Ellen Stuttle

Knowledge vs. Dogma - "Infinitesimal"

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Naomi sounds best here when writing about physics. For what that's worth from me. She seems to know what she's talking about. So does Dennis. But what can you say about theorectical mathematical physics when many of its biggest brains square off against each other on the most exalted topics? Consider Einstein. What needs explaining that only his Relativity theories explain and what does he explain that doesn't need Relativity--that is, that simply comes along with the Relativity ride? To get at Einstein one needs to get at the former because if the previously unexplainable by Newtonian physics--previous to Einstein and still(?) unexplained--can be explained afterall then he goes the way of Sigmund Freud. The only other way failing that would be a new replacement theory, not just Newtonian physics. Petr, I think--if I recall correctly--stated for instance that e=mc squared doesn't need Relativity to be valid or to be derived from and wasn't. So x Relativity it's still there.

--Brant

Einstein did not seek to explain any particular observation when he created relativity theory. What he set out to do was to unify Newtonian Mechanics and Gravity with Maxwell's Electromagnetism. Relativity has several theoretical advantages over ether theories:

1) The principle of relativity, which is an extension of the principle of galilean relativity. The principle of galilean relativity states that the laws of mechanics are the same in every inertial reference frame. Einstein's principle of relativity states that all the laws of physics are the same in every inertial reference frame, including Maxwell's equations. In Ether theories, Maxwell's equations would have to be modified for reference frames that are in motion with respect to the ether, which makes things unnecessarily more complicated.

2) In ether theories, length contraction and time dilation for motion through the ether have to be postulated in order for the theory to remain consistent with experiment, whereas in SR, they can be derived from the principle of relativity.

3) Ether theories meet with serious complications when you try to extend them to include gravity. Einstein's tower gedanken experiment proves that any unaccelerated reference frame on the surface of the Earth fails to be inertial. Special relativity gets around this problem by postulating that freely falling observers in a uniform gravitational field are inertial observers (taking the first step toward general relativity). This means that any experiment performed in deep space by an unaccelerated observer far from any source of gravity would have the exact same outcome as an experiment performed on a space station in orbit around the Earth. But ether theories can't be extended in the same way, because that would mean that observers that accelerate through the ether (as they orbit the Earth) would have to be equivalent (in the sense that they preserve the laws of mechanics) to observers that move with a constant velocity through the ether, which is nonsensical.

4) The whole reason that a preferred frame was introduced in the first place was to account for the invariance of the speed of light in Maxwell's theory. Seeing as how Einstein's principle of relativity simply assumes that the speed of light is the same for all inertial observers, it eliminates any need for a preferred frame right from the start.

These are the reasons that Relativity theory is preferred to ether theories, even when they make completely equivalent experimental predictions.

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I like Maxwell, he invented things.

I get Newton, also an inventor; I get Maxwell.

I don't get Einstein. So far I don't understand what's necessary about his explanations. He strikes me as one level of abstraction too far: explanations of explanations, but Galt's motor isn't coming out the other end. It's not that such has to, but it makes one wonder.

--Brant

but at least I have other redeeming qualities

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Adam,

Does the image in post #96 come from a movie?

It's an image I think I've seen from a movie I think I've seen, but I don't remember what movie.

Ellen

I assume you meant Greg...correct?

Huh?

Greg identified the movie, but......?

Ellen

I misunderstood - no biggie.

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Adam,

Does the image in post #96 come from a movie?

It's an image I think I've seen from a movie I think I've seen, but I don't remember what movie.

Ellen

I assume you meant Greg...correct?

Huh?

Greg identified the movie, but......?

Ellen

I misunderstood - no biggie.

It's Olson Wells in Citizen Kane. Kane is appauding his mistress's bad singing after paying for her vanity performance.

--Brant

~Rosebud~

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I like Maxwell, he invented things.

I get Newton, also an inventor; I get Maxwell.

I don't get Einstein. So far I don't understand what's necessary about his explanations. He strikes me as one level of abstraction too far: explanations of explanations, but Galt's motor isn't coming out the other end. It's not that such has to, but it makes one wonder.

--Brant

but at least I have other redeeming qualities

In addition to the things I explained in my previous post, Special Relativity also made a large number of unique predictions, all of which were verified by subsequent experiments.

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I like Maxwell, he invented things.

I get Newton, also an inventor; I get Maxwell.

I don't get Einstein. So far I don't understand what's necessary about his explanations. He strikes me as one level of abstraction too far: explanations of explanations, but Galt's motor isn't coming out the other end. It's not that such has to, but it makes one wonder.

--Brant

but at least I have other redeeming qualities

In addition to the things I explained in my previous post, Special Relativity also made a large number of unique predictions, all of which were verified by subsequent experiments.

Confirmation by experiment works until the disconfirming repeatable experiment. What works as proof is technology--proof of technology. That will buttress up the theory. The theory is still up for disconfirmation grabs, however, even if the experiment is never found.

Now, what did Einstein invent? What did any Einsteinian (or anyone) invent using Relativity or something necessarily derived from Relativity? I am only pleading ignorance.

--Brant

understanding is not an invention per se unless it is mere contrivance

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I like Maxwell, he invented things.

I get Newton, also an inventor; I get Maxwell.

I don't get Einstein. So far I don't understand what's necessary about his explanations. He strikes me as one level of abstraction too far: explanations of explanations, but Galt's motor isn't coming out the other end. It's not that such has to, but it makes one wonder.

--Brant

but at least I have other redeeming qualities

Maxwell's greatest contributions were theoretical rather than practical.

1. He formalized the notion of Field, which Faraday introduced.

2. He modified Ampere's Law with the addition of displacement current. This modification explained how electromagnetic waves propagate through space. This modification was done for reasons of symmetry and mathematical perfection of electrodynamic theory, rather than to explain specific phenomena. In effect Maxwell invented a concept and made a modification which lead to wireless radio and t.v.

Unfortunately Maxwell died of stomach cancer before Hertz did experiments that proved Maxwell's modification and prediction to be correct.

Even with all his theoretical innovations, Maxwell was one of the best experimental physicists that Britain produced. He was the greatest physicist between Newton and Einstein.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Confirmation by experiment works until the disconfirming repeatable experiment. What works as proof is technology--proof of technology. The theory is still up for disconfirmation grabs even if the experiment is never found.

Now, what did Einstein invent? What did any Einsteinian invest using Relativity or something necessarily derived from Relativity?

--Brant

What did Ayn Rand invent?

This is all a red herring. It doesn't matter what Einstein did or did not event. The business of science is explanation of reality, not invention. If a theory agrees with every experiment, then that's all it needs to do to be true. Technological applications are just another kind of experiment.

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Confirmation by experiment works until the disconfirming repeatable experiment. What works as proof is technology--proof of technology. The theory is still up for disconfirmation grabs even if the experiment is never found.

Now, what did Einstein invent? What did any Einsteinian invest using Relativity or something necessarily derived from Relativity?

--Brant

What did Ayn Rand invent?

This is all a red herring. It doesn't matter what Einstein did or did not event. The business of science is explanation of reality, not invention.

Millions of people who no longer have useless to them guilt for living happy and productive lives.

--Brant

I know what the business of science is, but you don't get crap like you do in physics if you're a chemist and between you and Dennis there must be a lot of crap, but whose and what is the crap to real ratio?

and how many laymen such as myself are priviledged to have ignorant opinions about the real substance of physics, but not chemistry because so much of it is literally up in the air?

if you were a chemist you simply would not be on OL talking about chemistry--do you claim to be a physicist?

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Millions of people who no longer have useless to them guilt for living happy and productive lives.

--Brant

I know what the business of science is, but you don't get crap like you do in physics if you're a chemist and between you and Dennis there must be a lot of crap, but whose and what is the crap to real ratio?

and how many laymen such as myself are priviledged to have ignorant opinions about the real substance of physics, but not chemistry because so much of it is literally up in the air?

Well if you really really wanna know, and you don't trust what anyone else tells you, then you could try learning the subject yourself and then making your own judgment calls.

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Millions of people who no longer have useless to them guilt for living happy and productive lives.

--Brant

I know what the business of science is, but you don't get crap like you do in physics if you're a chemist and between you and Dennis there must be a lot of crap, but whose and what is the crap to real ratio?

and how many laymen such as myself are priviledged to have ignorant opinions about the real substance of physics, but not chemistry because so much of it is literally up in the air?

Well if you really really wanna know, and you don't trust what anyone else tells you, then you could try learning the subject yourself and then making your own judgment calls.

That's the same cop-out Nathaniel Branden once made about Field Therapy techniques. His poor understanding of basic science fortunately did not inform his classical period of psychotherapy.

--Brant

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Now, what did Einstein invent? What did any Einsteinian (or anyone) invent using Relativity or something necessarily derived from Relativity? I am only pleading ignorance.

--Brant

understanding is not an invention per se unless it is mere contrivance

Einstein received a patent for a kind of refrigeration unit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Now, what did Einstein invent? What did any Einsteinian (or anyone) invent using Relativity or something necessarily derived from Relativity? I am only pleading ignorance.

--Brant

understanding is not an invention per se unless it is mere contrivance

Einstein received a patent for a kind of refrigeration unit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Now that's the most fascinating thing I've ever read about him!

--Brant

limited brain that I have

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Now, what did Einstein invent? What did any Einsteinian (or anyone) invent using Relativity or something necessarily derived from Relativity? I am only pleading ignorance.

--Brant

understanding is not an invention per se unless it is mere contrivance

Einstein received a patent for a kind of refrigeration unit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Now that's the most fascinating thing I've ever read about him!

--Brant

limited brain that I have

You mean it isn't enough that he reinstated the particulate theory of light and discovered that space and time are bound together? He also proved that atoms exist.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Now, what did Einstein invent? What did any Einsteinian (or anyone) invent using Relativity or something necessarily derived from Relativity? I am only pleading ignorance.

--Brant

understanding is not an invention per se unless it is mere contrivance

Einstein received a patent for a kind of refrigeration unit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Now that's the most fascinating thing I've ever read about him!

--Brant

limited brain that I have

You mean it isn't enough that he reinstated the particulate theory of light and discovered that space and time are bound together? He also proved that atoms exist.

Ba'al Chatzaf

It's the juxtaposition, the contrast.

Anyway, a Princeton prof was concerned that Einstein was spending time teaching his little daughter math. He approached Einstein with his concern. That's all right, Einstein replied. I teach her math and she gives me candy.

--Brant

thank you for the list

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Re Dennis - see.

Repeating my report in that thread:

[....] Meanwhile, I heard from Dennis.

His finding snarky behavior "not a legitimate part of any intellectual conversation" is partly why he left, but partly the timing was coincidental - he has a possible business project coming up.

Ellen

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Re Dennis - see.

Repeating my report in that thread:

[....] Meanwhile, I heard from Dennis.

His finding snarky behavior "not a legitimate part of any intellectual conversation" is partly why he left, but partly the timing was coincidental - he has a possible business project coming up.

Ellen

Whatever his reasons for leaving, he's gone. Are you gonna answer my questions like you said you would?

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