Einsteinian Logicians: True Postulates, Wrong Consequences
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Pentcho Valev
2017-11-20 23:43:28 UTC
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Brian Greene: "Special relativity in some sense is surely wrong."

How about the postulates from which special relativity was deduced? The principle of relativity? The constancy of the speed of light? Brian Greene believes that the postulates are true. A wrong theory deduced from true postulates. Brian Greene the Logician.

Other Logicians in Einstein's schizophrenic world who repudiate the consequences but worship the postulates:

"And by making the clock's tick relative - what happens simultaneously for one observer might seem sequential to another - Einstein's theory of special relativity not only destroyed any notion of absolute time but made time equivalent to a dimension in space: the future is already out there waiting for us; we just can't see it until we get there. This view is a logical and metaphysical dead end, says Smolin." http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jun/10/time-reborn-farewell-reality-review

"Was Einstein wrong? At least in his understanding of time, Smolin argues, the great theorist of relativity was dead wrong. What is worse, by firmly enshrining his error in scientific orthodoxy, Einstein trapped his successors in insoluble dilemmas..." https://www.amazon.com/Time-Reborn-Crisis-Physics-Universe-ebook/dp/B00AEGQPFE

"[George] Ellis is up against one of the most successful theories in physics: special relativity. It revealed that there's no such thing as objective simultaneity. [...] Rescuing an objective "now" is a daunting task." https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22730370-600-why-do-we-move-forwards-in-time/

Nobel Laureate David Gross observed, "Everyone in string theory is convinced...that spacetime is doomed. But we don't know what it's replaced by." https://www.edge.org/response-detail/26563

Nima Arkani-Hamed (06:09): "Almost all of us believe that space-time doesn't really exist, space-time is doomed and has to be replaced by some more primitive building blocks."

What scientific idea is ready for retirement? Steve Giddings: "Spacetime. Physics has always been regarded as playing out on an underlying stage of space and time. Special relativity joined these into spacetime... [...] The apparent need to retire classical spacetime as a fundamental concept is profound..." https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25477

"Rethinking Einstein: The end of space-time. It was a speech that changed the way we think of space and time. The year was 1908, and the German mathematician Hermann Minkowski had been trying to make sense of Albert Einstein's hot new idea - what we now know as special relativity - describing how things shrink as they move faster and time becomes distorted. "Henceforth space by itself and time by itself are doomed to fade into the mere shadows," Minkowski proclaimed, "and only a union of the two will preserve an independent reality." And so space-time - the malleable fabric whose geometry can be changed by the gravity of stars, planets and matter - was born. It is a concept that has served us well, but if physicist Petr Horava is right, it may be no more than a mirage. Horava, who is at the University of California, Berkeley, wants to rip this fabric apart and set time and space free from one another in order to come up with a unified theory that reconciles the disparate worlds of quantum mechanics and gravity - one the most pressing challenges to modern physics."

Pentcho Valev
Pentcho Valev
2017-11-21 09:13:34 UTC
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Robbert Dijkgraaf: "In some sense, this exercise is exactly the opposite of what Einstein tried to achieve. His aim was to build all of the laws of nature out of the dynamics of space and time, reducing physics to pure geometry. For him, space-time was the natural "ground level" in the infinite hierarchy of scientific objects - the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The present point of view thinks of space-time not as a starting point, but as an end point, as a natural structure that emerges out of the complexity of quantum information, much like the thermodynamics that rules our glass of water." https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-solve-the-biggest-mystery-in-physics-join-two-kinds-of-law-20170907/

Spacetime has already emerged, deductively, from Einstein's 1905 (false) constant-speed-of-light postulate - it cannot reemerge from other premises:

"Special relativity is based on the observation that the speed of light is always the same, independently of who measures it, or how fast the source of the light is moving with respect to the observer. Einstein demonstrated that as an immediate consequence, space and time can no longer be independent, but should rather be considered a new joint entity called "spacetime." http://community.bowdoin.edu/news/2015/04/professor-baumgarte-describes-100-years-of-gravity/

Robbert Dijkgraaf is not alone - there are many attempts to deduce spacetime from premises different from the principle of relativity and the constancy of the speed of light:

"With the help of a grant of over $60,000 from FQXi he [Sean Carroll] hopes to explain the very emergence of space and time using quantum physics. [...] The question of whether one can recover spacetime itself from the ideas of quantum mechanics, thereby understanding how all our classical notions arise from quantum theory, is a fascinating one." http://fqxi.org/community/articles/display/213

Sabine Hossenfelder: "...hints at a deeper truth: that space-time is made of small elements whose collective motion gives rise to the force we call gravity. In this case, gravity would not be a truly fundamental phenomenon, but an emergent one." https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/02/28/is-dark-matter-about-to-be-killed-by-emergent-gravity/

"The challenge is to somehow bring the notion of granularity to spacetime, bring the discrete to the continuous. This is the problem that has baffled theoretical physicists for at least half a century." http://radio.wpsu.org/post/reality-not-what-we-can-see

Bringing granularity to spacetime is equivalent to painting spacetime in yellow. Spacetime is, essentially, the Lorentz transformation equations - nothing more, nothing less. One cannot deduce these equations from premises different from the principle of relativity and the constancy of the speed of light. If spacetime is wrong and should be replaced, then the underlying premise, Einstein's constant-speed-of-light postulate, is false.

Pentcho Valev