VSJ – November 2005 – Work in Progress

In his final article on Relativity, Terry Longhurst, FIAP proposes an alternative way of thinking about space.

When discussing the ‘Longhurst experiment’ last month, I said “there is no discrepancy in how much time has actually passed for Alice and Betty, it’s just the time signals that are out of sync”. However, it is important to understand that, although the actual passage of time for Alice and Betty is the same, the discrepancy in the time signals is no mere illusion.

Suppose that at 10:00:01 the radio transmitter emitted a strong burst of gamma rays, as well as the time signal. At 10:00:05, when the girls were adjacent, Alice would be burnt to a crisp by the radiation, but Betty would not. Betty would be burnt approximately a second later, when she received the ‘10:00:01’ time signal.

So the time discrepancy can have a very real impact on material objects and perhaps this is why Einstein thought that the passage of time actually was different in the different frames of reference. However, we have seen that this is not the case. Einstein generalised Lorentz’s transformation as an effect on the dimensions of space and time. So he assumed that it applies equally to electromagnetic phenomena and material objects. This is not so. It can affect material objects but only as a result of their interaction with electromagnetic phenomena. It has no direct impact on the interaction of material objects, nor their experience of the passage of time. This may seem to be a small distinction but its impact is fundamental. It suggests that Einstein’s cosmology does not correspond to the real universe.

So how do we derive an alternative cosmology? Well, first let’s summarise what we have already observed. I have suggested that it is as if there are two universes, one material and one electromagnetic.

This leads me to question the term ‘velocity of light’. It is clear that light ‘moves’ in a completely different manner from material objects. Therefore using the term ‘velocity’ is misleading, as it implies a spurious commonality with the motion of material objects. I would therefore suggest that it should be re-named ‘Einstein’s constant’.

So far I have merely used logic to extrapolate from the observed behaviour of light. However, to proceed we must now make certain assumptions. It is clear that the material universe behaves as if space exists as a material entity. It is equally apparent that the electromagnetic universe behaves as if it does not. If we assume that these two universes are simply different aspects of the same universe, then it follows that space cannot exist as a material entity in that unified universe.

So the delay between a ray of light being transmitted by one body and being received by another cannot be explained by the time taken for the ray to travel through space from one to the other, because space does not exist so far as light is concerned. We need a different explanation for the delay. Fortunately there is a clue in Einstein’s original paper on relativity. He suggested that simultaneity was dependent on the frame of reference. This means that two events that are simultaneous when seen from one frame of reference may not be so from a different frame of reference. Einstein attributed this effect to the relative motions of the frames of reference, but what if it is actually an inherent property of the material objects?

Suppose that what appears to us as space is actually a representation of inherent differences in the view of simultaneity of the objects. Then we may say that there is a delay of five seconds between the emission of light by one body and its reception by another because there is a five-second difference in their view of when that event occurred. I.e. their view of simultaneity differs by five seconds. Putting it another way, we may say that these two objects are five light seconds apart, which, using Einstein’s constant, translates into a spatial distance of one and a half million kilometres.

Of course space is not one-, but three-dimensional and this suggests that the differences in simultaneity are also three-dimensional. This does not explain why space is three dimensional, it merely acknowledges that it is. Put simply, if this were not so, the universe we know would not exist.

So we arrive at the idea that material objects and electromagnetic phenomena behave as if they exist in different universes. However, as they can interact, we assume that underlying the material and electromagnetic universes there is a unified universe. In that unified universe space does not exist. Instead, material objects have uniquely different views of simultaneity. It is these differences in views of simultaneity that give rise to what we experience in the material universe as space.

Do I have any evidence to prove this? Well, no. I’m not a scientist. I have neither the training nor the resources to derive practical experiments to prove, or disprove, these ideas. However, they do have the benefit of being consistent with the known behaviour of light and with causality.

You can contact Terry at tlonghurst@iap.org.uk.

[Interesting project or development? Let us know at eo@iap.org.uk!]

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