User talk:Harald88/Archive2

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Hello Harald88/Archive2, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you have any questions, check out Wikipedia:Where to ask a question or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome!  --Fastfission 03:53, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Archive 1: User talk:Harald88/Archive1

Manufacturing the dish for a mercury mirror[edit]

A dish for a relatively small mercury mirror can be manufactured in the following way:
Make a flat turntable with a rim. Spin the turntable up to the desired angular velocity. Pour a resin in the pan, the liquid resin will redistribute itself. When the resin has finished redistributing itself then none of the resin flows towards the center or away from it. In fluid dynamics this is referred to as 'solid body rotation'. After several hours the resin has set into an actual solid.

The mercury layer of a mercury mirror must be as thin as possible, because of the weight. If the parabolic dish has been manufactured well, then a layer of one milimeter of mercury can be sufficient.

There is definitely an equilibrium at play: if the angular velocity matches then the layer of mercury is evenly thick all over the dish, and mercury is neither flowing towards the center, nor away from it. --Cleonis | Talk 19:45, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Reaction force and opposite force[edit]

Thank you for your good suggestion. What you say is true, but on an other hand, it is in line with the precedent discussion. That's why I will 'wait and see' before moving it. Again, thank you.

I finally did it! Thank you again for your judicious advise. --Aïki 16:05, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Tired light[edit]

Harald, I have been overwhelmed with helping to resolve another dispute about the Jehovah's Witnesses. Plus, my (real) work load picked up this week, so I have not been able to devote much time to Wikipedia. I went to the library, but they did not have the book I wanted about tired light on the shelf. I had to place a back order for it, it will be back next week some time. I am not a physicist by training so I will have to read some to get used to the terminology. If you cannot wait until then, then I will be happy to withdraw and let someone else help out.

Let me know.

Steve Mc

Hi Steve, I 'm not in a rush: the activity on that article is not big as long as I pause/slow down my part of the edit war. Harald88 21:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Harald, I got the book yesterday and have done some reading. I can now be a little more active (and informed) in this discussion. SteveMc 17:52, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Steve, that's good; however, the discussion is now about much more basic issues for Wikipedia than the subject "Tired light"... Harald88 18:02, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

The invariant space-time interval[edit]

Hi Harald,

I still owe you an explanation of what I referred to when I wrote: 'Minkowski metric signature'.

As you surmised, I was referring to the 1905 Einstein special relativity postulates.
Einstein wrote in his 1905 paper (my rendering, not verbatim quote): continuous light will propagate with speed c away from an omnidirectional source in a spherically symmetrical way. Pulses of light will propagate away as a spherically symmetrical shell. Let there be an observer A and an observer B with a velocity relative to each other. The expanding shell will expand spherically symmetrical with respect to A, and it will also expand spherically symmetrical with respect to B. (And so on for any pair of observers with a velocity relative to each other). Mathematically, the demand can be formulated as follows: Let:

that can of course be abbreviated with the convention:


You can organize the set of all solutions to that type of equation into a mathematical group. The transformations to transform one member of the group in another are the sought transformations then.

In retrospect it can be seen that the idea of organizing solutions to an equation into a group was also applied by Woldemar Voigt. My understanding is that Voigt investigated a wave equation for a time-dependent field.

Where u is the propagation speed of the wave. The set of solutions to that partial differential equation can be organized into a mathematical group. In the specific case of the Maxwell equations, a useful group is the Lorentz group. A Lorentz transformation transforms a solution in which a wave expands symmetrically to another solution in which the wave expands symmetrically.

My understanding is that the transformations are not specifically a characteristic of the Maxwell equations, but a characteristic of the mathematics of wave-mechanics in general. The Maxwell equations were designed to describe processes developing over time, and given the nature of electromagnetism, some of the solutions of the Maxwell equations describe propagating waves.

Anyway, one way of mathematically rendering the lichtspeed postulates of Einstein's 1905 paper is above mentioned:

This shows that one of the basic theorems of special relativity the invariance of the spacetime interval.

Mathematically, it is equivalent to submit the invariance of the space-time interval as an axiom of the special theory of relativity, and take it from there.

The concept of the spacetime interval was not explicitly present in the 1905 paper, I think, explicit mention of it arose a couple of years later, but soon it took center stage in the perception as arguably the single most important concept in relativistic physics. The metric signature of the space-time interval is (+,+,+,-). In special relativity and in general relativity, the concept of the invariant space-time interval is identical.

In the context of space-time continuum, the separation between two points in space-time is measured in units of time. The only thing you can actually measure is how much time a journey takes. The closest thing to a space-odometer is measuring the duration of the journey. If the journey is not physically undertaken then spatial distance is inferred by measuring how much time it takes electromagnetic waves (light) to cover that spatial distance. But it is tricky. Inferring the spatial distance between two points in space-time is about attempting to measure something that is non-local; which gives rise to ambiguity. By contrast, counting lapse of time with a device such as an atomic clock is a local measurement.

I am sorry I have been butting in on the Twin paradox Talk page with cryptic remarks, and then not follow up on them. I think I had announced that I want to stay away from articles that involve relativistic physics, but I find myself drawn to it like a magnet. I shall once again try hard to stay away from involvement in wikipedia relativistic physics articles. --Cleonis | Talk 12:23, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Dear Cleonis, I personally welcome your contributions as they complete those of M4 and me, and few others even show to understand the philosophical issues.
About the spacetime interval : you may notice from the Poincare article that explicit use of it stems from Poincare in 1906 (apparently written in Juli 1905). It was thus from the start part of SRT. But contrary to Minkowski, neither Poincare nor Einstein attached a 1-to-1 physical meaning to its mathematical meaning. Harald88 13:59, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Whether or not Einstein attached a 1-to-1 physical meaning to the space-time interval, the invariance of the space-time interval is what special relativity and general relativity have in common.

Do you know something about Minkowski's lecture that I do not? The parts of that lecture that I have knowledge of fit relativity. Is by any chance the content of that lecture available on the internet?

It dawned on me that although I am accustomed to writing 'space-time' the expression 'time-space' actually fits better. Also it would seem that the following expression for a timelike time-space interval is technically the correct one:

Separation between points in time-space is measured in units of time, so it makes sense to cast the expression in such a way that the dimensions fit.

I don't like it when it is suggested that 'time = length', because I think time is more fundamental than length. --Cleonis | Talk 18:40, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Sure, his most famous phrase is in Hermann Minkowski:
Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.
I disagree with his view on reality. Instead I agree with the others, who distinguished between hidden reality itself and our measurements of it.
Which reminds me, do you know Plato's Allegory of the cave? It's often recycled to illustrate that we should not expect that physical reality is identical to our image of it. Harald88 19:31, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Plato's cave allegory[edit]

I am somewhat familiar with that allegory.

I wrote on the centrifugal force talk page:
All theories unavoidably contain elements that cannot be directly observed. For example, we cannot directly percieve the presence of a magnetic field. Charged particles behave differently when what we call a 'magnetic field' is present, that is the observable. The reason we take it for granted that such an entity as a 'magnetic field' actually exists is that it provides an efficient way to organize the body of knowledge about magnetism.

From my point of view, the physics concept of a field is inferred from the behavior of the silhouettes as seen on the wall of the cave. From my point of view it would be wrong to attach a feeling of absolute certainty to what is inferred from the behavior of the silhouettes. I follow Stephen Hawking when he says: 'I don't demand that a theory correspond to reality because I do not know what it is. Reality is not a quality you can test with litmus paper.'

I regard both the mathematical framework of a theory and its its interpretation as tools. The more versatile the tool, the better. Ideally, the best theory is like a swiss army knife that can handle any job. My philosophy of physics entails that interpretation of a theory does matter, in that it guides the thinking and it provides a way to organize the perceptions. But I do not demand correspondence to reality, for I don't know what it is.

The only demand that I make is that a theory of physics applies well, and that it is self-consistent. I don't want to have any pre-concieved notions of what is or isn't physically realistic, for I don't know what reality is. For example, I don't exclude the possibility that the concept of 'space' as it is applied in newtonian physics is a silhouette of something that cannot be adequately described as 'space'.

Maybe I do disagree with Minkowski. It is possible that before the introduction of relativistic physics some physicists were true believers in the concepts of Newtonian/Maxwellian physics. Relativistic physics may present a dilemma to some people: to either convert from newtonian faith to relativistic faith, or to stay away from the idea that one should have absolute faith in any theory. To me there is no dilemma, the only available choice being the the second choice. --Cleonis | Talk 11:07, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I certainly agree with your "choice" (faith isn't a free choice, at least not completely). The scientific attitude is to be sceptical, to not take anything for absolutely certain. But theoretical models that are illogical and/or selfcontradicory I tend to replace by ones that make more sense to me at the earliest opportunity, even when at first sight they look slightly more complex or subtle. Also reality itself may well be a little more complex than its shadows. Harald88 19:29, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

The structure of the special theory of relativity[edit]

I copy and paste from the twin paradox Talk page.

[...] acceleration with respect to the absolute Minkowski manifold is an essential operative factor in special relativity. --Cleonis | Talk 12:34, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Your explanation about how special relativity can't help to keep something "absolute" about it is nice, I like it.
However, you overlook that different mathematical formalisms are possible to describe SRT. [...] Harald88 20:05, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Geometry, when applied in physics calculations, is itself a theory of physics, of course. The Galilean transformations and the corresponding velocity addition rule are the foundation of the Galilean/Newtonian codification of the properties of inertia. The Lorentz transformations, and the corresponding relativistic velocity addition rule, are likewise the foundation of the relativistic codification of the properties of inertia.

I think physics textbooks ought to point out that according to relativistic physics, acceleration with respect to the structure of space-time is much more important than in Newtonian physics. According to newtonian physics acceleration is no big deal. But according to relativistic physics, to accelerate with respect to the structure of space-time constitutes an irreversable event. (Making two U-turns does not quite give the same end result as not making any U-turn. The second U-turn cannot entirely undo the consequences of the first U-turn.)

So Minkowski space-time is, if anything, more absolute than newtonian absolute space.

If textbooks would teach special relativity in that more logical way, emphasizing that the Minkowski manifold is absolute, then the perception of the twin scenario would be quite different. --Cleonis | Talk 22:24, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Exactly! This agrees qualitatively with the discussion of Langevin, who was perhaps the first to point out that with SRT more absolute effects are known than in the time of Newton. Harald88 22:56, 27 January 2006 (UTC)


You might consider Wikipedia:Request for comment regarding 69. If he's causing that much trouble, there are probably admins more knowledgable about physics that can help you guys better. Last night he led me to believe it was a simple matter of moving a section. Apparently I was deceived, as there is a lot more material at hand now. I'm going to ask for some advice, and please feel free to message me in the meantime. --DanielCD 14:41, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok. I wish I knew more about the material so I could be of more help. I'm going to leave it in ya'll's hands for now, as I don't think there's a crisis. Perhaps I'll offer comment as I have time. But feel free to call on me if things get out of hand. --DanielCD 17:12, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! Harald88 17:19, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Mediation on tired light[edit]

Harald, I have posted an initial response and additional questions to clarify the dispute at Mediation Cabal: Tired Light. SteveMc 03:15, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

My email and tired light[edit]

Harald, I do not know what is wrong with that email address. IT tells me it should work, I do receive email at that address, but apparently the email server kicks back some of it, sorry. I changed the email to reflect my new address, user ScienceApologist posted a web link to a URL where I was able to get the article.

I have posted a request for some outside help on tired light. This issue is really beyond me, even with the reading I have done. I will stay with it until I can find someone else more keen to the issues.

Thanks, SteveMc 14:37, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

OK, I see.
However, I'm afraid you have been "derailed" a bit, so to say: The mediation request is not about content: the subject of mediation is not Tired light, but the application of NPOV (fair presentation of facts) to an article related to a minority view, and in connection with "notability" and "verifiablity". If that issue is beyond you, then indeed someone else should be found. Anyway, thanks so far! Harald88 14:45, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Harald, I agree your request was not originally about the content. However, "verifiability" is beyond me on this topic since I am unable to discern between the subtleties of astronomy in physics, astrophysics, and cosmology, which is where the "track" (versus "derailed") the discussion has taken now. The source of publications is the issue now, which does get into the authenticity and credibility of sources. I am just not able to discern the differences of both sides. Again, with apology, SteveMc 15:00, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Centrifugal force[edit]

The expression for the centripetal acceleration is derived in the article "Centripetal force". Why do you need to rederive it in section "Reactive centrifugal force" of the article "Centrifugal force"? Yevgeny Kats 23:28, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

No, I did not derive it, it was there all the time, similarly underived. Thus I added no derivation, but for the classical physics part I used the standard notation of my textbook. Harald88 23:35, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
The "reactive centrifugal force" is simple. State the formula for the centripetal force (derived in centripetal force) and reverse the sign according to Newton's third law. No other formulas are needed in that section. Yevgeny Kats 23:41, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Hello Harald88, thank you for reverting the vandalism of the g.o.mueller add, the biggest critical work ever.It is worth reading sooo much. Are you interested in an English translation by the way ? 01:35, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Maybe, but 1. please try to be an editor instead of using this as a soapbox; 2. see also my question there. BTW, I reverted it pending investigation of the contents (benefit of the doubt). Thanks, ~~

"". 12:30, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Disseminating time with portable clocks[edit]

I copy from Talk:Relativity_of_simultaneity :

Let an atomic clock be put onboard an aeroplane that circumnavigates the world at a constant velocity, (such GlobalFlyer, in which Steve Fosset made a non-stop flight around the world.) Let the GlobalFlyer fly at constant altitude, with a constant velocity. Then the atomic clock onboard the Global flyer will on arival be seen to have counted 207 nanoseconds less or more time, depending on whether the flight was eastwards around the world or westwards around the world. (The time count does need to be corrected for gravitational effects.) --Cleonis | Talk 10:42, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

[...] The only things that matter for calculating the number of nanoseconds difference are speed and altitude of the Global Flyer relative to the ECI frame at sea level; and those were not even provided! Harald88 18:30, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I wrote that the time as counted by the travelling clock does need to be corrected for gravitational effects. The gravitational effects can be corrected for by having one GlobalFlyer fly eastwards around the world, and the other westwards. In an idealized case the flyers maintain a constant altitude at all times.

Other than that, the amount of difference in lapse of proper time after circumnavigation is independent of the relative velocity of the flyer and the clock that is co-moving with the equatorial surface of the Earth. Because it is a loop-closing scenarion (just as the twin scenario is a loop-closing scenario) the relative velocity drops out of the calculation.

In the case of a loop-closing scenario the only operative factor is the difference in spatial length of the path travelled.
So there is no need to know the velocity of the GlobalFlyer, the velocity only needs to be constant. (A trajectory with a non-constant velocity has an even longer spatial length, with a non-constant velocity the time difference is more than those 207 nanoseconds.) --Cleonis | Talk 00:35, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I think the above example is in the Stedman review of the Sagnac effect. The link to the Stedman review is at the Sagnac effect. Anyway, the above example, the number of 207 nanoseconds, is from peer-reviewed scientific literature. --Cleonis | Talk 00:35, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the precision. Whatever the source (perhaps a misunderstanding): it's wrong. The correct calculation is even given in Einstein's 1905 SRT paper (for constant gravitational potential): the only thing that matters is the speed of the roundgoing clock. At low speed, the relativistic effect is negligable. This one is really a piece of cake!
Now I have a quick look at Stedman: In the index I see nothing on time dilation. That's normal, as it plays a negligable role in the Saganc effect. Cheers, Harald88 21:45, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, in the twin scenario the difference in amount of elapsed proper time at the point of rejoining is not a function of their relative velocity at previous stages the journey. The operative factor is the difference in the spatial length of the respective worldlines.

I get the impression that you have a different situation in mind than I have. I am thinking about difference in elapsed amount of proper time as seen when clock readings are comparded after rejoining. I am thinking about a variation of the twin scenario. One twin remains co-rotating with the surface of the Earth's equator, the other twin travels along a different worldline, a worldline with a different spatial length. --Cleonis | Talk 21:59, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

In his 1905 article, Einstein discusses the comparison of a stationary clock (a clock on a non-rotating planet) and a circumnavigating clock. What I have in mind is two circumnavigating clocks; the clock that is stationary with respect to The Earth's Equator is circumnavigating (as it is co-rotating with the Earth), and a clock onboard an aeroplane that takes several days to return to the longitude of departure is also circumnavigating. --Cleonis | Talk 23:17, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


Are you User: --ScienceApologist 02:08, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't know, as I use several computers (it's not the one I use now); but when I notice that the computer logs me out of Wikipedia, I sign in. I'll look if I can find a recent case where I overlooked it and if so, correct it. Harald88 08:05, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


Hi Harald, thanks for your note. I don't recall exactly when and where that phrase was first added, but it's certainly accurate. NOR, V, and NPOV are complementary in that they don't and can't stand in isolation from one another. Following NPOV does not mean we may add any and every opinion under the sun, because we're not allowed to add original research (no matter how beneficial it might be from an NPOV standpoint), and the only way we can show we're not adding OR is to cite sources in accordance with WP:V. Any attempt to interpret one of the policies in isolation will lead to problems. Hope this helps. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 21:16, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, but if "complementary" only intends to mean that they are not in isolation from each other, then it's not clear if any one overrules whole or part of another in case of conflict. For example, in theory the term "reputable" in V could be tinkered with to twist V into meaning that only information incl. opinions that were published by mainstream opinion publishers can be mentioned. In that case, scientific Wikipedia articles would be inherently biased by the V policy, and Jimbo's dream to which you refer on your page would be in shambles. In fact, such forces are already at work in Wikipedia. Thus it's important to know if neutrality is more important than reputability (in fact we do know that this is so, but is there something more concrete to cite than Jimbo's dream?). Harald88 21:31, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Neutrality is not more important than reputability and I'm not sure what you mean by Jimbo's dream. He has said that NPOV is non-negotiable, not that it's more important than anything else. What the three policies jointly state is that we publish only material that has already been published by reputable majority and significant-minority publishers, and that we may also publish tiny-minority views in articles specifically devoted to them. So science articles are likely to be slanted toward the mainstream scholarly view, but shouldn't exclude opposing significant-minority views. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:41, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
You have Jimbo's dream quoted on your page: "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing."
If one would make neutrality equally important as reputability (which certainly isn't so; and I dare to bet with you that Jimbo never said so!) then his dream would be in danger, for the policy as you lay out here could be tampered with (and I have the impression that the tampering has started already). It is then effectively being re-nogotiated by the other policies.
Instead, what the policy is now in practice (and that's in line with, IMO, his dream) is that of NPOV with the requirement that information must be notable for inclusion in Wikipedia, and that such information must be relevant for an article, whereby tiny minority views and specialized side topics can be spun off to other pages. That corresponds to what you state, but it's a sliding slope. One only has to make the change that significant minority publishers are not "reputable" enough (according to the majority who dislike opposition) and NPOV will have been re-negotiated to the value of democratie in a one-party state. Harald88 23:45, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Not clear what point you're making but just to reiterate: we publish only material that has already been published by reliable publications. That is also non-negotiable. NPOV, NOR, and V must be read in conjunction with one another. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:26, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Harald, you need to edit the encyclopedia more (which is what we're all here for). You've made only 497 edits to articles compared with 1,229 to various talk pages. If you start editing more, you'll begin to see how NPOV, NOR, and V hang together. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:29, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, I know very well how those policies hang together; but I can't trace their origins, I only suppose that they were set up by Jimbo, and thus they are not for us to decide freely. Thus I still haven't traced the original sources for these policies, and even you didn't provide sources for your claims. Everyone seems to be just basing themselves on and calling others on rules that they themselves made a few months earlier. Amazing isn't it? Thus I'm becoming doubtful of where Wikipedia is heading, and with that, of the usefulness of contributing more. Harald88 07:38, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

References for circumnavigatinal synchronisation procedures[edit]

I have found two references for the comparison of synchronisation procedures that rely on signals, and portable clocks respectively, and that the correction factor of 207.4 nanoseconds arises in both procedures.

There is Neil Ashby's discussion of Relativity in the Global positioning system Enter the number 207 in the 'find a word on this page' function of your webbrowser to jump to where Ashby discusses signals and clocks

And there is G E Stedman's review of ring laser tests of fundamental physics and geophysics
In section 1.2 Early history, on page 7 of the PDF document, Stedman mentions the comparison of circumnavigating signals and circumnavigating clocks.

From a newtonian (non-Lorentzian) point of view, you expect the Sagnac effect for circumnavigating signals. From a relativistic point of view you also expect a Sagnac effect for circumnavigating signals. In that sense the Sagnac effect for circumnavigating signals is a theory-independent phenomenon. The Sagnac effect for loop-closing signals is so fundamental that it is a theorem of every theory of physics.

On the other hand, when it comes to disseminating time with portable clocks, then from a newtonian (non-Lorentzian) point of view you do not expect an effect. From a relativistic point of view you do expect the clocks to have counted a different amount of proper time when compared on rejoining. It seems quite fitting to refer to time dilation effects for circumnavigating clocks as 'the Sagnac effect for clock transport' --Cleonis | Talk 22:36, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi thanks, I already understand what's the matter thanks to your above posting, where you pointed out that the distance is fixed. Indeed, at sufficiently low speeds (and I'm not sure if your airplane is slow enough) this results in a nearly fixed time dilation, from the slow clock transport calibration method. However, there is a fundamental difference between time dilation and simulataneity, and that's exactly obscured by that. Later more. Harald88 23:55, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

My mental picture is that I view the worldline of the clock that is co-rotating with the Equator as a helix in a Minkowski space-time diagram. In other words: I map the worldline of the corotating-with-the-Equator-clock in an inertial coordinate system. Then I map the worldline of the airplane that takes several days to circumnavigate in that same Minkowski space-time diagram.

Maybe I should have announced explicitly that I was mapping the two wordlines in a single inertial coordinate system. As I have expressed before: I reject mapping of motion in a rotating coordinate system. (Well, I reject it for the purpose of theoretical understanding, it can on occasion be good calculational strategy.) --Cleonis | Talk 00:48, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the relativistic examination of the Sagnac effect plays a huge role in my commitments. I regard rotation as absolute. (I regard rotation as absolute in the sense that I regard the Minkowski manifold as absolute.) I may have expressed this before: I do not see relativistic physics as a theory of "motion is relative". I think of relativistic physics as the Theory of Invariance. --Cleonis | Talk 01:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the last part. But as the 207 ns simply doesn't work out for an airplane, and the Sagnac effect also exists in classical (Maxwell) physics but time dilation not, I agree with 4M on the need to keep the two distinct. For more comments, see the simultaneity page. Harald88 20:51, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I think I have figured out the airplane scenario; which part works out and which part doesn't.
I consider three clocks. Number (1) circumnavigates westward , number (2) co-rotates with the Equator, and number (3) circumnavigates eastward. Each time I calculate, I calculate the difference in amount of elapsed proper time with respect to a clock that would be co-moving with the center of mass of the Earth. I leave gravitational effects out of this calculation.
First I consider a scenario in which the three rejoin after one sidereal day. In one sidereal day, clock (1) has traveled 0 kilometers, clock (2) has travelled 40075 kilometers, and clock (3) has travelled 80150 kilometers. Then I get: clock(1) 0 ns. , clock (2) 100 ns. clock(3) 414 ns
Next I consider a scenario in which the three rejoin after two sidereal days. Distances travelled: 40075, 80150, 120225 kilometers.
Then I get: clock(1) 50 ns. , clock(2) 207 ns. , clock(3) 465 ns.
So now it is clear to me what I had overlooked. In all scenarios the difference between clock(1) and clock(3) is 2*207=414 nanoseconds. I refer to that velocity-independent difference as the 'Sagnac effect for circumnavigational clock transport' bit.
However, in fast clock transport clock(2) is not "halfway between clock(1) and clock(3)". The difference between clock(1) and clock(2), (and between clock(2) and clock(3)) converges to 207 nanoseconds only in the limit of very slow clock transport, which is what you have pointed out all the time.
In retrospect I should not have used the circumnavigational clock transport example. The 2*207=414 nanoseconds difference is velocity independent, but for clock transport the 207 ns difference is not velocity independent. --Cleonis | Talk 01:39, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Einstein Poincare anon dispute[edit]

Hey Harald. You're right, I agree that Wiki isn't the place to resolve accreditation disputes. But it does seem like the right venue for the facts about priority, and it really does seem to be the consensus that Poincare published first on a number of substantial issues. But as you say, those are simply the facts, and if they are laid out for people, they can come to their own conclusions. Lucidish 04:11, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Have you read Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#History_of_NPOV?[edit]

I asked what part of your question about the sources of the NPOV was not answered by this section, but, I have not seen any answer from you about this. I look forward to your answer: What question do you have that is not answered by the Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#History_of_NPOV section? - 08:40 . . JesseW

Actually, Lumiere expanded on it in the way I meant it.
* It's not clear if Wikipedia 100% inherited the Nupedia requirement or not. Thus: can we state that "written in stone",
a. Wikipedia NPOV = nupedia?
Or that
b. Wikipedia NPOV = wikimedia?
Or perhaps
c. a+b ?
* But what this started with, I could not find anything about the claimed equal level of the three content-guiding policies. I can just as well imagine that for example verifiability should overrules NPOV or inversely; or even that Jimbo never cared about that question, and left that to us. Whatever the case, we should know before we can decide on what to write! Harald88 19:37, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

The distinction between anti-relativism and anti-relativityism[edit]

I have just been reading the Anti-relativity article.

In that article I encountered a distinction that I hadn't quite appreciated before, a distinction that possibly you edited into the article (but I haven't looked that up).

There is anti-relativism, and there is anti-relativityism. Very significant distinction there, for I oppose relativism, and I am committed to relativistic physics (in the sense that I am committed to Invariance Theory)

I follow wholeheartedly the opinion that the expression 'theory of relativity' is a misnomer (to my knowledge the name 'theory of relativity' was coined by Planck, who was the first to voice approval of Einstein's 1905 paper). It is known that Einstein would have preferred the name 'Invariance theory'.

Einstein was never interested in relativism, only in theories based on Principles of Invariance. In that sense Einstein is to be placed in the category of people who oppose relativism.

What I want to contrast is theories from a starting point that space should be eliminated from physics theories, and theories from a starting point that the structure of space and time is a player in the physics taking place. The three succesful theories of motion all have in common the concept of structure of space and time as a physical entity in itself, involved in the physics taking place: Newtonian dynamics, special relativity, general relativity. I see general relativity as the culmination of that structure-of-space-and-time paradigm.

A problem that I have is that I'm fed up with the matter of false expectation. I'm fed up with dealing with the burden of the wide-spread erroneous expectation that relativistic physics is meant to show that "everything is relative". I just don't have the patience to deal with people who have embraced that erroneous belief. --Cleonis | Talk 12:24, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Indeed it was me who added that paragraph after someone else had introduced the term anti-relativityism - a term that in the end may have to go, as it's probably not in literature. Anyway, as I mentioned on that Talk page, that term excluded an important part of criticism to "relativity" theories, and thus I had to insert mention of that part.
Next the question is in how far Einstein was a "physical relativist" (which again is a bit different from "relativism"); perhaps you would like to make a clarification on that point. IMO, between 1905 and 1918 he surely was a relativist in the sense as explained in twin paradox, as he definitely tried to eliminate "space" from the laws of physics; but apparently he had given up on that around 1920. Some scientists (I have a reference if you like) call that relationalism. As usual in philosophy, everything is a bit vague and misunderstandings are unavoidable, but it is certainly useful if readers understand the fundamental differences in the kind of objections that were made against new theories or new concepts. Harald88 23:18, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

I hadn't realized that the terminilogy 'anti-relativityism' is novel, but I guess it is. Because of its sheer usefulness, I would be in favor of retaining it. (Which may be going outside wikipedia policy, which personally I don't mind doing, but I will respect the opinion of others.)

I wanted to notify you that my assessment is that Einstein was never interested in "showing that everything is equally relative". As I wrote before, I have dug hard at information. The group of experts on the early history of relativistic physics is not very large: John Norton, John Stachel, Jurgen Renn, Michael Jansen. I may forget one or two here, but those authors are my main sources of information. Reading their papers takes patience, for they are very, very meticulous.

On the basis of the body of evidence that I have gathered, my assessment is that Einstein's aim in the years leading up to 1915 was to enhance the concept that the structure of space and time is an entity in itself in the theory. (There are Einstein remarks that appear to indicate that Einstein supported physical relativity. I have explanations for these appeareances that satisfy me.)

For now let me submit as evidence the mathematical structure of the general theory of relativity. In GR, the structure of space and time is a physical entity in itself. That was Einstein's starting point all along. To suggest that Einstein had the wrong starting point, and just happened to stumble on the GR equations would be like claiming that Sir Edmond Hilary and Tenzing Norgay happened to stumble to the top of Mount Everest on a caving expedition.

I think this occasion is a good opportunity try and do a good write-up of how I understand the history of GR. So: later more.
Cheers --Cleonis | Talk 08:45, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I would not suggest that according to Einstein "everything is equally relative"; it is a fact that he tried to show that acceleration is as relative as velocity. And his extension of Newton's equivalence principle was by itself certainly not a "wrong" starting point for developing a new theory of physics. Anyway, I look forward to your citations. And we should decide if we want to add such information to the GRT page, in view of the misleading presentation of GRT there. Harald88 11:31, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Sandbox article about coordinate acceleration[edit]

As you know I dislike the expression 'fictitious force'. In my opinion that expression should be banned from physics textbooks, and it should be replaced with the expression 'coordinate acceleration'.

In this Sandbox article I explain the concept of coordinate acceleration. Can you check it out? It is related sideways to issues of the transition from newtonian dynamics to GR dynamics. --Cleonis | Talk 11:51, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Sorry I will go on vacation, maybe after. CU Harald88 21:38, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
how sandbox work E-Series 19:52, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Mass/energy equivalence underplayed?[edit]

Harald88, I wonder if you have some advice for me.... I am a bit puzzled about the way E=mc2 is presented in various Wikipedia articles and other references - it seems to understate the radical nature of Einstein's interpretation. I tried to encapsulate my puzzlement into a question at Talk:Special relativity. I'd appreciate your feedback. When you get back from vacation...? --Alvestrand 21:29, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


Radiant! has yet again been removing the link to the proposed policy page.

Wikipedia policy requires that if user conduct is an issue, at least 2 users must have tried to resolve it first. I've done so already and failed. Could you have a go, and post a note on his talk page that this is an ongoing matter, and please not to disrupt the process or remove links to the page?

Thanks. FT2 (Talk) 03:11, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


Where was this originally passed on to you? Was it in an email, or did someone post it somewhere on WP? Thanks. --LV (Dark Mark) 19:04, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

It was sent to me by her family from her email address, probably because I had written to her recently about an alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation. I knew she had had cancer for some time now, but she sounded so upbeat about it that it really took me by surprise. :( Harald88 06:39, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay, thanks. It is a sad thing. Thanks again. --LV (Dark Mark) 18:09, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Welcome back![edit]

hope you had a good holiday!

Unfortunately, the Licorne show hasn't stopped playing yet - it's now at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Licorne - and Licorne's invoking your name as if you supported him, amazingly enough.

Just thought you'd want to know. --Alvestrand 06:59, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the info! As I recognize that not everything that Licorne claims is erroneous, it's possible that he tries to get my support for a certain issue... I'll have a look at that, as well as E=mc2. Harald88 07:06, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I've been interested to learn of the disputes as well - with a more pleasant advocate for the opinion than Licorne, the process of getting that documented would have been fun! Hope we can get the facts & theories (and the separation between the two groups) sorted out in the end... --Alvestrand 07:13, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


Re your contribution to the Licorne "evidence" page:

just to be careful... Fastfission didn't introduce the idea that Bjerknes is a Holocaust denier into the discussion; I did. The basis for saying so is a speech given by Bjerknes in defense of David Irving - the link is on the Christopher Jon Bjerknes Web page.

I think the "talk" page of the RfA is a better place to discuss whether there are people who have behaved worse than Licorne, and whether that's a mitigating circumstance for him. --Alvestrand 13:19, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't matter what Bjerkness is. Didn't I make that clear? In fact, doesn't Wikipedia policy make that clear? Even if he was a child abuser, that is not an argument. Bjerkness himself makes the same kind of ad hominem attacks on Einstein in his book, and is appropriately criticized for it. Point is that Fastfission made an inappropriate argument, to whcih I commented as requested. Harald88 14:26, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I've formulated a little reply at Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_arbitration/Licorne/Evidence, I'd appreciate if you'd participate in that. It's not ad hominem to note that a source is not mainstream, and nothing I said about Bjerknes' status is incorrect in the slightest (and it is all easily verifiable). --Fastfission 13:56, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
OK I'll have a look, after I found some evidence that backs up your claim about Licorne's POV pushing. I did not focus on your claim that a source is not mainstream, and some of Bjerkness' ad hominem attacks on Einstein are easily verifiable as well (and just as irrelevant!). Harald88 14:26, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

On CRS reply to Winterberg[edit]


I don't see that further discussion of this is relevant to Licorne or anything except mutual interest. In relation to your description of what you found childish, I reacted to that differently but also somewhat negatively. My reaction was simply (like yours on this) that it was basically irrelevant and made the article harder to follow (parallel critique of two versions, one of which was provisional and never public). The reason for doing it did not strike me as sufficient. I thought it a bit strange rather than childish, but mostly didn't give it much thought (to be honest; I was focused on following the arguments as carefully as I could). As to the shorter version, it is completely lobotimized and leaves out essentially all backing detail. I find this very unfortunate. The short version doesen't convince me of anything, while the longer version leaves me completely convinced until someone presents critical flaws that I couldn't see. In fact, I think it is a crucial piece of historical argumentation that is now hidden, and the primary sources are impossible for any non-expert to access (the preserved proofs in different versions, especially). --Pallen 05:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

OOPS I had overlooked this. Thanks for the comment - I'll have another look at the long version, and I'll try to understand the reason for removing more than only the silly part. For now I only had a quick look at it, but my impression was similar to yours, it sounded plausible indeed. I did not check it carefully as, IMO, GRT remains Einstein's theory even if someone else would have published the most exact and correct equation before him. There is more to it than the 1915 equation. Harald88 15:57, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Background of 1905 Einstein invariance theory[edit]

Hi Harald, I have been brooding on how to write about the history of General relativity concepts.

In preparation for the things I want to write about, I need to provide background.
I quote from a paper by John Norton, Einstein’s Investigations of Galilean Covariant Electrodynamics Prior to 1905 (PDF-file 329 KB)

In a manuscript from 1920, Einstein recalled how this simple reflection had played

an important role in the thinking that led him to special relativity. The essentially relevant

parts of his recollection read:

In setting up the special theory of relativity, the following ...idea concerning Faraday’s magnet-electric induction [experiment] played a guiding role for me.

[magnet conductor thought experiment described].
The idea, however, that these were two, in principle different cases was unbearable for me. The difference between the two, I was convinced, could only be a difference in choice of viewpoint and not a real difference. Judged from the magnet, there was certainly no electric field present. Judged from the electric circuit, there certainly was one present.

Thus the existence of the electric field was a relative one, according to the state of motion of the coordinate system used, and only the electric and magnetic field together could be ascribed a kind of objective reality, apart from the state of motion of the observer or the coordinate system. The phenomenon of magneto-electric induction compelled me to postulate the (special) principle of relativity.
As he learned the modern PoR from Poincare, his memory was certainly flawed. And it was not Einstein, but probably Poincare (again!) who first presented the theory as that of a theory of invariants. More to the point for your discussion, recent experiments seem to conclusively demonstrate that for electromagnetic interactions it's the relative motion between objects that matter, while as you know, for relativistic effects, it's the motion relative to inertial frames that matters. Because the two are very narrowly related, they are often confused. However, as some modern scientists try to explain, magnet and coil is a relationalistic effect, not a relativistic effect. Do for example the twin paradox scenario with a coil and a magnet. What intrigues me most is the fact that also a rotating unipolar magnet appears to rotate ("drag") its field with it. No induction occurs in a co-rotating coil. I don't see how modern (still Maxwell-based) field theory explains that (do you have an idea, or can you explain it?).Harald88 10:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Can you provide more details on these experiments? You seem to be saying that Maxwell + SR makes an actual wrong prediction. Since Maxwell+GR is the same in vanishing curvature, this would also be violation of GR. Under normal macroscoping conditions, QED is provably the same as SR+Maxwell. Thus it seems you are saying there are experiments that violate all known fundamental physical theories. That would be worldwide headline news. I think there must be some question of proper interpretation going on here. FYI, as far as I know, with charges and fields in motion, which charges radiates and which situation induces current are invariant else conservation laws are violated. (On the priority questions, I remain disinterested; I think one can determine who wrote what, but I always find claims about who got what from whom to be speculative). --Pallen 13:23, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
It may be a question of proper interpretation; nevertheless, the proper interpretation was so non-obvious that for most of the last century this was the subject of heavy debate, new experiments, and contrary conclusions. I witnessed a complete inversion of conclusions not long ago, as published in the AJP. As I remain bugged by it, and at the same time I think it's probably very important, I'd be happy to hear some other opinions about it. And because of its importance we may base an article on it, if there isn't one about it already. See below, under the next header. [moved further down since] Harald88 16:14, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

The origin of this Einstein quote is listed as a manuscript that was prepared for the magazine Nature, but eventually wasn't published there. It has been published in Einstein's collected papers. (Einstein, Albert (1920) “Fundamental Ideas and Methods of the theory of Relativity, Presented in Their Development,” Papers, Vol. 7, Doc. 31.)

Understandably I like the above Einstein quote; it is in perfect harmony with the mainstream understanding of special relativity.
There is the 'silhouettes on a cavewall' theme. Two observational viewpoints that are moving relative to each other cut a different slice through space-time. The 'cuts at different angles' theme is depicted in this animation by Andrew Hamilton (that animation is on this webpage.)

In Maxwell's theory of electricity and magnetism the two fields are described as separate entities. Each field can induce the other field, but nonetheless the two are described as separate entities. Einstein sought to develop a field theory in which there is a single electromagnetic field, a single entity. This single entity is then the mediator of magneto-electric induction. The class of separate accounts of the physics taking place that Lorentz Ether theory provides (a different story for each velocity with respect to the ether) is then seen as a class of cuts at different angles. This class of cuts at different angles is then seen as an equivalence class of mapping events in a class of coordinate systems. That theme is what I tried to embody in the animations of my Sandbox article about Minkowski spacetime.

According to the principle of relativity of inertial motion, when two objects collide non-elastically, (and sticking together after the collision), then the amount of kinetic energy that is converted to heat in the collision is a frame-independent quantity; an invariant quantity.
In Minkowski space-time, in order to shift the angle of cutting through space-time, a force must be exerted. The shift is called a 'Lorentz boost'.
The structure of space and time opposes shift to another angle of cutting through space-time; this is of course what we refer to as inertia. --Cleonis | Talk 08:58, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

What is according to you the explanation for this? And why do you postulate that "time" has "structure"? I'm afraid that I can't follow your metaphysics. Anyway, thanks for the interesting thoughts!
Harald88 10:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I use the expression 'structure of space and time' interchangebly with the expression 'Minkowski space-time'. In order to frame a theory that embodies the principle of relativity of inertial motion unconditionally, Minkowski space-time with the properties as described in my Sandbox article must be assumed. In that Sandbox article I am presenting the mainstream view on relativity (invariance theory). I don't have an explanation for Minkowski space-time; I follow the mainstream policy of assuming Minkowski space-time geometry in order to be able to formulate a theory that meest the demands. That is what scientists do. One makes the necessary assumptions in order to formulate a theory. A scientific revolution (progress) is achieved by formulating a deeper, more unified theory than the reigning theory. I seek progress and unification. --Cleonis | Talk 11:28, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
As you know, Minkowski space-time is a mathematical description of measurements, partly based on the convention of defining lightspeed homogeneous in any inertial frame. Thus your "must be assumed" is conditional, and applies merely to observables. It has no more direct relationship to physical reality or an explanation of it than the optics law according to which you appear reduced and upside down if I look at you through a magnifying glass. And indeed scientists set up such equations. Moreover, they rarely can resist (especially if they have the "oldfashioned" desire to understand nature) attempts to infer what those laws tell us about the underlying reality. Now if you would claim that you are truly upside down and reduced when I look at you through a magnifying glass, of course it doesn't affect my observation, we would agree on the laws. But a debate would be hanging in the air! ;-)
Contrary to your assumption, I don't believe that Minkowski's philosophy that Spacetime exists is "mainstream" - I rather suspect that such is a misunderstanding due to the fact that textbooks do not discuss (on purpose) what the hidden reality may be, that corresponds to the laws of relativity. Most people I discussed with on sci.physics.relativity, and who claim to accept SRT, did not accept physical Spacetime. Instead, they simply accept the laws as they are, and don't think about it. Harald88 16:28, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
My impression is that Sci.Physics.Relativity is a very poor way to sample mainstream understanding. Much better is when relativity is discussed on Sci.Physics.Research. A real definition of mainstream would be how most practicing physicists choose to teach relativity to their students. This is when their view of 'best way to understand it' comes to the fore - in practice, as you say, they may rarely think about it. I don't know how to sample this easily. My prediction would be that they present spacetime as real for both special and general relativity. It certainly has real effect - deviation from a geodesic has many more effects in SR than in pre-relativity physics; these affects apply to all observables, all types of matter, e.g. no matter how you measure time, you find that your degree of deviation from geodesic affects the time you measure. The most direct way to understand this is to accept minkowski spacetime as real and then it is no more suprising than that a straight line is the shortest distance between points on a plane. This understanding moves smoothly to GR with dynamic, curved spacetime, which has all the same types of affects on observables that flat pseudo-euclidean spacetime does in SR. --Pallen 17:18, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Also on sci.physics.research I did not spot an adherence to Minkowski's interpretation that space and time are intertwined and of the same substance - but such philosophical issues are little discussed there.
The textbooks I had appropriately avoided these issues, but for example Einstein in 1916 suggested that spacetime is merely a tool to describe the laws of physics, as it always was. I daresay that no physicist I know believes in intertwined time and space in the way Minkowski presented it; instead we all think that time and space are not the same.
It would be interesting to know if ever an opinion poll was held on these matters. Harald88 17:42, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Now that you've been more explicit, we may be talking at cross purposes. There is 'space time' as generally accepted and their is Minkowski's philosophy of it. I think many of Minkowski's philosophic statements would not be accepted by most physicists, and his imaginary formalism is little used (except by Hawking in his 'no boundary' hypothesis). The distinction is that the conventional interpretation of spacetime in no way equates time and space: they relate differently to the metric; timelike intervals have fundamentally different significance than spacelike; only a few physicists believe that bizarre paper time travel approaches will ever occur in the real world,etc. However, in the sense of 'matter acts on spacetime and spacetime acts on matter, and is a real, dynamic component reality', I think this is clearly the consensus view. Certainly, everything I've read by Hawking, Greene, Wheeler, Chris Hillman, Kevin Brown, the MWT book (overall) are consistent with this. Steve Carlip (verifiable from preserved discussions with Chris Hillman), while defending the possibility of not believing this (say, treating gravity as a spin two field against flat UNOBSERVABLE background space, with all measurable effects consistent with GR), states he strongly prefers to think in terms of real spacetime geometry. Further, the Physics FAQ (which attempts to present the consensus view), on the twin paradox, describes the simple interpretation in terms of deviation from geodesic (which gives strong reality to spacetime) as the one most accepted by modern physicists. Maybe we are still mis-communicating, though. Can you explain in what sense you think most physicists don't believe in spacetime? --Pallen 04:33, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
We're quite at the same wavelength now, as indeed I did refer to Minkowski's philosophy, and you seem to agree that most physicists don't copy that. The problem is, that when abandoning his philosophy (eventhough he started it, apparently), everyone has a different concept of what "spacetime" is. Just as so many catholics have a different concept of what "the trinity" is - eventhough they all claim to believe in it. Reading Einstein, I don't get wiser, I suspect that he consciously avoided the issue. Some physicists I spoke with agree with me that spacetime is a human, artificial construct; and I've read some articles that state, like I believe, that "time" has no physical existence. But nothing(?) of such ideas can be measured, and most physicists don't read philosophy journals. Thus it's mostly metaphysics, "off-the-record" in physics discussions. Harald88 10:38, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Earlier in this thread Harald wrote: "As you know, Minkowski space-time is a mathematical description of measurements, partly based on the convention of defining lightspeed homogeneous in any inertial frame". It is my understanding that Harald regards the concept of Minkowski space-time continuum as an artifact of an arbitrary convention to define lightspeed homogenous with respect to any inertial frame. It is my understanding that Harald sees a concept of lightspeed as homogenous with respect to a luminiferous ether as the only logical option that is available. (Here, my use of the expression 'luminiferous ether' is not intended as a revisionist label.) --Cleonis | Talk 08:45, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

PS I am bugged by your claim in that sandbox: "There is no theory to address the question of how the structure of space and time can be like that." As such a theory is inherently metaphysical, I take it to mean:

"There is no explanation of how the laws of space and time can be like that."

However, as you know very well, such a theory does exist, it's only impopular because of fashion and/or misunderstandings. Thus I'm curious what you do mean with that claim. Harald88 17:05, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Lorentzian interpretation and Einstein interpretation: a thougth experiment[edit]

Cleonis | Talk 19:30, 4 March 2006 (UTC) In my Sandbox article about Minkowski space-time, I write:

"There is no explanation of how the laws of space and time can be like that."


[...], as you know very well, such a theory does exist, it's only impopular because of fashion and/or misunderstandings. Thus I'm curious what you do mean with that claim. Harald88 17:05, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I assume that you refer to the Lorentzian interpretation. I regard the Lorentzian interpretation problematic. In this I follow the mainstream view of the physics community.

I regard both Minkowski's and Einstein's explanations as problematic; in this I follow the opinion of a number of highly esteemed physicists, as published in mainstream journals. But that does not give me the right to claim that no such explanations were proposed. Thus for a Wikipedia article, either the subject should be avoided, or the different explanations as well as objections against each as known from literature should be presented. Harald88 20:46, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I wrote that in a Sandbox article. I would not write such a statement in a wikipedia namespace article. with: 'no theory is known' I meant: there is no generally accepted theory that addresses that question. Of course, individuals may have published proposals. --Cleonis | Talk 21:21, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I assumed your sandbox to be a draft for a Wikipedia article. Apart of that, "not known" and "not generally accepted" are very different things. Thus such a remark is highly misleading; in a business report such a phrasing would probably consititute fraud. Harald88 10:05, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

One of my considerarions is the following thought experiment:

Cavendish measured the gravitational constant by measuring the gravitational attraction exerted by a lead sphere with a weight of 350 pounds. Description of the Cavendish gravitational constant measurement

We have good reasons to trust that active gravitational mass is always equivalent to passive gravitational mass, and that gravitational mass is always equivalent to inertial mass. No experimental evidence is known of a case of gravitational mass not being equivalent to inertial mass.

Suppose we assume that there is a Lorentzian ether. An Lorentz-type ether theory requires that inertial mass increases with increasing velocity with respect to the Lorentzian ether. Then it follows that a Cavendish gravitational constant experiment, onboard a spacecraft free-floating in space, will measure a different value, depending on the velocity of the spacecraft with respect to the Lorentzian ether. (Cavendisch happened to use a torsion balance, but there are of course lots of ways to perform the necessary measurement.)

Your OR is erroneous: just describe that experiment using standard SRT and the ECI frame. You may find it tricky to solve (I have not tried it). As soon as you solved it, you will have solved it for both interpretations; while if you claim that it doesn't work, then de facto you claim that SRT is wrong. At first sight the problem looks similar to that of two co-moving electrons. The time dilation factor is that of the mass increase, but the forces transform as with the lever paradox, which is a bit trickier. Harald88 20:46, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
It is not a matter of SRT being wrong: SRT has been superseeded by GRT. A relativistic theory of gravitation cannot be reconciled with SRT. So as a theory of relativity, SRT is insufficient. A new, more encompassing theory was necessary. The successor of SRT, GRT, covers both electromagnetism and gravitation, which is reflected in its name. However, in many situatons SRT serves fine as an approximate theory.
Sorry, I meant GRT. Harald88 10:05, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

On the other hand: according to the Einstein approach, in which velocity with respect to the Minkowski space-time does not enter the theory, we have that whenever the spacecraft is moving inertially (regardless of what it did before that; we assume motion to be memoryless), always the same gravitational constant will be measured.

That's identical to the Poincare approach... Harald88 20:46, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me that a strictly Lorentzian theory only stands a chance of predicting the same as Einstein theory when the Lorentzian theory assumes that gravitation couples to rest mass, for it is rest mass that is, like coulomb charge, Lorentz-invariant. However, there is solid evidence that gravitation couples to the total inertial mass, not to rest mass.

The most extreme version of this thought experiment goes as follows: take a neutron star, teetering on the brink of collapsing into a black hole. In this thought experiment the neutron star is just below the mass limit for collapsing into a black hole. Now, increase the velocity of that neutron star. It seems to me that an ether theory must predict then that the increase of inertial mass will elevate the self-gravitation of the neutron star to the point of collapse into a black hole. --Cleonis | Talk 19:30, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think so: the black hole condition relates to its proper frame. I think there is a FAQ about again the same problem, which arises in SRT when regarding the star from the earth, relative to which it moves away at high speed.
Cheers, Harald88 20:46, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Edits to your evidence in the Licorne case[edit]

Thanks for giving evidence in the Licorne arbitration. As a clerk to the arbitration committee, I have edited some of your evidence (in this edit) to provide the kind of "diff" links that the committee will want to look at. If you give more evidence, but find yourself unable to produce such links, it would still be helpful if you could note the approximate time of day as well as the date of the edit. I can hunt the history and produce the diff more easily if you do that.

For the arbitration committee. --Tony Sidaway 22:27, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Lorentz interpretation and Einstein interpretation: the thought experiment[edit]

I couldn't make out from your previous reply whether I had been sufficiently specific in how I presented the thought experiment. It is unclear why you brought up the ECI frame.
Therefore I present the thought experiment a second time, with more specifics.

A characteristic of a Lorentz-type ether theory is that it is assumed that inertial mass increases as velocity with respect to the supposed ether increases. This has been explained by Poincaré in his 1909 Göttingen lecture. "On a constaté ainsi que la masse dépend de la vitesse et énoncer cette loi: L’inertie d’un corps croît avec sa vitesse qui reste inférieure à celle de la lumière, 300 000 kilomètres par seconde."

Note that such is standard SRT, as also by Langevin, Feynman, Alonso&Finn etc. Thus no need to invoke "ether theory": simply relate to a specific inertial frame of choice (I took the ECI frame for convenience, but you may also choose the solar frame, or whatever). Harald88 10:39, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Technically it is incorrect to state that inertial mass increases with increasing velocity.

I strongly disagree; and I know to be in good company, as indicated above. Harald88 17:22, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I am aware of course that imagery of 'inertial mass increasing with velocity' is common physics shorthand in conversation between experts. In physics teaching, the statement 'inertia increases with velocity' is bad teaching.
That's your opinion. IMO, the statement 'inertia increases with speed' is good teaching. Tastes differ you know. Harald88 17:22, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Interesting discussion here. I have an example that may shed some light on this. Cleonis is strictly correct in the sense that inertial mass of a single particle is not an invariant. Thus no aspect of the apparent increase of a moving particle's inertial mass is detectible in a frame moving with the particle. On the other hand, my friend Steven Carlip wrote an interesting paper some years ago on the proper relativisting treatment of the inertial mass of a hot brick vs. a cold brick. The key here is that because molecular motion is random, in every frame of reference the hot brick is heavier because 'almost all the molecules' are moving faster. Which ones are moving fastest varies with the frame, but the statistical average doesn't change. Overall, I lean much closer to Cleonis point of view - the increase in apparent inertial mass of moving object is a frame related affect, VERY different from an invariant effect like the change in proper time due to accelaration relative to locally inertial motion. As an invariant, every frame agree's precisely on the effect of such motion. --Pallen 20:46, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment, but everyone agrees that relativistic mass is not invariant, and thus indeed "apparent" - just as the kinetic energy increase of a proton in SLAC. Harald88 10:18, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Let me add some more observations that show that there is really a lot of room personal philosophy on this. Consider the Galilean pre-relativity analog. The kinetic energy of the center of mass of an object is not invariant (it can be trivially removed by changing frame), but the kinetic heat of an ensemble of particles is invariant, even though, for each molecule it is the same effect. The relativistic situation is essentially identical, except that wherever Newtonian physics has an increase of kinetic energy, relativistic physics has that plus an equivalent increase in inertial mass. The statetment of which quantities are invariants is an objective prediction of each theoretical framework. The 'reality' of the non-invariant elements is subject to personal belief. So, perhaps, I now find myself agnostic on this question. It is certainly common to treat non-invariant kinetic energy as real. Note that in GR, however, it is only the invariant mass energy of a particle ensemble that contributes to intrinsic metric curvature. --Pallen 01:33, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
It should be taught as follows: given a choice of coordinate system, you assign a coordinate distance and a coordinate time to events in space-time. Technically, the inertial mass above rest mass of a particle moving with respect to the chosen coordinate system is a 'coordinate inertia'. In physics teaching, the distinction between the invariants and the variants ought to be kept in focus all the time. --Cleonis | Talk 11:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Sure - we fully afree on that. Harald88 17:22, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Let a spacecraft be somewhere in interstellar space, so far away from any star that any stellar gravitational field is negligable. In a hold inside the spacecraft, the gravitational attraction between two large, solid spheres is measured. The large spheres are centimeters apart.

Example of how the magnitude of that gravitational attraction can be measured:
A low pressure air cushion is supplied in the gap between the two spheres, so that the gravitational attraction cannot pull them closer. The low pressure air cushion would have to be provided by using a tiny, low mass tube, supplying a minute flow of air right between the two masses. The magnitude of the air flow that counterbalances exactly the gravitational attraction between the two masses is then a measure of the gravitational attraction between the two balls.

Interesting! It sounds like you refer to an actual experimental embodiment that I didn't know. I'd be interested to read about it, if you have a ref. Harald88 10:39, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Not? Harald88 17:22, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I wrote an email to Michel Janssen, who is probably one of the world's foremost experts on the content of the ether theory as proposed by Hendrik Anton Lorentz. He replied that he was intrigued by the thought experiment, but he had no knowledge of a reference for it. He declined to investigate it himself as he is swamped with demands on his time. --Cleonis | Talk 11:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Let the spacecraft alternate between phases of accelerating and moving inertially. Everytime the spacecraft is moving inertially the gravitational attraction between the two spheres is measured. From an ether theory point of view, the respective measurements are conducted at a different velocity with respect to the ether each time. There is strong evidence that gravitational mass is always equivalent to inertial mass. From an ether theory point of view one expects that at each different velocity with respect to the ether a different gravitational attraction will be measured.

The "ether theory" as discussed here is subjected to the PoR, and faces the identical problem as the "non-ether" theory, as the calculations are identical. Thus, we may (as usual) rephrase your above claim as that of the statement of the following paradox (indeed a GRT paradox, making it trickier):
"From the point of view of the chosen stationary frame relative to which the rocket accelerates, one expects that at each different velocity with respect to that frame a different gravitational attraction will be measured - as the balls become more and more high energetic."
No, it is not a challenge to the selfconsistency of GRT. Velocity with respect to the structure of space and time does not enter GRT calculations. This thought experiment challenges exclusively theories in wich velocity with respect to an assumed ether is an operative factor in the theory. --Cleonis | Talk 11:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
As twice you didn't follow my argument, I'll do one last attempt: please show how GRT works out when one calculates the mutual attraction while using a frame in which the rocket is in motion. Harald88 17:22, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

This thought experiment would not have been considered before 1915. In 1915, GRT put the concept of equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass on firm ground.

??? I daresay that that's erroneous: it was the basic assumption (postulate) of Newton that there is only one mass, on which gravitation and inertia act, with the resulting Newtonian equivalence between acceleration and gravitation; there was only some speculation around that time that Newton might have been wrong about that Harald88 10:39, 5 March 2006 (UTC).
What Newton needed to hold good is that gravitational mass is always equivalent to the rest mass.
The equivalence principle as put on firm ground by GRT encompasses more than that: equivalence between gravitational mass and the total inertial mass. According to GRT, any energy contributes to the total inertial mass, and hence contributes to the active gravitational mass. --Cleonis | Talk 11:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Lorentz ether theory works for electromagnetism because Coulomb charge is a Lorentz invariant quantity. On the other hand, according to GRT gravitation is a function of the total inertial mass. Rest mass is Lorentz-invariant, but the total inertial mass is not Lorentz-invariant. --Cleonis | Talk 09:38, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't discuss revisionist labels such as "Lorentz ether theory". You may want to show how in GRT (which was also taught by Lorentz) the paradox is solved; and I'm interested to see it, as I'm not sufficiently trained in the gravitational attraction aspects of GRT.
Next, by replacing "rest frame" by "ether frame", you will get the answer to your thought experiment.
Regards, Harald88 10:39, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
So far I used the expression 'Lorentz-type ether theory' for any ether theory in which the ether is itself immutable, and the Lorentz transformations hold good. Unfortunately, I don't know of a good alternative to the expression 'Lorentz-type ether theory'; I'm using that expression for want of a better one. My use of that expression is not intended to stick on a revisionist label.
As you state, Lorentz gave lectures on GRT, so presumably he had found a way to reconcile his preferred interpretation with GRT. That is why I wrote an email to Michel Janssen, to see if maybe he could shed some light. --Cleonis | Talk 11:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I still look forward to see your calculation. Next, I'll take it from there.
Regards, Harald88 17:22, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Alonso & Finn[edit]

Hi Harald,

I've checked out what Alonso & Finn write about relativistic physics.

The location:
Alonso & Finn, second edition, volume I, mechanics and thermodynamics, Section 6.8, page 133

Alonso and Finn discuss the Michelson-Morley experiment at length, and write:

Lorentz and Fitzgerald independently proposed that all objects moving through the ether suffer a "real" contraction in the direction of motion


Of course, an alternative explanation is of the negative result of the Michelson-Morley experiment is to assume that the speed of light is always the same in all directions, no matter what the state of motion of the observer. [...] This position was adopted by Albert Einstein when he was formulating his principle of relativity. The student may, however, at this moment say that the "real" contraction assumed by Lorentz to explain the negative result of the Michelson-Morley experiment is exactly the same as the contraction we found in Eq. (6.35) by using the Lorentz transformation and the principle of the invariance of the velocity of light. There is however, a fundamental difference between, the two underlying hypotheses used for obtaining these two apparantly identical results. (1) the contraction (6.37) obtained by means of the Galilean transformations is assumed to be a real contraction suffered by all bodies moving through the ether, and the v appearing in the formula is the velocity of the object relative to the ether. (2) Contraction (6.35) refers to only the measured value of the length of the object in motion relative to the observer, and is a consequence of the invariance of the velocity of light. the v appearing in the formula is the velocity of the object relative to the observer, and thus the contraction is different for different observers. Einstein realized that the idea of an ether was artificial and unnecessary, an that the logical explanation was that the second one.

Admittedly, this exposition by Alonso & Finn is rather muddled, and several of their remarks are historically wrong, but there can be no doubt as to the philosophical commitment of Alonso & Finn.

sure. I did not attempt to defend their (rather typical) muddled understanding of the historical and philosophical issues. But I agree with their approach to inertial mass.
Length, time and mass are variants; while (by definition) proper length, time and mass are invariants. Harald88 17:29, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

There is always the distinction between the invariants and the variants. Electric charge, rest mass, and the space-time interval are invariants. When two objects collide, and remain stuck together after the collision, then the amount of kinetic energy that is converted to heat is an invariant, a frame-independent quantity. On the other hand: the quantity of length contraction is a coordinate contraction. Given an arbitrary choice of coordinate system to map physics events, an amount of coordinate contraction is assigned to each object that is moving with respect to the chosen coordinate system. But to this coordinate contraction no corresponding physics content is attributed; the coordinate contraction that is assigned is an artifact of the particular choice of mapping the events in a coordinate system. --Cleonis | Talk 14:28, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

No formula to slot in a velocity[edit]

I copy and paste from above:

[...] please show how GRT works out when one calculates the mutual attraction while using a frame in which the rocket is in motion. Harald88 17:22, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Presumably you mean: in GRT, what is the mutual attraction between the massive spheres when the spacecraft is in inertial motion? (This experiment would be very tedious when the spacecraft is pulling G's)

According to GRT, there is full blown equivalence of all inertial motion. GRT is by design a theory that has as its starting point full blown symmetry of all inertial motion. So in GRT there is nothing to calculate; in the mathematical framework of GRT there is no formula to slot in the velocity that you are referring to.

Cleonis, as long as you avoid the question, there is nothing to discuss; for the ether concept of Lorentz fully agrees with GRT. Different from your claim, GRT agrees with SRT according to which at CERN particles obtain high energy when accelerated. This high energy is of course as determined in the lab's frame, and matters for that frame. All effects should (and do) cancel, as determined from that frame. But I won't elaborate on that a fourth time. Thus, without a calculation from you, I deem this discussion closed - or more precisely: never properly started! Harald88 11:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Harald, three times now you have avoided the issue that I have raised. Specifically, you are not taking into account the distinction between a Lorentz-invariant quantity and a Lorentz-variant quantity.
I illustrate that with another thought experiment: An extremely strong flywheel is spinning extremely fast. According to GRT, there are two contributions to the inertial mass, above the rest mass (1) the kinetic energy of the spinning flywheel contributes a Lorentz-invariant energy, hence it contributes inertio-gravitational mass, (2) the material of the flywheel is highly stressed; this also corresponds to a Lorentz-invariant energy that contributes to the inertio-gravitational mass.
Any Lorentz-variant kinetic energy does not contribute to the inertio-gravitational mass, according to GRT.
Of course, the trajectories of particles in a particle accelerator are consistent with modeling the particle as a particle with elevated inertial mass, depending on their velocity with respect to the lab frame. So is is natural that a physics shorthand has arisen in which a fast-moving particle is described as having elevated inertial mass.
I follow your suggestion of deeming this discussion as closed, or rather, never started at all. I will not take up the subject of relativistic physics again, your views and my views are too different. --Cleonis | Talk 08:37, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Cleon, IMO it's you who ducked the issue by refusing to come up with the corresponding calculation in GRT. Meanwhile I found back the recent newsgroup discussion that I vaguely referred to, and for completeness I add it here:
In particular, the usual comments are like this one (also taken from that thread):
"Aren't Einstein's equations for GR equally valid in all frames? Yes, they are, and if you choose a frame in which a body is moving very fast, some coordinates of its stress-energy tensor will become very high".
I have no doubt that that is correct (apparently you disagree).
Thus, only a full and correct GRT calculation example could have clarified your issue. Harald88 09:37, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

By contrast: in an ether theory, velocity with respect to the supposed ether matters, and if that ether theory wants to reproduce all relativistic predictions the laws of that theory must be such that in the end all ether effects cancel out against each other. As you know, that is what makes the ether theoretical discussion of for example the Trouton-Noble experiment so riddled with pitfalls. In an ether theory with Lorentz transformations, that machinery works out for electromagnetism, as the Lorentz transformations hold good for electromagnetism: in the end everything cancels out again. But gravitation is not Lorentz-invariant.

I was drawn towards this thought experiment precisely because of that difference. I have not encountered discussion of this thought experiment anywhere, which surprises me somewhat, because I think it is quite a probing thought experiment. --Cleonis | Talk 19:03, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Harald referred to:
rest mass/relativistic mass question as discussed on on sci.physics.research on 18 february 2006

When read as a whole (as opposed to taking a sound bite), I agree with the wonderfully clear expositions by Greg Egan.
Not surprisingly, my view coincides with the view that is presented in the Usenet Physics FAQ article about the question: Does mass change with velocity? And the related article: If you go too fast do you become a black hole?

In the above-mentoned thread: 'rest mass/relativistic mass question', Chalky asks a probing question:

Now, with a linearly accelerating mass, energy is definitely being spent on it. That energy is being transformed into kinetic energy (which is the other confusing concept because this meaure of energy seems to be frame dependant) which is as "real" as any other energy because it can be converted back if necessary to any other form of energy. However, this kinetic energy for some reason does not contribute to the stress-energy tensor.

Greg Egan's answer satisfies me in the sense that he shows to my satisfaction that there is no selfconsistency issue. --Cleonis | Talk 19:42, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

On the soundbite "Does mass change with velocity?", I agree with Feynman, Alonso&Finn etc. and not with that FAQ;
while we both agree that there likely (none of us showed it) is no selfconsistency issue about mutual attraction when describing two moving balls from the perspective of a stationary frame. I take it that you agree that there is no reason to expect a problem there; eventhough indeed, neither you nor I have seen a calculation example for such a problem. But then, there is an infinite number of such problems that can be cooked up... Harald88 20:20, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Unipolar magnet?[edit]

You mention that unipolar magnets have weird effects in another thread on this page. What theory predicts that such a thing exists? Has it been observed? My physics is getting old.... --Alvestrand 15:53, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

There may be a misunderstanding in terms: I'm not referring to a (hypothetical) monopole, but to a magnet that has one magnetic axis around which it can rotate. And I don't know what would be weird or not, it depends on what one would expect to happen. The history of experiments that show electrical rotational effects to be "absolute" or "relative" is fascinating, and every new experiment during the last century led to the contrary conclusion. The big turnaround (probably really conclusive) experiment was done quite recently. I don't have the documentation here; I'll try to look up some references when I'm back at work on Monday. Harald88 16:55, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

OK I found some of it back!

Guala-Valverde, on the Unipolar motor / Faraday disc, published around 2002/2003 in several journals, such as AJP (but that article is of less quality, due to imposed inconsistencies).
See for example online: Apeiron vol.8 2001
as well as (see also the references)
Harald88 22:30, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Very interesting experiments. The interpretation seems not fully settled. In contrast to Guala-Valverde's explanation, the following author claims that the effect does not occur for electromagnets, only for permanent magnets. This is seen to cause serious problems for Guala-Valverde's interpretation of his experiments. The author's alternative explanation is the analysis permanent magnets in terms of their magnetic domains, which represent small current loops: However, because of the pitfalls of modeling an actually rather complex reality with oversimplified models, my sense is that there is not yet clear consensus on the explanation of these results. However, I would propose a different experiment (my own) to challenge the idea that if all parts of an e/m system are co-rotating, the rotation can't be detected. Consider two metal balls like those used in a van-de-graff generator, mounted on either end of an insulating rod. Have a large charge difference between them. Imagine spinning this apparatus rapidly like a baton. Imagine a radio detector some distance away, spinning identically with spinning charge apparatus - such that in an appropriate spinning frame, the whole apparatus including the radio receiver are stationary. SR, and most physicists, would predict that radio will detect radio waves if the spin is fast enough and the charge subsantial enough. My guess is that Guala-Valverde would propose that no radio waves would be detected. Of course, the electromagnet variant of his experiment already achieves detection of absolute rotation, electromagnetically (according to Dixon). --Pallen 01:00, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that new reference, I had not seen that one. Strange though that his claim about electromagnets isn't referenced, but perhaps it is well known? Also, I know at least one GRT proponent who claims that no radiation is measured in co-accelerating frames (consistent with GRT). Harald88 07:48, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
BTW, I now see that already articles exist on the Faraday disc, to which we thus may add. Harald88 12:50, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
On the effect of such current loops I now found the following on internet:
For now I don't see what to conclude from this all, in particular I don't see what those current loops do... I'll take a break about this subject, and look at it at a later date! Harald88 14:30, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I believe the correct result in GR depends on motion in relation to 'local inertial frame', and also what the experimental set up is. For rotation, GR makes no preditions different from SR (first order, that is; frame dragging is a second order effect). Motion in a local free fall is equivalent SR inertial motion (as long as what you are measuring is local - if you send a signnal through a gravitational potential a substantial distance, of course you see gravitational red shift). Accelaration relative to free fall is as real(absolute) for GR as accelaration relative to space time background is to SR. Thus, for example, GR predicts that a stationary chage sitting on the surface of a non-rotating neutron star will radiate(it is accelarating relative to free fall), while a charge free falling into the neutron star will not radiate. --Pallen 13:44, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Which is the opossite of what others think. A radiating charge on a heavy object would result in energy loss, without a corresponding change of state - where would the energy come from? Obviously, there is a lot of different opinions here, and more confusion than agreement! Harald88 14:14, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
<embarassment> I have fallen into the so called 'equivalence principle paradox'. I naively assumed this was a simple problem to solve using the equivalence principle. However, it is anything but simple, because computing radiated power involves integrating over a surface, and is thus inherently non-local. Further, exactly what will be seen by whom in variations of this scenario, and more importatnly the 'best' explanation of why, still seems under debate. A fascinating sample of papers can be found by simply googling for "equivalence principle paradox".--Pallen 15:10, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, no less an authority than Chris Hillman thought as I did, on first glance. (See attached e-mail). However, the collection of papers on this issue sure leaves a confusing state of affairs:

E-mail From: Chris Hillman To: Alberto Mesquita Filho

On Thu, 8 Jan 1998, Alberto Mesquita Filho wrote:

> In my original project I thought of a charge at rest, for example, a loaded spherical conductor on a table and of this separated by an insulating cylinder. However, the experience would be the same case if the charge it was in a rectilinear and uniform movement. Certainly, in the considered frame of reference, it is not being accelerated because "it doesn't emit electromagnetic radiation".

����������� You are still confused.� If the table is experiencing stresses because there is a gravitational force (or if you prefer, because the elevator is being accellerated), then the charge will radiate because it to is being accellerated.

Chris Hillman

Some sample papers debating this:,,, --Pallen 15:51, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Interesting collection! I only had a look at the first one, and whcih looks rather good, at first sight. Maybe we should add some of this to the corresponding articles - but I'm afraid I'm too busy these days. Try to keep it in mind. Harald88 20:23, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Of these, on an initial read through, the 3d reference (Pauri and Vallisneri) seems the most convincing to me. Two of the others agree with the main conclusiong, but the argumentation seems less fundamentally convincing to me. The first reference takes a maverick point of view and argues that there is a genuine violation of the equivalence principle. My superficial initial analysis correctly noted that the comoving accelarated charge and detector has to be the same as a charge and detector supported in a gravitational field (by the equivalence principle). However, I wrongly concluded from an extremely oversimplified application of Maxwell's equations and SR, that the former case would produce radiation at the detector. This, indeed, leads to the bizarre situation you questioned. Reference 3 is very convincing that a proper application of Maxwell+SR predicts no radiation for the case of COMOVING accelarated charge and detector. There seems to be a good article opportunity here. I notice that the Physics FAQ chooses not address this question at all - I guess not surprising given how many great physicists (e.g. Pauli) have gotten it wrong over the years. --Pallen 20:27, 7 March 2006 (UTC)