BaalChatzaf

What H.A. Lorentz had to say about Einstein

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This is an excerpt from a talk given by H.A. Lorentz in 1920. He has great praise for his younger colleague Albert Einstein:

Nevertheless, even without the color and clearness that the ether theories and the other models may be able to give, and even, we can feel it this way, just because of the soberness induced by their absence, Einstein's work, we may now positively expect, will remain a monument of science; his theory entirely fulfills the first and principal demand that we may make, that of deducing the course of phenomena from certain principles exactly and to the smallest details. It was certainly fortunate that he himself put the ether in the background; if he had not done so, he probably would never have come upon the idea that has been the foundation of all his examinations.

Thanks to his indefatigable exertions and perseverance, for he had great difficulties to overcome in his attempts, Einstein has attained the results, which I have tried to sketch, while still young; he is now 45 years old. He completed his first investigations in Switzerland, where he first was engaged in the Patent Bureau at Berne and later as a professor at the Polytechnic in Zurich. After having been a professor for a short time at the University of Prague, he settled in Berlin, where the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute afforded him the opportunity to devote himself exclusively to his scientific work. He repeatedly visited our country and made his Netherland colleagues, among whom he counts many good friends, partners in his studies and his results. He attended the last meeting of the department of natural philosophy of the Royal Academy of Sciences, and the members then had the privilege of hearing him explain, in his own fascinating, clear and simple way, his interpretations of the fundamental questions to which his theory gives rise.

You can read the entire talk at:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Einstein_Theory_of_Relativity

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Without ether, how do you explain the proximate cause of time dilation? Moving faster through nothing should cause -- nothing. And yet, the rate of motion within an object moving faster decreases. This by itself would seem to prove that objects don't move through nothing.

Shayne

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Without ether, how do you explain the proximate cause of time dilation? Moving faster through nothing should cause -- nothing. And yet, the rate of motion within an object moving faster decreases. This by itself would seem to prove that objects don't move through nothing.

Shayne

In his tome "The History of Theories of Aether and Electricity" Sir Edmund T. Whittaker explains that modern physics assigns all kinds of characteristics, forces, carriers of force, and propererties to "empty" space - they are still aether theories only without the name aether

attached.

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Without ether, how do you explain the proximate cause of time dilation? Moving faster through nothing should cause -- nothing. And yet, the rate of motion within an object moving faster decreases. This by itself would seem to prove that objects don't move through nothing.

Shayne

In his tome "The History of Theories of Aether and Electricity" Sir Edmund T. Whittaker explains that modern physics assigns all kinds of characteristics, forces, carriers of force, and propererties to "empty" space - they are still aether theories only without the name aether

attached.

Time and Space dilation is a geometric abstraction. It is a kind of rotation of a four-vector of given length in a Minkowski space. It is no more artificial than the apparent shortening of a stick when it is turned to be in the same line as our line of sight. In short, it is a kind of geometric projection.

The aether which has been abandoned by physics since the end of the 19th century is the supposition that space is filled with a rigid stuff (sort of like Space Jello) which is more rigid than steel (else it would not sustain transverse vibration) and yet at the same time so thin and rare that it does not slow the planets down in the course about the sun. Aether does not have mechanical properties otherwise it would produce a reactive force with anything that was accelerated through it. Aether was "convenient fiction" to account for or describe course of electromagnetic field waves through space. The hypothesis was abandoned when it could not be detected by any means and the assumption of the contraction of bodies (Lorentz-Fitzgerald Contraction) would forever keep the aether hidden from our instruments if not our sight. When a theory was formulated which did not require the existence of a visco-elastic medium to account for the motion of electromagnetic waves, the hypothesis was abandoned by most. Today, aether is maintained by those who absolutely insist on reifying abstract hypothetical entities which are required by physics to crank out predictions for outcomes of experiments and measurements. These people have a displaced sense of what is real. What is real is what it is and the only way we can grasp it is through abstraction, idealization and metaphor. We cannot get with our senses directly.

No one has ever "seen" an atom, but we assume atoms exist and that assumption serves us well. It enables us to make empirically correct predictions and guides our technological applications of physics. So atoms are as "real" as the need to be to help us account for the phenomena and do our engineering. Think about at. All us humans have are the phenomena. Our only connection to the real Reality is through our senses, so science is all about accounting for what we perceive (which is real enough, because there has to be something Out There to perceive). Newton made up rules for science. All of his theories were driven by the phenomena as revealed by experiment and observation. Any additional hypothesis we have to make we make to account for the phenomena and must be consistent with the phenomena. In short, science is directly about the Appearances and indirectly about what is behind the Appearances, the Real objects which are out of reach of our crude natural senses.

We got rid of aether because we could account for the phenomena (in this case electromagnetic radiation through space) without aether. As LaPlace said to Napoleon --- that hypothesis is not necessary.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Without ether, how do you explain the proximate cause of time dilation? Moving faster through nothing should cause -- nothing. And yet, the rate of motion within an object moving faster decreases. This by itself would seem to prove that objects don't move through nothing.

Shayne

It is a rotation in 4 space. If you rotate a stick in three space to line up with your line of sight it looks shorter. Its true length has not changed but the projection on your retina is shorter. The rotation in matrix form looks similar to that of the rotation in O(3) but it uses hyperbolic functions instead of trigonometric functions. See any standard treatise on special relativity.

For a quick review please see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_transformation

Ba'al Chatzaf

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In his tome "The History of Theories of Aether and Electricity" Sir Edmund T. Whittaker explains that modern physics assigns all kinds of characteristics, forces, carriers of force, and propererties to "empty" space - they are still aether theories only without the name aether

attached.

Call them what you will. What they are not is space filling gelatinous visco elastic goo which is stiffer than steel (to premit transverse vibration) and rarer than Virtue.

The closest thing to visco-elastic aether I ever saw was a concoction my grandmother made called petchah (almost sounds Klingon, doesn't it?). It is a jelly made from cows hooves (kosher as can be) which is very stiff. It has onion and egg embedded in it and it quivers in the most marvelous manner. My grandma (we called her bubbie) also made matzah dumplings so dense that if we had dropped them on Germany in 1942 the war would have been over by 1943. He matzah balls were thirteen times more dense than depleted uranium.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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Without ether, how do you explain the proximate cause of time dilation? Moving faster through nothing should cause -- nothing. And yet, the rate of motion within an object moving faster decreases. This by itself would seem to prove that objects don't move through nothing.

Shayne

In his tome "The History of Theories of Aether and Electricity" Sir Edmund T. Whittaker explains that modern physics assigns all kinds of characteristics, forces, carriers of force, and propererties to "empty" space - they are still aether theories only without the name aether

attached.

In "The History of Theories of Aether and Electricity" Sir Edmund T. Whittaker traces the history of the various aether concepts reaching from the Greeks, though gravitational theory in the 1700’s-early 1900’s, to early theories concerning light, to classical E&M theory, to theories of quantum mechanics to modern quantum theory and modern gravitational theory. All of these are aether theories in that they ascribe properties and/or particles to exist in space such that it is not “empty” but has properties which interact with matter and/or energy or allow the interaction between separated matter and/or energy.

Some of this discussion is a matter of semantics – part is a matter of interpreting history – and part is a decision by the dominant educational leaders of the time to break with tradition in the historical use of language and to signify a break with traditional concepts of causality and a particular aether theory which had come into disfavor within dominant circles. Control of the language of discussion to deride a particular description enforces conformity and tends to erase history as students see what has become a derisive term and blank out further investigation of a tainted or taboo topic which has been deemed by dominant researchers as having been settled.

Einstein discussed how in truly empty space without properties a bucket full of water rotating would have no referent to be able to determine it is rotating thus the water could not flow up the sides. Call it aether or not all of modern physics is yet another aether theory by whatever name they choose to call it.

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Time and Space dilation is a geometric abstraction. It is a kind of rotation of a four-vector of given length in a Minkowski space. It is no more artificial than the apparent shortening of a stick when it is turned to be in the same line as our line of sight. In short, it is a kind of geometric projection.

Doesn't answer the question.

The aether which has been abandoned by physics since the end of the 19th century is the supposition that space is filled with a rigid stuff (sort of like Space Jello) ...

This is a silly, cartoonish, child-like view of what the ether would be, like envisioning little balls orbiting around others as a model for an atom.

Shayne

Edited by sjw

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Time and Space dilation is a geometric abstraction. It is a kind of rotation of a four-vector of given length in a Minkowski space. It is no more artificial than the apparent shortening of a stick when it is turned to be in the same line as our line of sight. In short, it is a kind of geometric projection.

Doesn't answer the question.

The aether which has been abandoned by physics since the end of the 19th century is the supposition that space is filled with a rigid stuff (sort of like Space Jello) ...

This is a silly, cartoonish, child-like view of what the ether would be, like envisioning little balls orbiting around others as a model for an atom.

Shayne

Agreed - there have been many different kinds of aether theories. Picking one popular example to white-wash all theories does nothing to advance the discussion.

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This is a silly, cartoonish, child-like view of what the ether would be, like envisioning little balls orbiting around others as a model for an atom.

Shayne

It may be silly and it may be cartoonish but this was precisely the visco-elastic medium hypothesized by 19th century physicists.

Stiffer than steel and rarer than virtue. The real catch is that this magic aether did not slow down planets in their orbits. It is amazing stuff.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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This is a silly, cartoonish, child-like view of what the ether would be, like envisioning little balls orbiting around others as a model for an atom.

Shayne

It may be silly and it may be cartoonish but this was precisely the visco-elastic medium hypothesized by 19th century physicists.

Stiffer than steel and rarer than virtue. The real catch is that this magic aether did not slow down planets in their orbits. It is amazing stuff.

Ba'al Chatzaf

It's not a moral defect to lack creativity and imagination, but it is a moral defect to lie to oneself about it, to pretend that anyone who sees further than you do is therefore deluded.

Stick to what you're good at Bob.

Shayne

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It's not a moral defect to lack creativity and imagination, but it is a moral defect to lie to oneself about it, to pretend that anyone who sees further than you do is therefore deluded.

Stick to what you're good at Bob.

Shayne

I stated a fact about the classical luminiferous aether. What is your problem?

Physicists gave up on aether because it would not fit into Newtonian schemata (it violated Newton's third law) and it was unnecessary. Light is photons and photons do not need a medium.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Physicists gave up on aether because it would not fit into Newtonian schemata (it violated Newton's third law) and it was unnecessary. Light is photons and photons do not need a medium.

Ba'al Chatzaf

One problem I have is that you still haven't answered my original question. It is necessary to deal with the fact that logically, movement through nothing should cause nothing. Relativity (and the forces Dennis mentioned) would seem to conclusively prove that there is some kind of medium there. That the medium is not a physical object in the sense we would normally mean is evident, so your references to classical ether are quite beside the point.

Shayne

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I found a nice well written article which explains why the luminiferous aether of 19th century physics as abandoned.

Please see:

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Luminiferous_aether

As things stand now, anything that can be done WITH the aether hypothesis can be done WITHOUT it. If one follows Newton's rules one does not hypothesize anymore causes than are required to explain the phenomena.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I found a nice well written article which explains why the luminiferous aether of 19th century physics as abandoned.

Please see:

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Luminiferous_aether

As things stand now, anything that can be done WITH the aether hypothesis can be done WITHOUT it. If one follows Newton's rules one does not hypothesize anymore causes than are required to explain the phenomena.

Ba'al Chatzaf

It's one thing when you persistently confuse explanation with description. It's another when you keep responding with drivel while ignoring the question I repeatedly put to you. What is your problem?

Shayne

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It's one thing when you persistently confuse explanation with description. It's another when you keep responding with drivel while ignoring the question I repeatedly put to you. What is your problem?

Shayne

What is your question?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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What is your question?

Ba'al Chatzaf

How does movement through nothing cause something?

Shayne

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What is your question?

Ba'al Chatzaf

How does movement through nothing cause something?

Shayne

The photon moves through space and lands on the retina. How does a bullet make a hole in its target? It moves through space and its kinetic energy pierces or breaks the target. You think a particle needs a medium? You are wrong.

Think in concrete terms and the answer will become clear.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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What is your question?

Ba'al Chatzaf

How does movement through nothing cause something?

Shayne

The photon moves through space and lands on the retina. How does a bullet make a hole in its target? It moves through space and its kinetic energy pierces or breaks the target. You think a particle needs a medium? You are wrong.

Think in concrete terms and the answer will become clear.

Ba'al Chatzaf

That isn't the question. When an object moves faster through "nothing", then the rate of motion of its constituents slows down, i.e., "time" slows down. What causes this change? Movement with respect to nothing should cause nothing.

Shayne

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What is your question?

Ba'al Chatzaf

How does movement through nothing cause something?

Shayne

The photon moves through space and lands on the retina. How does a bullet make a hole in its target? It moves through space and its kinetic energy pierces or breaks the target. You think a particle needs a medium? You are wrong.

Think in concrete terms and the answer will become clear.

Ba'al Chatzaf

That isn't the question. When an object moves faster through "nothing", then the rate of motion of its constituents slows down, i.e., "time" slows down. What causes this change? Movement with respect to nothing should cause nothing.

Shayne

Pick a frame of reference (preferably inertial) and the movement will be with respect to something.

Also the proper time (i.e. time in the moving object's frame of reference does not slow down. Think of a wristwatch. The wristwatch on you keeps on ticking. It is other the fellow's clock, the one that is moving fast with respect to you that seems to be going slower. Of course he is saying the same thing about your clock.

Apparently you are assuming there is an absolute space with respect to which everything is the universe is either moving or standing still. Not so. That was Newton's notion, but it led to incorrect conclusions. All motion is with respect to some frame of reference. But not all frames of reference at a rest with respect to each other. The only motion we can measure is relative motion, relative to some fiduciary frame of reference or another.

Have a peek at these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinematics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamics_(physics)

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Pick a frame of reference (preferably inertial) and the movement will be with respect to something.

Also the proper time (i.e. time in the moving object's frame of reference does not slow down. Think of a wristwatch. The wristwatch on you keeps on ticking. It is other the fellow's clock, the one that is moving fast with respect to you that seems to be going slower. Of course he is saying the same thing about your clock.

If someone leaves Earth going near the speed of light, and returns, then his age will be less. It's not the same from both parties' point of view.

Apparently you are assuming there is an absolute space with respect to which everything is the universe is either moving or standing still. Not so. That was Newton's notion, but it led to incorrect conclusions. All motion is with respect to some frame of reference. But not all frames of reference at a rest with respect to each other. The only motion we can measure is relative motion, relative to some fiduciary frame of reference or another.

I am only assuming that an effect comes from a cause. What made the person in the above example younger? Only because of something that was happening to him while he was going near the speed of light. What was happening to him? On your view, nothing.

Shayne

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Pick a frame of reference (preferably inertial) and the movement will be with respect to something.

Also the proper time (i.e. time in the moving object's frame of reference does not slow down. Think of a wristwatch. The wristwatch on you keeps on ticking. It is other the fellow's clock, the one that is moving fast with respect to you that seems to be going slower. Of course he is saying the same thing about your clock.

If someone leaves Earth going near the speed of light, and returns, then his age will be less. It's not the same from both parties' point of view.

Apparently you are assuming there is an absolute space with respect to which everything is the universe is either moving or standing still. Not so. That was Newton's notion, but it led to incorrect conclusions. All motion is with respect to some frame of reference. But not all frames of reference at a rest with respect to each other. The only motion we can measure is relative motion, relative to some fiduciary frame of reference or another.

I am only assuming that an effect comes from a cause. What made the person in the above example younger? Only because of something that was happening to him while he was going near the speed of light. What was happening to him? On your view, nothing.

Shayne

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Pick a frame of reference (preferably inertial) and the movement will be with respect to something.

Also the proper time (i.e. time in the moving object's frame of reference does not slow down. Think of a wristwatch. The wristwatch on you keeps on ticking. It is other the fellow's clock, the one that is moving fast with respect to you that seems to be going slower. Of course he is saying the same thing about your clock.

If someone leaves Earth going near the speed of light, and returns, then his age will be less. It's not the same from both parties' point of view.

Apparently you are assuming there is an absolute space with respect to which everything is the universe is either moving or standing still. Not so. That was Newton's notion, but it led to incorrect conclusions. All motion is with respect to some frame of reference. But not all frames of reference at a rest with respect to each other. The only motion we can measure is relative motion, relative to some fiduciary frame of reference or another.

I am only assuming that an effect comes from a cause. What made the person in the above example younger? Only because of something that was happening to him while he was going near the speed of light. What was happening to him? On your view, nothing.

Shayne

You are bothered by the so-called Twin Paradox, which is not a paradox at all.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_paradox

The article should explain the matter clearly to you.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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You are bothered by the so-called Twin Paradox, which is not a paradox at all.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_paradox

The article should explain the matter clearly to you.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Doesn't answer my question.

I'm asking a simple question here. I didn't say there was a paradox, I didn't say that something is contradictory, I said it was seemingly causeless. Let me give you an example. If someone asks why the sun is hot, then I can easily refer to the cause: hydrogen fusion caused by gravity. And if these aren't clear I can expand further. Very simple.

I'm asking you an equally simple question. I'm asking what causes the "time" to slow down. I am not disagreeing with it, I'm not saying it's paradoxical, I'm simply asking why it happens, and I expect the "why" to refer to something physical, not a mathematical abstraction.

Shayne

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You are bothered by the so-called Twin Paradox, which is not a paradox at all.

See http://en.wikipedia....ki/Twin_paradox

The article should explain the matter clearly to you.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Doesn't answer my question.

I'm asking a simple question here. I didn't say there was a paradox, I didn't say that something is contradictory, I said it was seemingly causeless. Let me give you an example. If someone asks why the sun is hot, then I can easily refer to the cause: hydrogen fusion caused by gravity. And if these aren't clear I can expand further. Very simple.

I'm asking you an equally simple question. I'm asking what causes the "time" to slow down. I am not disagreeing with it, I'm not saying it's paradoxical, I'm simply asking why it happens, and I expect the "why" to refer to something physical, not a mathematical abstraction.

Shayne

and I am pointing you to the best information that you could assimilate. So assimilate.

You will have to put up with some math to get the answers you are seeking.

What is that old saying about horses and water?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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