How accurate are atomic clocks??

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Prosoothus, May 26, 2002.

  1. Prosoothus Registered Senior Member

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    James R,

    The main difference between you and me is that you believe illusions are reality, while I do not.

    Tom
     
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  3. overdoze human Registered Senior Member

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    Hi James

    I see we're actually getting somewhere, for a change

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    Precisely. However, I've observed that my interpretation is far more digestible. As such, a lot more people would understand relativity -- and be at peace with it -- if they were taught it from my point of view (witness Tom, for example.)

    But the universe itself isn't just a mathematical construct. I think my interpretation is a little less abstract and therefore somehow closer to reality.

    As far as detection, it's all around (and within) you.

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    You are, in fact, just a part of it. As for not having this medium, I suppose that would equal non-existence of everything (or should I say anything?)

    Ah-ha! I see you're catching on.

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    Now go back to my derivation and read over it. Indeed, the unidirectional velocity of light changes with respect to moving observers. However, the observers have no way of measuring such unidirectional velocity without, in essense, their experimental setup balancing it out to the good old value of c -- which has been my thesis all along. This shouldn't be too hard for you to accept, since the math actually turns out identically (i.e. Lorentz transforms.)

    Point is, Einstein's two core premises (vis a vis inertial reference frames) actually "drop" out of my two core premises very naturally. But not vice versa. Which is why I insist I have a leg up on simplicity here (not to mention comprehensibility.)

    Do you think Einstein had testability in mind as he was crafting SR (or GR, for that matter?) I very much doubt it. He was merely trying to build up a conceptual framework that would make sense. Testability could only be determined once the math was complete and actual predictions could be derived.

    Similarly, any new grand theory of everything would have to start out not as a bunch of testable propositions, but as a coherent and elegant conceptual framework. It is to be hoped that the testable propositions would become apparent once the framework is completed.

    Yes, I've been following string theory at a layman's level (reading popular science books and Scientific American articles on the topic) -- but not much beyond that. So far from the little I've seen (and obviously, most of it was oversimiplified, overgeneralized, or both), I'm both impressed and unimpressed with the theory. Impressed because it at least has a promise of unifying all forms of matter/energy, and all forces, under a single umbrella. Unimpressed because it typically builds on enigmatic vibrating structures of impressive complexity (not to mention all of those dimensions...) One yearns for something simpler...but then again, maybe the universe isn't that simple after all.

    Well, as I've said before I don't have the toolkit to attack this particular problem just yet. Though from analogy with SR, if it can be re-cast with time being just a parameter (as opposed to a dimension), then why shouldn't the same be possible with GR?

    I've heard plenty about the beauty and elegance. I've even seen a little bit of them myself. But beauty and elegance must be put in context. What if, reinterpreted the way I wish it was, the mathematics would appear even more beautiful and elegant? And even if not, what if it would nevertheless become much more comprehensible? One would never know until one tried...

    For example, at a risk of sounding conceited, I find my own derivation and interpretation of SR even more beautiful than the original. The perfect symmetry of illusion is indeed breathtaking.

    Well shoot, with attitude like that we never will. I don't think we are justified in resting on our laurels, no matter what heights of elegance and beauty we have achieved to date.

    More like being transported than strolling. I can only travel in one direction, and at a constant speed (as long as I'm inertial) to boot. Hardly what I would call "strolling".
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    overdoze,

    <i>I see we're actually getting somewhere, for a change</i>

    I'm not so sure...

    <i>Precisely. However, I've observed that my interpretation is far more digestible.</i>

    I'm not finding it very digestible.

    <i>As far as detection, it's all around (and within) you. You are, in fact, just a part of it.</i>

    You've dodged the question. I asked how we could detect it. If we can't, Occam's razor says we don't need it. Just like Einstein said we don't need the aether.

    <i>Now go back to my derivation and read over it. Indeed, the unidirectional velocity of light changes with respect to moving observers. However, the observers have no way of measuring such unidirectional velocity without, in essense, their experimental setup balancing it out to the good old value of c -- which has been my thesis all along. This shouldn't be too hard for you to accept, since the math actually turns out identically (i.e. Lorentz transforms.)</i>

    All I have to do to your original derivation to get rid of the concept of an absolute reference frame is to introduce a third observer moving relative to the first two.

    <i>Do you think Einstein had testability in mind as he was crafting SR (or GR, for that matter?) I very much doubt it.</i>

    I can't recall, actually. I'd need to re-read his original papers.

    <i>...One yearns for something simpler [than string theory]...but then again, maybe the universe isn't that simple after all.</i>

    I agree.

    <i>Though from analogy with SR, if it can be re-cast with time being just a parameter (as opposed to a dimension), then why shouldn't the same be possible with GR?</i>

    You'd need to understand the maths to see why that is not possible for GR. The main mathematical objects in GR are 4-vectors and 4 dimensional tensors. A 4-vector consists of one "time" component and three "space" components. 4-vectors and tensors obey very strict symmetry rules and conservation laws. Try to turn the time component into a parameter and you break the symmetry and destroy Lorentz invariance.

    <i>For example, at a risk of sounding conceited, I find my own derivation and interpretation of SR even more beautiful than the original. The perfect symmetry of illusion is indeed breathtaking.</i>

    I find that your interpretation introduces an unnecessary complication which does not mesh with what we can observe.

    <i>I don't think we are justified in resting on our laurels, no matter what heights of elegance and beauty we have achieved to date.</i>

    I don't either.

    <i>I can only travel in one direction [in time], and at a constant speed (as long as I'm inertial) to boot. Hardly what I would call "strolling".</i>

    Your perception of time is a little different from the relativistic description of it, remember. GR lays out time as just another dimension. It's all there at once, so to speak, whereas you perceive a past, present and future at any particular time. The question of who's right is a philosophical one.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Tom,

    You can say things like that until the cows come home, but they're empty statements unless you can back them up.
     
  8. Prosoothus Registered Senior Member

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    Overdoze and James,

    I can prove that aether exists!!! Listen very closely:

    It takes light 1 second to travel 300,000 km in a vacuum, but it takes light 10 seconds to travel 3,000,000 km in a vacuum!!!

    If aether didn't exist, then in both cases the light would take the same amount of time, because in both cases the light would be passing through nothing.

    Is that proof enough??

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    Tom
     
  9. Merlijn curious cat Registered Senior Member

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    eeh...that is proof of something allright.
     
  10. Prosoothus Registered Senior Member

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    James,

    Let me explain what I meant. After reading your posts on several different threads, it appears that your core problem is not that you can't accept an alternative model that explains relativistic phenomena, your problem is much deeper and more troubleing.

    Your core problem is that you think that the things any observer percieves in any frame of reference is correct. This sounds like the philosophy of a madman.

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    On another thread, 137 asked you if a person one mile away is 1 inch tall because he looks like he's only one inch tall. You said that he is.

    I asked you previously, on another thread, whether the sun revolves around the Earth or whether the Earth revolves around the sun. You said that both points of view are correct. They do appear correct, until you take gravity into consideration.

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    What you don't understand is that the things an observer sees in his frame of reference are almost all illusions. These illusions are the result of distance(an object appears smaller the farthur away it is), point of view(objects look differently when percieved from different angles), velocity(an object appears to be travelling slower if you are travelling with it), and delay( two beams of light can hit there targets at the same time, but they are not seen by the observer to hit the targets at the same time unless the observer is an equal distance from them both).

    The facts are that time, distance, mass, and energy are all constant in all frames of reference, but an observer will percieve them as being changed or distorted depending on the observers frame of reference. Just because the observer "sees" these properties change, doesn't mean that they actually do change.

    Therefore, science is absolute, while relativity explains the illusions a moving observer "percieves".

    Tom
     
  11. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Prosoothus

    It takes light 1 second to travel 300,000 km in a vacuum, but it takes light 10 seconds to travel 3,000,000 km in a vacuum!!!

    Therefore, light travels at 300,000 km per second in a vacuum.

    If aether didn't exist, then in both cases the light would take the same amount of time, because in both cases the light would be passing through nothing.

    How can light take the same amount of time if you've just shown that light travels at 300,000 km per second in a vacuum ? You've just contradicted yourself.
     
  12. Prosoothus Registered Senior Member

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    Q,

    You misunderstood my post.

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    What is the difference between 300,000 km of vacuum, and 3,000,000 km of vacuum?? If you were to assume that aether does not exist, then the answer is that there is no difference.

    If that were the case, the light would travel both distances in the same amount of time, since in both cases, nothing would be in the way of the light.

    Since light takes ten times longer to travel 3,000,000 than it takes to travel 300,000 km, I'm suggesting that 3,000,000 km has ten times more of something than 300,000 km does. In other words, if you were to take away 90% of the thing that makes up the 3,000,000 km, the 3,000,000 km of space would collapse into 300,000 km of space.

    Tom
     
  13. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Prosoothus

    What is the difference between 300,000 km of vacuum, and 3,000,000 km of vacuum??

    2,700,000 km of vacuum space which is the distance light would travel in 9 seconds.

    If you were to assume that aether does not exist, then the answer is that there is no difference.

    Regardless of whether there is an aether or not, or whether that space is comprised of matter or is a vacuum, it is still a difference in distance.

    If that were the case, the light would travel both distances in the same amount of time, since in both cases, nothing would be in the way of the light.

    If light travels at 300,000 km per second, and there was nothing in the way, light would take 10 seconds to travel 3,000,000 km and 1 second to travel 300,000 km.

    Since light takes ten times longer to travel 3,000,000 than it takes to travel 300,000 km, I'm suggesting that 3,000,000 km has ten times more of something than 300,000 km does.

    Correct, the answer is "distance."

    In other words, if you were to take away 90% of the thing that makes up the 3,000,000 km, the 3,000,000 km of space would collapse into 300,000 km of space.

    Again correct, if you were to take away 90% of the distance between 3,000,000 km. and 300,000 km., you would be taking away 2,700,000 km. of distance, the distance light would travel in 9 seconds.

    Sorry man, I really must be missing something tangible in your posts if I'm still not understanding.
     
  14. Prosoothus Registered Senior Member

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    Q,

    What is distance???

    What makes 1000 m, 1000 m, and not 1 m.

    What is the difference between 1 m and 1000 m??

    Is distance just a "number", or does it represent something physical??

    If you were God, what would you do to convert 1000 m to 1 m???

    Tom
     
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Tom,

    <i>Your core problem is that you think that the things any observer percieves in any frame of reference is correct.</i>

    They are correct <b>for that observer</b>.

    <i>This sounds like the philosophy of a madman.</i>

    It's the philosophy you live by every day of your life. Don't you trust your own senses?

    <i>On another thread, 137 asked you if a person one mile away is 1 inch tall because he looks like he's only one inch tall. You said that he is.</i>

    Yes, as far as the observer is concerned. Did you read the rest of my explanation? You know, the bit where I explained that to transform a measurement <b>there</b> to a measurement <b>here</b> you need to do some maths? The fact that you can do the required calculations automatically to estimate the size of an object at a distance doesn't mean that those calculations aren't happening. And your brain doesn't always get them right, either. Ever seen an optical illusion, Tom? That's where your brain messes up the calculations.

    <i>I asked you previously, on another thread, whether the sun revolves around the Earth or whether the Earth revolves around the sun. You said that both points of view are correct. They do appear correct, until you take gravity into consideration.</i>

    Either way you need to take gravity into consideration. Either view is correct when you do that properly.

    <i>What you don't understand is that the things an observer sees in his frame of reference are almost all illusions.</i>

    I prefer the term "perceptions". For the observer, his perceptions are reality.

    <i>The facts are that time, distance, mass, and energy are all constant in all frames of reference, but an observer will percieve them as being changed or distorted depending on the observers frame of reference.</i>

    You contradict yourself. When you say "frames of reference" and "observer", you're talking about the same thing. A frame of reference, as I've explained <i>ad nauseam</i> is no more than the point of view of an observer. If two observers see two different things, then those things are different in their two frames of reference. The statements are equivalent and interchangeable.

    <i>Just because the observer "sees" these properties change, doesn't mean that they actually do change.</i>

    Depends what you mean by "actually".

    <i>Therefore, science is absolute, while relativity explains the illusions a moving observer "percieves".</i>

    No. Observations are relative. Relativity tells us how to convert one set of observations to another point of view.
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    <i>What is distance???

    What makes 1000 m, 1000 m, and not 1 m.

    What is the difference between 1 m and 1000 m??</i>

    Suppose you have a standard 1 metre ruler. You need just one of those to measure out a distance of 1 metre. You need 1000 of them end-to-end to measure out 1000 metres.

    Do that, and place markers at the ends of the lines of rulers. Now take the rulers away. Between the markers you now have an aetherless vacuum. But the distance between the markers hasn't changed. If you want to lay out your rulers between the markers again, there's no way you can cover the 1000 m with a single ruler.

    You're really off into fairy land if you believe that 1000 m = 1 m.
     
  17. heller Banned Banned

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    The blunders in the modern physics

    Hi Everybody,

    I am a physicist student from England. I found a site with the following title:

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  18. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Thou
    Shalt
    Not
    Commiteth
    Thread
    Necromancy!!!
    Thus Sayeth The Prince!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​
     
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  19. CANGAS Registered Senior Member

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    1,612
    So, you are telling us that the atoms experience no Doppler shift. OK (?).

    Since the atoms are their own observers, in Einstein Relativity, I think you can make a case for that.

    Just in case you are faltingly trying to say that the microwaves take on the velocity of their source, I am prepared to argue with you, in the unlikely event that you might make a clear statement of your position on the matter.
     
  20. CANGAS Registered Senior Member

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    Atomic clocks operate on the basis of the two-way travel of the photons emitted by the excited atom.

    The emitted photon's total two way travel time will always be affected by the direction and velocity of the photons relative to direction and velocity of the clock as a whole. A clever experimentalist would be able to cook the books by deliberately orientating the clock one way or the other in respect to the trajectory of the jet plane or satelite carrying it.
     
  21. Prosoothus Registered Senior Member

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    CANGAS,

    So, you also believe that the speed of light changes in a moving clock. Your statement seems to imply that you believe that the speed of light is equal to c only relative to a specific medium. What do you believe that this medium is?
     
  22. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    How accurate are atomic clocks??

    You can set your watch by them.

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  23. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    They add a leap second about every year and a half, on average, because the Earth's spin rate is slowing down that much.
     

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