07 Introducing Relativity..



The classic view of a mass warping space-time.
But what if it just warped space, and 'rates of change'?
(image borrowed from ndsion.com - to be replaced with original)
(see 'The Electrodynamics of moving bodies').

(also see 'No temporal order').



Einstein’s theory of Relativity comes in two forms, Special and general, and it is relativity that will really make or break what I am trying to explain.

This is because relativity is the theory that for most scientists proves that there is more to time than just a notion. In particular, relativity is taken to prove that 'Time Travel' may, if only in theory, be possible. 

I have a problem with that because for time travel to be possible, 'time' would have to exist. Finding an understanding to the situation that both keeps the essence of relativity while making it timeless can be done, even Einstein suspected that the distinctions between the past present and future were just persistent illusions.

Special relativity is ‘special’ because it deals with the special case of perfectly smooth motion in a straight line free from any effects of gravity. This is special, because it doesn’t really happen in the universe. But when understanding complex situations it makes sense to first imagine the simplest circumstances first.

General relativity is general because it deals with the kinds of motion we more generally see. That is things changing speeds and direction, or accelerating while also in a field of gravity.

What affects this discussion on time and timelessness is that 

Special relativity says 'Time slows for moving clocks',

 and

General relativity says 'Time slows under the effect of Gravity'.   

The 'problem' with special relativity.

If there is no such thing as Time, then contrary to what you may expect, there isn’t really a problem with special relativity, just the way its effect is expressed. 

Special relativity concerns us here, because what it essentially says is that as objects move at speeds close to the speed of light ‘Time slows down’. And, if this is true, then this web site and book are wrong.

At this stage, any scientifically knowledgeable reader, or professional scientist will assume that therefore this book is wrong – because this slowing of time, or ‘Time dilation’ as it is known has been proven, and is even in use in millions of GPS receivers all over the world.

The problem here is that the effect is ‘known’ as time dilation, and I am not claiming the effect is not real, but that it is motion, speed, or rates of change that are being dilated – and not a thing called time. For time to be dilated, time would have to exist. And for ‘time’ to exist the word must mean more than just another way of saying ‘matter and motion now’.

So we should be able to show the existence of the past, or the future, or time itself, or its one way flow.  As shown in other sections, it can be shown that our assumptions that these things exist can each be explained separately and together in terms of matter just existing and moving.

(See...∆The Past.      ∆The Future.     ∆ Galileo and Time.)

While many people may take special relativity as a proof, or  ‘further’ proof of time, in fact it is only a confirmation that time exists, and a description of hidden aspects of time, if times existence has been proven elsewhere!

In my copy of the English translation of relativity (Einstein's Relativity.) there is no actual 'proof' given that the past or future exist. Or that a thing called 'Time' exists, is 'needed' to exist for things to be able move, or flows in a fixed direction from the 'future' to the 'past'.

And in particular, 'Relativity' offers no coverage of the idea that - while we may assume our memories prove there is also some other ‘temporal’ record of events - this is (it seems to me) an incompletely thought through conclusion – and it does not offer a replacement proof.

As far as I can tell Special relativity is written using the vocabulary of time, as if time has been proven elsewhere. Every effect special relativity explains can be re explained in terms of ‘rates of change’ slowing down for moving objects ‘now’ – and not ‘over a thing called time’.

Light clocks and Odometers.

Although I love mathematics, I am sadly no good at it. But none the less If what I am suggesting is correct every reference to time, or ‘t’ in Einstein’s equations will boil down to one speed being comparing to another speed, that of the speed of light.

To put this another way, if we set up a rail, marked 1,2,3 at 300,000km intervals and send a photon along it, any reference to seconds of time passing (apparently from the future to the past) can mathematically be replaced by the number representing the photons simple physical position ‘now’.

in other words, (I think we will find) that 't' in all equations just boils down to a 'sample of reference motion' against which all other numbers representing speeds, velocities, and acceleration ( i.e. motion) are compared to mathematically. And not that 't' relates to, or in any mathematical equations prove the existence of, 'a flow of a thing called Time'. And in 't' never relates to, or proves , the flow of 'Time' from a place called the 'future' to a place called the 'past'.

So the expression 'Time slows for moving clocks', may be better expressed as 'moving things change more slowly'. 

Or 'moving clocks run slow', if we are careful to be clear about what a clock actually does. (See...∆ What do clocks measure?)

The problem with general relativity.

General relativity is more sophisticated than its sibling because it deals with the effects of gravity, and explains these effects as the warping of space. Or rather the warping of space-time.

It is suggested that in strong gravitational fields, or under strong 'acceleration', Time is again slowed down or dilated. Thus if you placed one clock near a dense planet, or even a super dense black hole, then it would run very considerably slower than a clock floating in free space.

This effect has also been scientifically proven in numerous ways, including the comparison of highly accurate atomic clocks placed at different altitudes here on earth. And is also confirmed by the atomic clocks on GPS satellites.

 Effectively this means that if you had an identical twin, who left You on Earth to live on such a super-dense planet for a while, on their return they would have ‘aged’ less than you in every way. They may even look, and be decades younger than you, ‘so to speak’.

And it is again this ‘so to speak’ that is the problem, and being clear about what it actually is that clocks measure. Because again, general relativity does not prove the past or future exist, or that time flows between them, or that 'clocks' display or measure more than just the motion that they seem to.

So general relativity does not prove that your twin on a super-dense planet is sinking back into the past, or that you are zipping ahead of them into the future. 

(See...Black hole communications..)

So the expression 'Time slows under the effect of Gravity' may be better expressed as 'things change more slowly under the effect of gravity', ' clocks run slow under gravity', if again we are clear about what a clock is and what it actually does. (∆ What do clocks measure?)


Conclusion.

Again, if Time has been proven to exist elsewhere, then General relativity tells us a lot about its nature. But if Time has not been proven elsewhere, the theory just tells us about the way matter moves and changes in warped space 'now'. And I believe, that all of the amazing things that this part of relativity does show, can be re-explained, just as spectacularly but in terms of things ‘changing’ more or less slowly ‘now’.

So, in my opinion, the one theory that perhaps seems to prove time exists, can be shown to prove that everything is in fact just here now. Because the possible mysteries and paradoxes it points to if time exists – disappear when it is interpreted that way.

See...

     08 Special Relativity.

     09 General Relativity.