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Re: Boscovich and Constancy of Light Speed (in Vacuum)

July 16 2012 at 12:08 AM

Response to Boscovich and Constancy of Light Speed (in Vacuum)


AAF: Boskovich inspires me very much, Roger; I hope he inspires Anon very much as well! happy.gif

Roger J Anderton: He then points out this was considered by Boscovich: " This possibility has already been imagined in the 18th century by Boskovich and was later put forward by FitzGerald."

AAF: It seems to me, Roger, that Mr Boscovich was quite active and talented in his time. Unfortunately, his name does not sound very catchy and musical; right? We have to remember; catchy names are important, when it comes to fame and glory! Could you imagine where Marilyn Monroe would have been on the scale of fame, if she kept going around in Hollywood with her old & non-poetic name: Norma Jeane Mortenson?

Roger J Anderton: He points out about convention: "Conventions are a necessary and indispensable part of operationalizable phenomenology and tool-building. There is no perception and intervening without conventions. They lie at the very foundations of our world conceptions. Conventions serve as a sort of "scaffolding" from which we construct our scientific world-view. Yet, they are so simple and almost self-evident that they are hardly mentioned and go unreflected."

AAF: As far as physical measurements are concerned, conventions (e.g. arbitrary choices by humans) are made only with regard to the basic units of measurements (e.g. second, gram, & meter). Only those basics units are fixed by conventions and uniquely related to the terrestrial civilization and highly unlikely to be precisely replicated by any other civilization in the entire cosmos.

Roger J Anderton: The convention issue he points out is not understood by everyone: "To the author, this unreflectedness and unawareness of conventionality appears to be the biggest problem related to conventions, especially if they are mistakenly considered as physical "facts "which are empirically testable. This confusion between assumption and observational, operational fact seems to be one of the biggest impediments for progressive research programs, in particular if they suggest postulates which are based on conventions different from the existing ones." And: "Despite the obvious conventionality of the constancy of the speed of light, many introductions to relativity theory present this proposition not as a convention but rather as an important empirical finding."

AAF: The only conventionality that can be found in the speed of light, and the concept of speed in general, is the conventionality of the second & the meter.

Roger J Anderton: Of course the term relativity principle he points out comes from Poincare: ". . . "relativity" theory deals with. It derives its name from Poincare's 1904 "principle of relativity" stating that "the laws of physical phenomena must be the same for a stationary observer as for an observer carried along in a uniform translation; so that we have not and can not have any means of discerning whether or not we are carried along in such a motion." Formally, this amounts to the requirement of form invariance or covariance of the physical equations of motion."

AAF: This so-called 'principle of relativity' applies only to one single case of motion: The case in which a source of light & measuring observer are moving with the same speed in the same direction. In every other case of motion, the 'principle of relativity' is inapplicable and entirely useless.

Roger J Anderton: "Einstein's major reason for introducing the Lorentz transformation seems to have been the elimination of asymmetries which appeared in the electromagnetic formalism of the time but are not inherent in the phenomena, thereby unifying electromagnetism. Secondly, not too much consideration has been given to the possibility that experiments like the one of Michelson and Morley may be a kind of "self-fulfilling prophesy," a circular, closed tautologic exercise."

AAF: Of course, that was the major reason for introducing the fore-mentioned transformation by Einstein, Lorentz, and others. But the Length Contraction & Time Dilation of Lorentz transformation can work correctly and eliminate the "asymmetries which appeared in the electromagnetic formalism of the time" in one case and one case only: The case in which a source of light & measuring observer are moving with the same speed in the same direction as, for example, in the case of the Michelson-Morley experiment. And that is because, in this case, the predicted effects of those asymmetries, on the basis of the classical wave theory of light, are second-order magnitudes and quantitatively equivalent to the values of Length Contraction & Time Dilation given by the Lorentz transformation.

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