# Louis Essen discusses Einstein's theories. (Another attempt.)

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Scaramouche, Jan 6, 2010.

1. ### ScaramoucheRegistered Member

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For those who don't know, Louis Essen was the man who defined the speed of light, invented atomic clocks, and also gave us our measurement of time (ie. the second). In other words, he knew a thing or two about time and the propagation of waves. Here's what he had to say about Einstein's work:

Well, I can say from experience that he's not wrong regarding the beliefs of the common physicist: most I have known simply accept what they're been told regarding relativity because it's in all the books. That weight of perceived authority is enough to convince most that it must be true. Even those who freely admit they don't really understand the theory they accept and support.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, merely presenting Essen's opinion.

NOTE: Stay on topic! Think before posting!

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Note that I'm staying perfectly on-topic: That being L. Essen and his view of Einstein's work.

You presented his views here before and they were completely shot down - the man knows practically nothing about relativity as is proven by his own words.

I therefore request that this needless rerun of the same topic be immediately locked.

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I second!

7. ### kurrosRegistered Senior Member

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It's kind of weird that special relativity receives so much attention. Never in the history of physics (nay, science! although perhaps evolution is on par with it) has a theory been scrutinized so closely by so many people.

8. ### alephnullyou can count on meRegistered Senior Member

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Hi all, this is my first post on this forum, I've lurked for a while and finally decided to join.

Scaramouche, you seem extremely defensive of Louis Essen, which is very understandable and almost admirable. He was a great physicist. No one can deny that. He wasn't though, as has already stated, particularly adept when it came to special relativity, that's why the community on large ignores his claims. He was quite frankly punching above his weight.

This isn't rare to science.

Sir Isaac Newton, possibly the greatest mind ever to have lived. Invented the calculus, revolutionised the work on optics, etc. Yet the man devoted his entire life to the study of alchemy. No one can discredit him as a scientist, but he simply (and understandably) did not know enough about the field of atomic physics to know that transmutation was not possible in the way they thought it was.

There are many other examples of great scientists, even Nobel scientists, making claims in fields they simply aren't versed in. Linus Pauling for example believed that large amounts of vitamin C cured a common cold.

I think you should let this lay to rest to be honest. He is quite simply wrong.

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Very well said, thank you!

And just a note in passing: When I first got into chemistry years ago, Pauling was pretty much my hero. I was greatly dismayed when he strayed from his field and went on that vitamin C kick. It practically destroyed his credibility even though he had been seen as a brilliant chemist before that.

And the same applies to Essen.

10. ### SirJamesRegistered Member

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Excellent response alephnull!

And welcome to sciforums!

11. ### ScaramoucheRegistered Member

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Why? Specifically.

12. ### rpennerFully WiredValued Senior Member

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This is why.

http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2006-3/ 299 references
http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2005-5/ 281 references

This is how science is done, with both a lot of work and a lot of fair discussion. What you have presented us is with Essen taking issue with a caricature of relativity and how he came by his (already identified) misunderstandings. Essen makes no calculations and uses no data, but just parades his personal misunderstanding as if the thousands of others who could have helped him get his facts straight didn't exist.

13. ### ScaramoucheRegistered Member

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While I appreciate the effort you went to in finding a couple of papers examining aspects of physics or mathematics related to relativity (which I have cast no aspersions upon), you have not actually addressed Essen's words or thought, beyond (once again) simply saying he was ignorant. That is simply not good enough. I know you think it is, but it really isn't. What you've just posted is the equivalent of simply saying "Roy Davies (here: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=66517 and no, I have no fucking idea who Roy Davies is) doesn't know what he's talking about" without actually addressing whatever he said. For that reason I suggest you begin (if you wish to have any reasonable input at all) by examining, and responding to, the section entitled "Thought Experiments".

14. ### PeteIt's not rocket surgeryModerator

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Last time I answered that question (specifically, Essen wrongly applies the relativity principle to an accelerating (non-inertial) reference frame), you ignored it and called me a retard because you apparently think that Louis Essen can't possibly be ignorant about any field of physics.

So, are you looking for a meaningful discussion this time, or do you just feel like dissing people who disagree with your hero?

15. ### ScaramoucheRegistered Member

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The problem there was that this was wrong, and does not answer what you believe it does. The red sections were not wrong because of the blue section. The blue section refers to the notion in the old description of a person moving away from Earth and then back. The red section, which comes later, is the thought experiment. That's literally your entire response to Essen: "The red is wrong because of the blue". No why. Just the red because of the blue.

16. ### PeteIt's not rocket surgeryModerator

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Thank you for actually responding this time.

My 'entire response' is what I wrote, and was summarised in my previous post:
Essen wrongly applies the relativity principle to an accelerating (non-inertial) reference frame.

Now, regarding the thought experiment. This sentence: "He imagined two identical clocks side by side and supposed one of them to move away at a uniform velocity and then return" is Essen's brief description of the thought experiment in question (Einstein's clock paradox, better known as the twin paradox). This is made quite clear in Essen's RELATIVITY - joke or swindle?:
"He [ Einstein ] imagined that two clocks were initially together and that one of them moved away in a number of straight line paths, at a uniform velocity, finally returning to the starting point. He concluded that on its return the moving clock was slower than the stationary clock.

Moreover, since only uniform motion is involved there is no way of distinguishing between the two and each clock goes more slowly than the other. This result is known as the clock paradox or, since the clocks are sometimes likened to identical twins, one of whom ages more slowly than the other, the twin paradox."​

So, the clause "and then return" is part of the thought experiment, and means that Essen is wrong when he says that relativity implies that "A is slower than B.".

Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
17. ### ScaramoucheRegistered Member

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Note the blue part is in the area where he's just discussing things, before the colon indicating the beginning of his description of the thought experiment. Very similar to if I briefly discuss armadillos here, then go on to discuss some model of an experiment like so: (Example of thought experiment begins here.)

XYZ = monkey = giraffe

So A = blahblah

And then you go on to complain that the experiment or model is wrong because I mentioned an armadillo before getting to it.

Obviously you're wrong.

18. ### temurman of no wordsRegistered Senior Member

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Well then Essen is using a straw man.

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Because?

20. ### temurman of no wordsRegistered Senior Member

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Please read Einstein's paper that Essen is talking about. If your interpretation of Essen's reasoning is correct, Essen is missing important parts of Einstein's thought experiment.

21. ### ScaramoucheRegistered Member

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You asserted it was a straw man. It's not up to me to support your assertions.

22. ### BenTheManDr. of Physics, Prof. of LoveValued Senior Member

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I will give this thread a few more replies to see where it goes. In all likelihood it will be closed, and scaramouche will get a stiff warning about repeating posts in this forum again.

If armadillo'' was a critical step in establishing giraffe'', then you'd better explain why you had to invoke armadillo'' in the first place. The fact that you said, I want to establish armadillo, and then do a thought experiment'' means that your argument doesn't make sense without the existence of armadillo'', regardless of the fact that you put a semicolon or some other punctuation between armadillo'' and giraffe''.

Pete's point is that the act of returning'' means that someone changes velocity, which means that someone accelerates, which means that SR no longer applies.

23. ### ScaramoucheRegistered Member

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No. The blue text was clearly not a part of the thought experiment, which came after the colon. It was pulled out of the earlier text as an arbitrary and incorrect ruse to invalidate the example thought experiment. There is nothing in the text preceding the colon which states "this blue text is a condition used to set the parameters of the following thought experiment". And these lame attempts to twist an incorrect semantic argument into a reason for a position are sad.