# Thread: A light speed gedanken

1. Hi Pete
I have a sun over a light year away from a ship that is traveling at right angle with respect to the sun. The ship takes an aberration reading on the light from the sun. I then reverse the ship and travel in the opposite direction at the same speed. The ship now takes another aberration reading on the light from the sun. The two readings are opposite of each other. It takes a half a year to reverse the ships course.
How can light that is emitted over a year ago by a sun (if the sun is responsible for abberation) change direction in mid flight?

2. Originally Posted by 2inquisitive
Dependes on what you mean by 'bent to follow Earth'. The starlight was not emitted in Earth's ether field, and it will not curve 'straight down' when it enters it, only slightly 'bent' like it is when passing any other ether field between the star and Earth, such as the sun. But Earth's gravity, and thus the 'ether field', is much less dense than the sun's.
Sounds like your waving your arms a lot. I need hard information about exactly how light is affected by this ether field. It sounds like you want it to do something different depending on whether the light came from a distant star, an orbiting satellite, or a local source. Really, your hypothesis is so vague at the moment that you could make it predict pretty much anything you want to.

So here's some questions which you may or may not have considered:
Is the speed of light affected by the density of the ether?
Is light refracted as it moves from high density to low density ether areas? By how much?
What effect does the mass of an object the ether?
What effect does the rotation of an object have on the ether?
What effect does the density of an object have on the ether?
What is the motion and density of the ether at geostationary orbit? Is it stationary with the Sun? Moving (but not rotating) with the Earth? How much does the Moon affect the ether at this range?

What 'angles cancel out'? The starlight is only 'bent' in one direction as it enters Earth's gravitational (ether) field.
Remember the car with the tube in the rain? The rain struck the side of the tube, because in the car's moving frame, the rain falls at an angle.

If the car is dragging ether with it, then the rain's path is bent. The angle at which the rain is bent by the dragged ether is equal to the angle that the rain would have appeared to fall in the car's moving frame. The two angles cancel out, and the rain falls straight through the tube.

2inq, maybe your hypothesis is correct... but it's not terribly useful, since it can't give me solid numeric predictions. Relativity, on the other hand, does give solid numeric predictions that match up with experiments.

3. Originally Posted by Montec
Hi Pete
I have a sun over a light year away from a ship that is traveling at right angle with respect to the sun. The ship takes an aberration reading on the light from the sun. I then reverse the ship and travel in the opposite direction at the same speed. The ship now takes another aberration reading on the light from the sun. The two readings are opposite of each other. It takes a half a year to reverse the ships course.
How can light that is emitted over a year ago by a sun (if the sun is responsible for abberation) change direction in mid flight?
Hi Montec,
Aberration of sunlight as measured by the ship is determined by the relataive velocity of the ship and the Sun. When you turn the ship around, you change the relationship between the ship and the Sun, and change their relative velocity.

4. Pete,

Sounds like your waving your arms a lot. I need hard information about exactly how light is affected by this ether field. It sounds like you want it to do something different depending on whether the light came from a distant star, an orbiting satellite, or a local source. Really, your hypothesis is so vague at the moment that you could make it predict pretty much anything you want to.
Pete, my 'ether field' is much like General Relativity's 'curved spacetime'. Remember I said I based my gedanken on experimental evidence? Yes, light does do 'something different' according to where the source is located. That is my whole point with the gravitational ether field.

Pete's questions,
So here's some questions which you may or may not have considered:
Is the speed of light affected by the density of the ether?
As I have stated many times.
Is light refracted as it moves from high density to low density ether areas? By how much?
It is 'bent' just as it is in curved spacetime. Do you realize GR's curved spacetime is due to different 'densities' of spacetime? The 'ball on a sheet' is just an illustration that does not do a very good job of actually illustrating how spacetime works.
What effect does the mass of an object the ether?
The ether field is attracted by mass. The 'density' of the field varies approximately by the inverse square gravitational ratio, especially near massive objects like planets and stars. However, it can also accumilate to some extent within and around 'systems' like solar systems and galaxies, altering the inverse square relationship somewhat. In that respect, it is analogous to 'dark matter'. It ties galaxies together and causes them to rotate more like disc than the motions seen in solar systems. The ether itself has mass, but its properties are like dark matter. Dark matter is a slight misinterpretation of the ether in my hypothesis.
What effect does the rotation of an object have on the ether?
As I have said, rotating mass drags the ether. The extent that the ether is dragged depends on its distance from the mass and the gravitational potential of the mass. In other words, the field is dragged less as a ratio of the inverse square rule.
What effect does the density of an object have on the ether?
The ether field responds to mass and gravity. However, you just made me think, would a large object with low density, such as a balloon, be more difficult to accelerate to significant percentages of lightspeed than a smaller object with the same mass? I don't really know, but I think my ether has the same properties as 'exotic' dark matter. Exotic dark matter only reacts with normal manner gravitationally, so I don't think the density of the mass would have any effect on acceleration through the ether.
What is the motion and density of the ether at geostationary orbit? Is it stationary with the Sun? Moving (but not rotating) with the Earth? How much does the Moon affect the ether at this range?
At geostationary orbit, the satellite is under Earth's gravitational influence mostly. The ether field should rotate in concert with the Earth, just as the geostationary satellite does. Yes, I see the problem. Light travelling between the satellite and Earth's surface should not display aberration. I think my hypothesis just fell apart. It does not explain the aberration.

EDIT: Or wait, does it fall apart? I forgot about the Sagnac effect. The ether does not rotate at the same speed as Earth's rotation to infinity, only dragged by it as a function of the inverse square rule. At the altitude of the geostationary satellite, the ether field should be 'falling behind' Earth's spin rate, the Lense-Thirring effect. I don't have the mathematical ability to understand General Relativity effects precisely, so I don't really know.

EDIT again: I just noticed I interchanged 'mass' and 'density' while typing a reply. I'll correct and bold the correction.

5. Originally Posted by 2inquisitive
At geostationary orbit, the satellite is under Earth's gravitational influence mostly. The ether field should rotate in concert with the Earth, just as the geostationary satellite does. Yes, I see the problem. Light travelling between the satellite and Earth's surface should not display aberration. I think my hypothesis just fell apart. It does not explain the aberration.

EDIT: Or wait, does it fall apart? I forgot about the Sagnac effect. The ether does not rotate at the same speed as Earth's rotation to infinity, only dragged by it as a function of the inverse square rule. At the altitude of the geostationary satellite, the ether field should be 'falling behind' Earth's spin rate, the Lense-Thirring effect. I don't have the mathematical ability to understand General Relativity effects precisely, so I don't really know.
Hi 2inquisitive,

I know you probably won't like this comment, but this is precisely the reason to develop a mathematical framework for your theory. You seem to have two competing factors here, which one wins out? Without the math it is hard to say in any sort of logically consistent manner. I wouldn't give up on the theory if I were you, I would just start working on a formal mathematical framework. It will be difficult, but I think you will find it well worth while regardless of the final outcome.

-Dale

6. Thanks, Dale, but this is not a formal theory, just a little thought exercise. I don't think it has any scientific value of its own. I just think I see a correlation between a gravitational ether field, dark matter and a possible explaination for the increasing rate of expansion of the universe (the changing value of c over time as a consquence of a decreasing permittivity and permeability of the vacuum...the ether). I am not a scientist and don't expect this little philosophical exercise to carry any weight in the scientific community.

7. Originally Posted by 2inquisitive
Thanks, Dale, but this is not a formal theory, just a little thought exercise. I don't think it has any scientific value of its own. I just think I see a correlation between a gravitational ether field, dark matter and a possible explaination for the increasing rate of expansion of the universe (the changing value of c over time as a consquence of a decreasing permittivity and permeability of the vacuum...the ether). I am not a scientist and don't expect this little philosophical exercise to carry any weight in the scientific community.
Fair enough. It just makes it impossible for anyone to rigorously evaluate it (including yourself), but as long as you are ok with that it is fine by me.

Personally, I suspect that if you were to work it out rigorously and get something that is in accordance with observation then you would wind up with the GR equations. You would probably talk about ether density rather than curvature when pointing at the same terms in the equations. I suspect that an ether-based philosophical description similar to what you are proposing is completely compatible with the GR equations just as LET is compatible with the SR equations.

Btw, I don't know if mechanical clocks should dilate according to LET, or just clocks based on EM. Anyone know?

-Dale

8. 101 years ago, Einstein did not know anything about clocks based on EM.

He knew about, and may have even owned a Swiss mechanical timepiece.

So Dale does not believe that his time dilution theory had to do with mechanical clocks?

9. Originally Posted by CANGAS
101 years ago, Einstein did not know anything about clocks based on EM.

He knew about, and may have even owned a Swiss mechanical timepiece.

So Dale does not believe that his time dilution theory had to do with mechanical clocks?
101 years ago, Einstein knew quite a lot about synchronizing clocks 'based on EM'. How do you suppose they synchronized clocks in different towns in those days? They sent telegraph transmissions from town to town to synchronize the clocks. Einstein knew that 'EM' did not travel instantaneously. What do you think he thought about the signal delay effects on synchronization? I wonder, don't you?

10. Originally Posted by CANGAS
101 years ago, Einstein did not know anything about clocks based on EM.

He knew about, and may have even owned a Swiss mechanical timepiece.

So Dale does not believe that his time dilution theory had to do with mechanical clocks?
Good point, thanks for the reality-check there CANGAS. So differences in mechanical and EM clock dilation would disprove both LET and SR, leaving the way open for 2inqET.

-Dale

11. 2inq':

You seem to enjoy word games. I enjoy science based on facts.

Clocks based on EM is just not the same thing as synchronizing clocks using EM. You know that. Don't play coy.

Why don't you amuse yourself (and me) by citing the proof of the existence of clocks using EM as their functional basis as was known to Eienstein prior to 1906?

And why don't you amuse yourself by citing proof that Einstein knew nothing about mechanical clocks prior to 1906?

12. CANGUS,
Why don't you amuse yourself (and me) by citing the proof of the existence of clocks using EM as their functional basis as was known to Eienstein prior to 1906?
Uh, have you ever heard of a sundial, CANGUS?

CANGUS,
And why don't you amuse yourself by citing proof that Einstein knew nothing about mechanical clocks prior to 1906?
Why don't you amuse me and show that Einstein owned a ROLEX in 1906.

13. Anyone who knows that Einstein spent years of his life circa 1905 living in Switzerland and who does not believe that he owned a Swiss watch and/or clock is unbelievably naive, or untruthful in what he says he believes about it.

If 2inq' believes that Einstein based his time dilution theories on sundials, maybe he believes that little green elves twisting it to gyre and gimble in the wabe is the functional mechanism for rubber rulers and crazy clocks.

I have extremely serious doubts about the legitimacy of Special Relativity, but I have no illusions about the kind of technology he was familiar with in his time. He did not have any knowledge of clocks based on electromagnetic oscillators or electronic timekeeping circuitry. The only clocks he knew of were based on gross physical, or, mechanical, principles.

Have another smoke and go back to sleep, perchance to have more of your halucinations, 2inq'.

14. CANGAS, anyone that doesn't know that Einstein based his clock synchronization on paper clocks located along coordinates draw on a graph to synchronize electromagnetic wave propagation wrt Maxwell's electrodynamic equations is unbelievably naive.

You stated Einstein didn't know clocks could use 'EM' as their functional basis in 1906. Even the ancient Egyptians knew of a method CANGAS, but apparently you didn't.

15. 2inquisitive,

I find your theory interesting, and very similiar to my own, but I'm still interested in why you have an "aether" in your theory at all. A couple of years ago, I used to think that mass, with its gravitational fields, dragged aether around, and that the speed of light was equal to c relative to this aether. But for the sake of simplicity, I abandoned the aether and linked photons directly to gravitational fields. Now, I believe that gravitational fields can accelerate photons to c because photons have non-uniform gravitational fields. The concept is simple: If you place a piece of standard mass in a gravitational field, it will remain stationairy since standard mass, which creates a uniform gravitational field around it, is attracted equally at all sides by the external gravitational field. However, if you place a particle with a non-uniform gravitational field in an external gravitational field, it will accelerate because the external field will exert a greater force on one side of the particle than on the other.

Since you still have an aether in your theory you are forced to explain what your aether is, and why photons use it as a medium.

I just think I see a correlation between a gravitational ether field, dark matter and a possible explaination for the increasing rate of expansion of the universe (the changing value of c over time as a consquence of a decreasing permittivity and permeability of the vacuum...the ether).
This is something to think about: Everyone believes that gravity in distant galaxies is equal to gravity in the Milky Way. What if some galaxies have positive gravitational fields, while other galaxies had negative gravitational fields. If this was the case, and opposite gravitational poles repel, then the opposite galaxies would repel each other causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate.

16. Prosoothus, if a galaxy enjoyed negative gravity, would it not be flying apart itself?

And how did it get together in the first place?

17. 2inquisitive, why do you get so easily confused about what I have written, and what you have written, only a very few posts ago?

My statements have been focused on the types of clocks available to Einstein's knowledge circa 1905. He often wrote of mechanical clocks, and never once wrote of sundials or ancient Egyptian timekeeping methods. At least, not in this universe.

You seem to be unaware that a sundial or an Egyptian pole in the ground is actually a physical mechanical device using the rotation of the Earth as a timing regulator, and using light EM as illumination.

18. Pete, "The speed of the photon isn't the question - it's the direction. The direction the photon is emitted depends on the velocity of the source."

BCDEF..... No A!

In your humble opinion, how does it so depend?

19. CANGAS,

My statements have been focused on the types of clocks available to Einstein's knowledge circa 1905. He often wrote of mechanical clocks, and never once wrote of sundials or ancient Egyptian timekeeping methods. At least, not in this universe.
I wasn't aware Einstein often wrote of mechanical clocks. I do see Einstein speaking of 'light clocks'. No, they weren't atomic clocks, but instead a visualization of bouncing photons used to keep time, based on the assumed paths photons take through spacetime. Einstein clock synchronization was the method by which he inferrs 'time dilation' to exist.

The Michelson Morley-type interferometers were known for over two decades before Einstein presented his paper on the electrodynamics of moving bodies. The interferometers can be used to 'time' the speed of light, as Michelson did at Irvine Ranch. In a way, interferometers can be considered 'light clocks'. Michelson used the rotating mirror in 1879 to arrive at a speed of 299,910 kms/sec. for light. Others earlier than him also used 'clocks' based on light to time light itself.

20. Prosoothus,
I find your theory interesting, and very similiar to my own, but I'm still interested in why you have an "aether" in your theory at all. A couple of years ago, I used to think that mass, with its gravitational fields, dragged aether around, and that the speed of light was equal to c relative to this aether. But for the sake of simplicity, I abandoned the aether and linked photons directly to gravitational fields.
I don't call my 'thought experiments' a theory as I have no mathematical description, but have been attempting to find support for such a hypothesis.

In my thought experiments, an 'aether' is necessary to explain the mechanics of the hypothesis. The aether is the medium through which electromagnetic propagation travels. The medium distorts what we 'see' and distorts clocks based on electromagnetic processes only. Mechanical clocks, such as might be based on a flywheel, would not be affect by 'time dilation'. Gravity itself would not affect time, but would compact the medium in which electromagnetic processes interacted. This aether is like a dark matter gas, it has mass itself and affects the permittivity and permeability of the vacuum. It adds to the mass of solar systems on a small scale, less in a solar system because the planets and stars have less gravitation attraction to accumilate the dark matter gas (aether). Galaxies seem to accumilate differing amounts of this gas, possibly because the vacuum may not be totally homogeneous in the density of this gas sense the big bang. In my hypothesis, the 'aether' serves as an additional source of mass to hold galaxies together. It is just a developing thought experiment, of no use in its present form to physicists. I don't have the necessary knowledge to transform it into a theory, and I sincerely doubt any physicists would give it serious thought without the mathematics to back it up.

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
•