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Why bow to Eintstein for all?

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memenode's picture
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I am reading this interesting report from World Changing: Light Faster Than Light and again people are talking about not breaking the relativity theory of Einstein.

Now I've seen the same thing in other talks about things that can be called breakthrough science or at least scientific speculation such as about the trek-like warp speeds. According to Einstein, nothing can travel faster than light and thus many quickly dismiss anything that says otherwise.

But why? Why is this Einsteins relativity theory so important a century after it was set that it's like a dogma of some kind? Haven't we advanced enough through these hundred years to be able to move beyond the conceptions of the beginning of the 20th century?

For me, the idea of speeds faster than light don't sound so impossible, especially according to the common understanding of light as photons. As such they are just like or at least similar to any other kinds of particles which can travle at various speeds according to the forces that move them. Why would the speed of the movements of photons be so strictly set to only one amount?

I am obviously not a scientist, but I do believe in science in general and these are just some things I am wondering about. Maybe someone can shed some light (no matter how fast it is ;-) ) on the issue and discuss it. :-)

Thanks
Daniel

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Re: Why bow to Eintstein for all?

Oh, yea, I get the same sort of thing, especially in my mathematics lines:
me: "So, why does it do this? How did this mathematician come up with this rule/formulae?"
teacher: "He just did, it'll take forever to explain..."

Hehe, I remember in my adv. maths elective last semester one of my mates asked the teacher to actually explain how the formula came to being about, and it took up the entire white board as well as 25 minutes of the maths lesson. Laughing

So, should we just accept laws and formulae such as this as it is, or should be make sure they are also explained in detail during schooling (law of relativity would be done in something like high school science perhaps, and the formulae of quadratics also in high school?).

Cheers.
Pascal

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Re: Why bow to Eintstein for all?

No doubt many theories depend on relativity. You can't say "oh, let's just forget about this one theory", because it will make those other theories invalid as well. First, you'll need something to replace relativity. It is important to realize that scientific theories are not only about why but also about how things happen. It doesn't matter if they are incorrect, as long as they predict the same numbers as you measure.

The speed of light is not a constant. The speed of light in a vacuum is. If I understand correctly, they can make the beginning of a flash arrive faster than the speed of light, but the end will still arrive at its normal time. Or something like that.

Photons are not normal particles. They are also waves. Wavicles. Partives. Please ask someone else who does understand Laughing .

memenode's picture
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Re: Why bow to Eintstein for all?
Quote:

tbuitenh wrote:
It doesn't matter if they are incorrect, as long as they predict the same numbers as you measure.

Well, if they predict the same numbers than that would in our understanding make them correct, actually. :-D

But I generally agree to what you say. I guess what I was just pushing up for is more open mindedness when it comes to making new theories.. Simply said, the fact that relativity still may make the most sense doesn't make it impossible to crush some time in the future, when we even better understand out universe.. Einstein ain't God afterall. ;-)

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Re: Why bow to Eintstein for all?
Quote:

Pascal wrote:

So, should we just accept laws and formulae such as this as it is, or should be make sure they are also explained in detail during schooling?

Mathematics is being built axiomatically - the theory is being constructed using logic from a number of statements that are held true. This way sometimes it takes a while to get to the even most basic formulas and theorems.

Physics is being constructed a bit differently - there are laws of physics that have to be discovered by experimentation and/or intuition and then theories are created that try to be in sync with laws of physics and with results of experiments. Those theories often use mathematics that is too advanced to be taught in primary or high school.

In both cases, there is simply not enough time during primary school and high school to learn mathematics and physics "the right way", so at that point you should accept them as they are, but also be aware that there are big complicated theories behind those formulas and laws :-).

User offline. Last seen 11 years 51 weeks ago. Offline
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Re: Why bow to Eintstein for all?

Einstein's special theory of relativity is as subject to revision or refutation just as any other theory. I've heard about the problem that arose soon about a signal traveling faster than light's speed. That is really controversial in many aspects. Is this signal also independent from all inertial reference frames like light is? Does c keep being the speed limit for everything else except that signal? It is open to speculation.

Of course, Newtonian mechanics and theory of gravitation was quite succesful (just as special and general relativity are now) to account for a variety of phenomena. However, strictly speaking, it has been refuted and replaced by the special and general theories of relativity. Still, these theories of relativity, just as theories are subject to revision as any other theories. Theoretical Physicists, and mostly cosmologists, will hold on to these theories and the Big Bang Theory as almost dogmas of faith.

I personally believe that the Big Bang Theory is completely wrong, mostly due to a cluster of data which have been gathered since the 1980's up to now, which the cosmologists have tried to fix in an insatisfactory manner. I favor more Plasma Cosmology, which can explain the same phenomena seen in the universe without using exotic entities such as dark energy, dark matter, black holes, singularities, etc. I've noticed that gradually the position of electromagnetism playing a major role in the formation of stars, galaxies, clusters and superclusters is slowly being favored by astronomers and astrophysicists. Meanwhile, most cosmologists remain silent about some failures of the Big Bang, and don't wish to contemplate alternatives.

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Re: Why bow to Eintstein for all?

Thank you Prosario for the valuable insight. I'm no science expert so I wouldn't be able to provide much in regard to doscussing the deep specifix of these theories, but the whole theory of big bang sometimes does sound almost silly to me.

It is really hard to anyhow explain how this supposed explosion happened, that is, what caused it, without sounding.. well.. either silly or like speaking alien language..

Whatever caused the bang should have been created by something else which should have then be created or caused by something else which should have then.. etc. etc...

What it comes down to is simply that something existed forever, that is, was never created. Some say it is energy, it might be, but as soon as you accept that something can just exist forever you'll much easily accept that maybe space as is, existed forever. On the other hand you may just believe it was an intelligent being who always existed and that he was who created all the other stuff.

Either way, I do believe in infinity of space and time and there's actually nothing too incredible about that. It simply doesn't have the beginning nor the end. It just is. (Bible actually says the same for God, that "He is the one who is").

But yes, every theory and all knowledge are logically subject to revision and building upon in a constand process of broadening our horizons and perfecting our understanding consequently incresing our abilities. And this requires one to always keep an open mind while at the same time reasonably accepting and dealing with present understanding properly. It also requires freedom to share knowledge and build upon it, if we want to further it.

Thanks
Daniel

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