Around 1976, when I was 15 years old, I came to the conclusion, that two formula of Einstein didn't feel right. I started to consider them WRONG!
I have to admit, that I do not have an academic degree in physics. I have studied psychology, computer-science and math on an academic level, but I never completed a study in physics.
I have tried on many occasions to get a rebuttal of my objections against Einstein from physics, but I never received a serious answer. In the past I offered a more simple version of this article to Scientific American, New Scientist and other magazines, but it was rejected. At one time it was published in 'Mensa Berichten', the magazine of the dutch department of Mensa. No member of Mensa was able or willing to rebut my rebuttal of Einstein. So, with tongue-in-cheek, I say, that my rebuttal stands firm for over three decades.
Since I have no degree in physics, it is possible that I do not know certain facts or that I overlook certain facts. I use common sense and math.
I have problems with two formula of Einstein:
I will rebut these formula in the following pages. I invite physicists to rebut my rebuttal.
According to Einstein, nothing can go faster than the speed of light. Many people have doubts about this.
Imagine two vehicles on a collision-course. One has speed (or velocity) v1, the other has velocity v2. When they collide, what is the sum of their velocities? Most people would add v1 and v2 and say:
"That would be to easy!", Einstein thought. And then he came up with the formula:
When V1 and V2 are small, then
is also very small. As a result Vs (the sum of V1 and V2) is almost equal to V1 + V2. But what happens when V1 and V2 are not small? If V1 and V2 both are equal to c (the speed of light), then
Then we get:
And then we get: v1 + v2 = v1 = v2. That is an outcome that is not acceptable to most people.
When v1 and v2 are larger than the speed of light, then Vs becomes smaller than v1 and v2. For example: When v1=4c and v2=5c we get:
That would be absurd. So Einstein stated: 'There is no greater speed than light!'
Suppose you drive your car into a tree with 50 miles an hour, you collide with 50 miles an hour.
When you are in a non-moving car and an other car runs into your car with 50 miles an hour, it collides with 50 miles an hour.
And when you drive your car with 50 miles an hour head-on into a car that moves towards you also with 50 miles an hour, you expect a collision of 100 miles an hour.
That was to simple for Einstein. He needed the speed of light to solve this problem. He came up with this formula:
If we apply this to a collision of the two cars, then v1 and v2 are both 50 miles an hour. Vs (the sum of v1 and v2) will be slightly less than 100 miles an hour.
Let us assume that both cars come to an immediate stand still. Both cars transform all their kinetic energy into heat and pressure. They both loose the kinetic energy:
Car 1 looses
Car 2 looses
Let us assume that they have the same mass, to simplify the calculation. Together they will loose:
Einstein thought that would be to easy. According to Einstein the cars loose:
This seems to me a violation of the first law of thermodynamics.
is useful when it comes to the speed by which we SEE an object coming towards us. In such a situation we experience the Doppler effect. The same formula can be used for the speed of sound, the speed by which we HEAR an object coming towards us. In such a situation you have to substitute the speed of sound for c, the speed of light. Unfortunately this formula is used in absolute sense. One does not make a distinction between the speed with which two objects really approach each other, and the speed with which one sees the approach of an object. If an object travels faster than the speed of light and it comes directly towards us, it will hit us before we see it.
I have the impression, or I have been taught, that this formula is used in an absolute sense. Einstein did not make a distinction between the speed with which two objects really approach each other, and the speed with which we see the objects approaching each other.
If we use hearing instead of seeing, we should use the speed of sound, about 340 m/s and not the speed of light, about 300,000,000 m/s.
Imagine two spaceships. Both are at a distance of 10 light-seconds from earth. Earth is exactly between twe two ships and they are at a distance of 20 light-seconds from each other. Both send a light-signal to earth at exactly the same time. After 10 seconds we receive both signals on earth. With what speed did the two signals approach each other?
The distance between both ships is two times 10 light-seconds. The light-signals from both ships came together after 10 seconds. Together they made the distance of 20 light-seconds. So their combined speeds was 20 / 10 = 2 light-seconds per second.
Impossible, said Einstein. They approach each other with the speed:
With v1 is c and v2 is c we get:
So according to Einstein: Vs = 2v / (1+1) = 1 light-second per second.
Let us do the following experiment in thought. For this we use Q of the Startrek-series. Q likes speeding far beyond the speed of light and travels with 5c. (5 times the speed of light.) He travels from A to C and passes us in B at a distance of 1 light-second. We are in D. How do we see Q?
After 1 second Q is in B. The light moves with speed c from A in our direction. The distance A-D is:
The light needs 5.1 second to reach us.
After 1 second the light with the image of Q leaves B. This light takes 1 second to reach us.
After 1.66 seconds Q is at E, 8.3 light-seconds from A. The light moves in 3,45 seconds from E to D.
E = mc2 is a 'holy' formula. Almost the entire modern physics stands or falls with this formula. Questioning this formula is heresy. Still, there is room for doubt.
According to Planck the energy of a liqht-quant: E = hf. According to Einstein: E = mc2. Since E = E :
h is the constant of Planck. c is the constant speed of light and is also constant.
For this we write C (derived from Constant). Then we get:
m = f . C
Or in common language:
the mass of a liqht-quant depends on the frequency.
According to Newton:
Since E = E :
h Is the constant of Planck. m is the mass of a liqht-quant and is also constant.
For this we write C (derived from Constant). Then we get:
v2 = f . C
Or in common language:
the speed of a liqht-quant depends on the frequency.
These two statements contradict each other. Einstein derived his formula E = mc2 from the older formula E= ½mv2. E= ½mv2 must be true. If not E = mc2 looses its foundation. But E= ½mv2 and E = mc2 can not both be true.
Einstein came to the formula E = mc2 because the speed of light is constant. But the speed of a liqht-quant is NOT constant. The speed of a liqht-quant depends on its frequency. The higher the frequency, the greater the speed. To illustrate this, see the next example. See drawing.
Two cars drive from A to B. There are four blocks of buildings between A and B. The cars depart and arrive at the same time.
Their propagation speed is equal.
Which car drove faster? Car 1 followed the dotted line in 1 sinus-wave. Car 2 followed the continuous line in two sinus-waves. The frequency of Car 2 was higher than the frequency of Car 1. The distance that Car 2 traversed is longer than the distance that Car 1 traversed. So Car 2 drove faster than Car 1. The speed of both cars depends on the frequency. The higher the frequency, the higher the speed. The speed v is a function of frequency f. Just as it is with a light-quant.
When this theory was published in "Mensa Berichten" of Mensa, there was much criticism. One writer stated, that I see a light-quant see as a particle. I consider light as a wave. And I am open to other models. According to this writer, photons do not move through space as a car between building-blocks. According to the law of the mathematician Fourier from 1822: Every complex periodic wave is composed of a number of single harmonic waves. These can be represented as sinus-waves. This law is true for every complex periodic movement. There is no reason why it should be untrue for the movement of light.
According to the formula E = mc2 of Einstein can mass be made out of energy. I doubt that. According to the formula
energy is the movement of matter or the possibility to move of matter. Energy can be kinetic: it is the movement of matter. A rolling ball has kinetic energy. Energy can be potential. In that case the matter lies still but it has potential "movement-energy". A stone on a hill can roll downward. It has potential energy, that can become kinetic energy. The amount of energy of a mass is dependent of its movement. In this formula there is no place for a constant. The constant c in the formula E=mc2 changes the definition of energy. When you change this definition, you may not use formulas that are based on the old definition. When you do, you mix different sets of symbols. That is not scientific.
According to Einstein matter is a form of energy. I don't believe that. In my opinion energy is a property of matter. According to Einstein: the energy needed to create an amount of matter is equal to the mass of that amount of matter, multiplied with the speed of light raised to the power of two. ( E=mc2. ) But what is the relation between the speed of light and the mass?
We have two kinds of energy: the movement of matter (kinetic energy or Ek) and the ability to move of matter (potential energy or Ep).
Some people might say: You have chemical energy, electric energy, movement energy, gravitational energy, radiation energy, etc. But these are all forms of kinetic and/or potential energy.
If you mix hydrogen chloride (HCl) with sodium-hydroxide (NaOH) then this mixture has potential energy, which is released when the two compounds become salt and water according to the formula:
NaOH + HCl + Ep => NaCl + H2O + Ek.
The Ek is the amount of movement-energy of the molecules, which we feel as heat. The transformation from Ep to Ek during a chemical reaction is caused by binding-energy. Every combination of atoms into molecules has some binding-energy. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrogen chloride (HCl) have more binding-energy than water (H2O) and salt (NaCl). This binding-energy is potential. When binding-energy is released, potential energy becomes kinetic energy. This manifests itself as heat.
In electricity you can have an electric potential (Ep) and an electric current (Ek). When a potential causes a current, potential energy becomes kinetic. The potential difference diminishes when there is a current. Ep becomes Ek.
When a stone is high on a hill, it has potential energy in the form of gravitational energy. When it rolls down, the gravitational energy diminishes and the stone gets movement or kinetic energy.
With radiation energy one should use the formula:
Or in words: the energy of a light-quant is carried by its mass. So it is a form of kinetic energy.
All forms of energy are in essence the movement of matter (kinetic energy) and the possibility to move of matter (potential energy). The exchange of energy is the result of the force that two bodies of mass (two carriers of energy) exert on each other. When two bodies collide, they exert a force upon each other. This results in a new movement of both bodies. That is the exchange of energy. The same is true when they exert an electric, magnetic or gravitational force upon each other. And the size of the bodies doesn't matter.
According to this we get three different principles: Matter, energy and force. Energy is the movement (potential or kinetic) of matter. Force is the exchange of energy between matter.
Matter and energy are linked, one can not be without the other. Without matter energy can not be carried. Energy is the movement of matter. If matter has no movement and can not be set in motion, it would be imperceptible. It would not interact and so it would not exist. Energy can not exist without matter and matter can not exist without energy. But that does not mean, that matter can be created from energy or that matter can become energy.
Where it goes wrong: Light has no mass, since it is Bosonis. The formula E=mc^2 is not correct. It should be E=(gamma)mc^2, where the gamma is a factor which is like your first formula of Einstein. This is just a Lorenz transformation.
Two facts remain: things with mass can never achieve the speed of light, since in the velocity-formula of Einstein (not the one quoted by you) is a mass component. When you go with light-speed, your mass becomes bigger, and the energy needed to achieve light-speed becomes infinite. So only particles without mass can go with light-speed.
And the relativity-theory and quantum-mechanics can not be linked.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for your response, Atanhel. And no, it does not help.
If light has no mass, than is mc2 equal to zero. Sound has no mass either. Physics knows not of sound. There is a wave in the air, which we hear as sound. Air has mass and the movement of air has energy. The amount of energy is a function of the mass and the frequency.
Einstein saw space as empty and wanted to get rid of the aether-theory. I don't want to go back to a vague aether-theory. But space is not empty. If a liqht-quantum has no mass, than the energy can only be transmitted by the movement of mass. Then we come back to E=mv2/2.
You wrote: "things with mass can never achieve the speed of light, since in the velocity-formula of Einstein (not the one quoted by you) is a mass component. When you go with light-speed, your mass becomes bigger, and the energy needed to achieve light-speed becomes infinite. So only particles without mass can go with light-speed."
That is a wrong statement, even if the facts turn out to be right. You try to prove the statement with the theory of Einstein. But this theory is challenged and can not be used to prove the validity. That is circle-reasoning. The structure of the reasoning itself is wrong, so it has no value.
Followers of Einstein have dei-fied him. Doubting the Messiah is heresy and leads to Excommunication. People have turned physics into a religion. That is how physics has lost its status as a science.
I am not certain than Einstein is completely wrong, completely right of somewhere in between. I am more psychologist than physicist. From psychological point of view the attitude towards Einstein is reason for concern. And from historical point of view: The theories of Aristotle were embraced by the christian church as divine dogma. When Gallilei falsified the theories, he was threatened by the inquisition and was forced to shut his mouth. Einstein has now the same status as Aristotle in medieval church. As Aristotle blocked science, so is Einstein now blocking science. He was a great thinker with new ideas. Not more than that. Today we know much more of the Universe than in the days of Einstein. When Einstein would live today, perhaps he would strike out the relativity-theory completely.
Aside from the above: Your answer illustrates the problem of physics at this moment(2012). You can not explain it. Physics has some theories that coincide but can not be linked with each other. The theory is fragmented, physical reality is not. According to Korzybski's Nul-A theory: A description of reality is not reality itself. The description MUST be in structure identical to reality. If not, the description is wrong. (See: Science and Sanity.)
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