WHY EINSTEIN WILL NEVER BE WRONG:

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,647
    http://www.universetoday.com/108044/why-einstein-will-never-be-wrong/

    WHY EINSTEIN WILL NEVER BE WRONG

    13 Jan , 2014 by Brian Koberlein

    One of the benefits of being an astrophysicist is your weekly email from someone who claims to have “proven Einstein wrong”. These either contain no mathematical equations and use phrases such as “it is obvious that..”, or they are page after page of complex equations with dozens of scientific terms used in non-traditional ways. They all get deleted pretty quickly, not because astrophysicists are too indoctrinated in established theories, but because none of them acknowledge how theories get replaced.

    For example, in the late 1700s there was a theory of heat known as caloric. The basic idea of caloric was that it was a fluid that existed within materials. This fluid was self-repellant, meaning it would try to spread out as evenly as possible. We couldn’t observe this fluid directly, but the more caloric a material has the greater its temperature.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Ice-calorimeter from Antoine Lavoisier’s 1789 Elements of Chemistry. (Public Domain)

    From this theory you get several predictions that actually work. Since you can’t create or destroy caloric, heat (energy) is conserved. If you put a cold object next to a hot object, the caloric in the hot object will spread out to the cold object until they reach the same temperature. When air expands, the caloric is spread out more thinly, thus the temperature drops. When air is compressed there is more caloric per volume, and the temperature rises.

    We now know there is no “heat fluid” known as caloric. Heat is a property of the motion (kinetic energy) of atoms or molecules in a material. So in physics we’ve dropped the caloric model in terms of kinetic theory. You could say we now know that the caloric model is completely wrong.

    Except it isn’t. At least no more wrong than it ever was.

    The basic assumption of a “heat fluid” doesn’t match reality, but the model makes predictions that are correct. In fact the caloric model works as well today as it did in the late 1700s. We don’t use it anymore because we have newer models that work better. Kinetic theory makes all the predictions caloric does and more. Kinetic theory even explains how the thermal energy of a material can be approximated as a fluid.

    This is a key aspect of scientific theories. If you want to replace a robust scientific theory with a new one, the new theory must be able to do more than the old one. When you replace the old theory you now understand the limits of that theory and how to move beyond it.

    In some cases even when an old theory is supplanted we continue to use it. Such an example can be seen in Newton’s law of gravity. When Newton proposed his theory of universal gravity in the 1600s, he described gravity as a force of attraction between all masses. This allowed for the correct prediction of the motion of the planets, the discovery of Neptune, the basic relation between a star’s mass and its temperature, and on and on. Newtonian gravity was and is a robust scientific theory.

    Then in the early 1900s Einstein proposed a different model known as general relativity. The basic premise of this theory is that gravity is due to the curvature of space and time by masses. Even though Einstein’s gravity model is radically different from Newton’s, the mathematics of the theory shows that Newton’s equations are approximate solutions to Einstein’s equations. Everything Newton’s gravity predicts, Einstein’s does as well. But Einstein also allows us to correctly model black holes, the big bang, the precession of Mercury’s orbit, time dilation, and more, all of which have been experimentally validated.

    So Einstein trumps Newton. But Einstein’s theory is much more difficult to work with than Newton’s, so often we just use Newton’s equations to calculate things. For example, the motion of satellites, or exoplanets. If we don’t need the precision of Einstein’s theory, we simply use Newton to get an answer that is “good enough.” We may have proven Newton’s theory “wrong”, but the theory is still as useful and accurate as it ever was.

    Unfortunately, many budding Einsteins don’t understand this.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Binary waves from black holes. Image Credit: K. Thorne (Caltech) , T. Carnahan (NASA GSFC)

    To begin with, Einstein’s gravity will never be proven wrong by a theory. It will be proven wrong by experimental evidence showing that the predictions of general relativity don’t work. Einstein’s theory didn’t supplant Newton’s until we had experimental evidence that agreed with Einstein and didn’t agree with Newton. So unless you have experimental evidence that clearly contradicts general relativity, claims of “disproving Einstein” will fall on deaf ears.

    The other way to trump Einstein would be to develop a theory that clearly shows how Einstein’s theory is an approximation of your new theory, or how the experimental tests general relativity has passed are also passed by your theory. Ideally, your new theory will also make new predictions that can be tested in a reasonable way. If you can do that, and can present your ideas clearly, you will be listened to. String theory and entropic gravity are examples of models that try to do just that.


    But even if someone succeeds in creating a theory better than Einstein’s (and someone almost certainly will), Einstein’s theory will still be as valid as it ever was. Einstein won’t have been proven wrong, we’ll simply understand the limits of his theory.


    http://www.universetoday.com/108044/why-einstein-will-never-be-wrong/
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
     
    zgmc, brucep, danshawen and 1 other person like this.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    606
    OK !
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    606
    Ok !
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    606
    Einstein was confident to cosmological constant but it is wrong. I was confident to induction coil transformer but it doesn't work at perfect temperature.
     
  8. river

    Messages:
    9,791
    Just the thinking that Einstein can never be wrong , is just plain scary.

    Because it limits our understanding of everything. And new knowledge.

    It blows me away that this thinking even takes place.

    Our survival ; just our Humanity survival alone can never rely on any one person no matter how smart or abstract in their thinking they may be.

    No one person can think of every thing all the time , 24/7. It is not possible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
    zgmc, krash661, Yazata and 1 other person like this.
  9. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
  10. The God Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,546
    I sometime wonder, if Paddoboy's, magical pixie is actually Einstein ?

    This guys obsession with 'E' name is mind blowing..
     
    Boris2 likes this.
  11. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,422
    You really ignored the message of the essay. It's that GR has been shown to be super accurate and has a ton of evidence through this; in order to replace GR for any use in physics, we have to see a theory that is more accurate in actual applications and evidence.
     
    paddoboy likes this.
  12. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    773
    If physicists really wanted everyone to be really good at physics then why don't they make textbooks available for everyone without payment?

    Textbooks really cost a lot of money so obviously not everyone can afford them. Mathematica for example, a computer algebra system, costs a shitload of money too so obviously not everyone can afford it.

    Physicists are so angry when someone isn't good at physics or doesn't understand their theories but at the same time they don't do anything to make the tools to be successful at physics available for everyone.

    No wonder most rational people choose to study economics or finance or business administration at university instead of physics because being very good at physics really costs a lot a lot of money and takes a lot of talent which most people don't have.

    Physics is obviously not for everyone unless you are already rich or very talented.
     
  13. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,422
    Perhaps you have heard of the internet?

    http://physicsdatabase.com/free-physics-books/
    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/6157/list-of-freely-available-physics-books
    http://www.openculture.com/free-physics-textbooks

    Sadly, the world is not yet a communist utopia.

    Most physicists, or people who know some physics, are not angry that not all people know physics. What is infuriating is when people who do not intend to try to learn physics make grand claims about the content and worth of physics that are in conflict with the reality.

    Sadly, studying business won't get you to be rich unless your family is already rich, except for a small minority of people.
     
  14. Waiter_2001 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    459
    "If he's so clever how come he's dead??"-Homer Simpson
     
    zgmc likes this.
  15. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,066
    The discovery of DNA didn't "prove Darwin wrong".

    General Relativity didn't "prove Newton wrong".

    Likewise, further understanding of the mechanics of reality isn't going to "prove Einstein wrong".
     
    paddoboy likes this.
  16. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,647
    You really think so? What I find scary is that we still have certain gullible individuals that accept the supernatural, ghosts, goblins etc.
    Not mine...I totally appreciate the reputable giants of science from the present and past, and laugh at the gooses that infest this forum, trying their hardest to invalidate what the likes of greats like Albert and Co have revealed to us: Evolution, the BB, SR, GR, BH's are just a few.
    And that ladies and gentlemen is typical of the vague unsupported bullshit the likes of river comes up with.
     
  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,647
    Nup, not at all and that is often evident in the others that are also a party to the reality of the BB, SR and GR.
    They certainly though put your pixie back into the cesspool where it/he/she belongs.
    Science and the Universe are totally awesome my friend, despite your antics to show the opposite.
     
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,662
    That depends on what 'being wrong' means.

    Doesn't our knowledge that there is no heat fluid imply that the belief that such a fluid exists and that it explains observations regarding heat is wrong?

    It looks like the author is opting for an instrumental account of scientific theories, conceiving of them as calculating instruments that allow us to predict observations, rather than as true descriptions of the nature of the universe such that parts of it behave such as we observe them to do.

    We could make the same kind of remarks about ancient and medieval geocentric cosmologies as well. Given enough tweaks in the form of epicycles and whatever, assuming the Earth as a fixed reference frame in the center of the observed universe enables observers to make very precise predictions of the movements of bodies in the heavens above as observed from the surface of the Earth.

    Does that predictive success really mean that geocentric cosmology isn't wrong?

    Sure it might still useful to think in those terms for some purposes. But the Sun doesn't physically orbit the earth once each day. And geocentric cosmology kind of falls apart when used to calculate the orbits of space vehicles.

    I don't believe that Copernican cosmology was initially any better at predicting observations of the movements of the heavenly bodies as seen from Earth than the evolved medieval geocentric cosmologies that it gradually replaced. Its initial advantage wasn't greater predictive success or better coherence with observation. The Copernican advantage in its earliest days was its greater simplicity and elegance. A century onwards it proved to be far more consistent with Kepler's laws and with celestial mechanics based on Newtonian gravity, but that was only later.


    Suppose that some future theory is supported by a large body of evidence from other areas of physics. And suppose that this future theory makes predictions about gravity as well, predictions that are consistent with what Einstein's theories predict. Future scientists might be attracted to the new theory not because it's more consistent with observations concerning gravity than Einstein, but because the new theory unifies gravity with other areas of physics in ways that future scientists find elegant and attractive and because they believe the new theory has more explanatory power.



    In that case Einstein's theory might still be useful in some applications. But being useful isn't necessarily the same thing as being true.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    zgmc likes this.
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,618
    Agree with your last sentence. That is why the concept of "truth" is problematic in theories of science - and in fact is generally avoided.

    As I never tire of pointing out, theories are models of reality. The latest of them may be the most comprehensive and accurate that we have, but that does not make them logically "true" , nor does it make them 100% accurate. An observation can be considered "true" but the theories we derive from observation are always a step away from "truth".

    So, really, the subject of this thread is an Aunt Sally. "Wrong" is not the word we will use, when someone finds a weakness in General Relativity. As in fact the quoted piece makes clear.
     
    krash661 and Boris2 like this.
  20. brucep Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,098
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,647
    I was just about to answer this but it appears others have did it for me.
    Let me reproduce an early post to point out your error.
     
  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,647
    From a lay person's point of view, the most amazing thing I find about Einstein's GR is the fact that in essence it was formulated and derived from pure logical thought, not as a result of experiment: Yet since that momentous day, it has passed all tests thrown at it in the classical sense and there is absolutely no experimental or observational reason to either modify or abandon it.
    Simply put, it works!
    ps: Yes, it does not apply at the quantum level but that is expected as GR is a purely classical theory.
     
  23. brucep Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,098
    He wasn't actually wrong. He thought he was. It turns out that the cosmological constant has much to do with the type universe we live in. In the string theory the string vacuua is defined by the value of the cosmological constant. String vacuua with 0 cosmological constant are predicted to be identical. While vacuua with a cosmological constant are predicted to vary. This somewhat defines the greatest problem for string theory. Choosing the right string vacuua that describes the evolution of our universe from first principles. From 10^1000 possible choices.! Another possibility is to place a limit, on this huge number, by using the anthropic principle to limit the string vacuua under consideration to string vacuua for a universe which could include our existence. How they do this is beyond me and is a good reason to leave it with folks who have the scholarship to do the research. The cosmological constant term, in the metric, is a pressure term which is essentially an anti gravity term. The WMAP and PLanck experiment both predict the cosmological constant is the source of the accelerating expansion of our universe. How far off from the predicted operating temperature is you transformer? Assuming the perfect temperature is the predicted operating temperature? Welcome to the bullshit ring of Dantes inferno. Thanks for posting. Happy New Year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    krash661 likes this.

Share This Page