.

:-)

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

I show how inertia could be correlated to resistance to change, thus how our resistance to change our ideas could be correlated to their acquisition, so look out Braininvat, I guess I'm aiming straight where you had your headache! :^)

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### Re: Is inertia correlated to mass?

I went through your thread Faradave, and I found your presentation very interesting, but unfortunately, I have to admit that I do not believe that moving clocks run slow. Of course, one of the reasons is that I do not agree with the way the light clock mind experiment is being carried out, but more importantly, the idea that I am developing here needs that atoms act to stay synchronized, and succeed to do so unless they get accelerated inertially, reason why they resist such a change.

I like the way you discuss my idea, so I hope you will continue even if I cannot discuss yours. You said that "In systems such as police radar, a signal (of known frequency) originates from the (usually stationary) police car, travels to the traveling car and is reflected back to the police car. A change in the frequency of the returning signal indicates the traveling car's relative speed." May I bring to your attention that, if the traveling car had a radar source of the same frequency and same phase as the police car, there would be no need for the police car to send its signal, only to compare it to the incoming one.

If you can now accept that my two cars could proceed with small steps to stay synchronized, then how about transposing that principle to two atoms?

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### Re: Gearing down

Inchworm wrote:unfortunately, I have to admit that I do not believe that moving clocks run slow.

Einstein began with universal speed limit c and derived SR, including time dilation. His light clock thought experiment is rightfully famous because it is so elegant. It uses the theorem of Pythagoras, which nearly every teenager is capable of grasping.

I merely pointed out that one can also derive SR with time dilation as a starting point. It's otherwise equivalent to Einstein's own derivation. The same could be done with length contraction or relativity of simultaneity.

Einstein's reputation continues to grow today (e.g. gravitational waves) though he died in 1955. You may do as you like with your theory but understand the burden on you to disprove time dilation or provide another mechanism which exactly mimics it. If there is such an explanation, it's unlikely to be as elegant as the light clock.

Inchworm wrote:[Doppler shift] if the traveling car had a radar source of the same frequency and same phase as the police car, there would be no need for the police car to send its signal, only to compare it to the incoming one. ... transposing that principle to two atoms

So far so good. I can understand that a servo mechanism could be devised to control to maintain two traveling cars within a range. How will you invoke such a mechanism with tiny particles?

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