# Intriguing question about Time, Physics and SRT in general

Edward Witten's example of Newton's gravitation becomes Fg (at the center of the Earth) = 0

Which is coincidentally exactly what one of my colleagues, a gravity physicist, just convinced me of, by another means.

Edward Witten's example of Newton's gravitation becomes Fg (at the center of the Earth) = 0

Which is coincidentally exactly what one of my colleagues, a gravity physicist, just convinced me of, by another means.
Dan, I am not a physicist nor am I all that conversant with mathematics. I deal mainly in logic and reasoning. Philosophy etc.

However years ago (approx 1991) I found that the universe appeared to be far more simple yet incredibly clever in the way it is structured than I nor any one at the time nor even now could possibly imagine.

Witten, from what you are saying, is I believe, close to the mark however it is from a perspective that will end up in frustration. Scientists typically start their journey from "something" and work towards nothing. My approach has been the exact opposite, I start from absolute zero [ non-existence ] and work outwards expanding dimensions until we have the "thing" called universe we see today.

There is no avoidance of Zeno's paradoxes IMO. In fact it is essential that the paradoxes remain just that, paradoxes.

I can explain in greater detail later and have attempted such over the years slowly learning how to communicate what I found in the 90's

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My colleague got "stuck" in a loop of reasoning involving Galileo's experiment and also a modified version of the Cavendish experiment. He's going to be "pissed" about this (too easy!).

You do understand that any length can be expressed as light travel time, I assume?

When lengths become small, so does light travel time, of course, however, lengths expressed as light travel time are related to regular lengths by a single constant; c, which is actually a dimensionless ratio between time and space itself. It may take take some getting used to, but this is the case. All infinities related to lengths simply go away. Nothing matter nor energy can ever exceed the speed of light.

Any objections?

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My colleague got "stuck" in a loop of reasoning involving Galileo's experiment and also a modified version of the Cavendish experiment. He's going to be "pissed" about this (too easy!).

You do understand that any length can be expressed as light travel time, I assume?

When lengths become small, so does light travel time, of course, however, lengths expressed as light travel time are related to regular lengths by a single constant; c, which is actually a dimensionless ratio between time and space itself. It may take take some getting used to, but this is the case. All infinities related to lengths simply go away. Nothing matter nor energy can ever exceed the speed of light.

Any objections?

Many....

Just to get started and set up a background for you can I ask you to make an accounting for all the light energy [EMR] propagating universally at any given t=0?
No I am not asking for exactness. Even a close approximation would suffice in proving my point.

The average visible light photon carries an energy packet at 0.6um = 2.0663 eV
We see a universe that is mainly space and can conclude from popular theory that every micro meter (um) is teeming with light energy.
Simply calculating the photon energy propagating for the entire universe and note that this energy has been according to popular theory propagating for over 14billion years. (let us not confuse this with CBR which is another beast of a different color)

Suffice to say that there is a hell of a lot of "unaccounted for" energy floating around out there. So much so that it renders the current light effect model terribly flawed in it's primary premise.

So yes I have grave concerns about the notion that photons propagate through space at the speed of c in a way that is independent of mass.
I tend more to believe that the light effect is a "mass resonance effect" caused by surface inertia as masses interact across zero distance space. An effect of universal quantum entanglement across zero space.

There is no evidence to support the existence of a photon independent of the mass used to detect it. So where ever mass is photons are.

With out mass to indicate a photons existence can it be said photons exist?
Like wise with gravity, can it be said that with out mass to indicate the existence of gravitational attraction that gravity exists?
Further, for over 6 years I have been offering a prize of \$500 usd for any evidence that clearly indicates a photons existence independent of mass. I still have that \$500 in my pocket.
The prize could be \$5million and I would still have it in my pocket ( i wish ) as the ability to provide evidence other than circumstantial of a photon propagation independent of mass is impossible to demonstrate.

"Go out into deep space with a light detector... note that any where you place the detector a photon is present."

Now attempt to prove the existence of the photon with out the mass of the detector corrupting your observations.

Reconsider the reality of the photon when accepting that space is merely a volume expanded by the mass with in it. It is zero space, it has no distance until mass wishes to transit it.

Does the volume of space exist with out mass being present?
Summary:
I believe science has inadvertently placed the virtually modeled particle "photon" outside the mass rather than keeping it inside the mass, leading to a "cul de sac" in it's ability to find a unifying theory.
The need for dark energy, dark mass etc and other creative innovations to compensate for this fundamental misunderstanding can be seriously challenged accordingly.
With the understanding that at delta t = 0 distance equals zero we can put the so called photons back where they belong ( within mass ) and most of our theoretical problems vanish as well.
A historic clue dropped by:
H. Ziegler (1910): “If one thinks about the basic particles of matter as invisible little spheres which possess an invariable speed of light, then all interactions of matter like states and electrodynamic phenomena can be described and thus we would have erected the bridge between the material and immaterial world that Mr. Planck wanted.”
that leads to the idea that perhaps science is "double dipping" when it comes to the photons existence being outside of mass and not strictly and only with in it.

If you wish to dispute the above by all means do so but please include and reconcile all the unaccounted for 14 billion years worth of EMR energy that is currently thought to be propagating universally in the rebuttal.

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If I am not mistaken using the current erroneous light model, the sum of all propagating energy should equal existing mass [universally]

Therefore capitalizing on or using the "error" we can find that the "sum" volume of "zero space" is directly proportional to the mass suspended with in it. ( if E=mc^2 holds true ) and presuming the universe is a closed system as implied under the Laws of Thermodynamics.

lengths expressed as light travel time are related to regular lengths by a single constant; c, which is actually a dimensionless ratio between time and space itself.

Hmmmm. 299792458 m/s certainly does not seem dimensionless.

Hmmmm. 299792458 m/s certainly does not seem dimensionless.
Using a metric derived from mass [meter] to measure vacuumous space and the speed of what is apparently a massless particle/wave... hmmmm

Hmmmm. 299792458 m/s certainly does not seem dimensionless.

2.997925 X 10^8 meters/second = c

Express a meter in terms of light travel time, in seconds, and you have a dimensional analysis that resolves to seconds/second. It's dimensionless. (also a light sec/sec)

"There is no evidence to support the existence of a photon independent of mass ... "

That's a safer bet than ever. I assume you mean, a photon is created when an electron is accelerated, and an electron has mass. That electron's mass evidently comes from the Higgs mechanism, so indirectly it has come from vacuum energy. Both quarks and antiquarks have mass also. Together with a gluon, they constitute a meson, and there are lots of virtual mesons in the vacuum. They hold atomic nuclei (protons and neutrons) together.

The Higgs boson definitively has mass, which is the reason virtual photons can exist in the vacuum, and in abundance. I suspect it might also have something to do with why we never (or very, very seldom) ever see any photons spontaneously produced from the vacuum.

"There is no evidence to support the existence of a photon independent of mass ... "

That's a safer bet than ever. I assume you mean, a photon is created when an electron is accelerated, and an electron has mass. That electron's mass evidently comes from the Higgs mechanism, so indirectly it has come from vacuum energy. Both quarks and antiquarks have mass also. Together with a gluon, they constitute a meson, and there are lots of virtual mesons in the vacuum. They hold atomic nuclei (protons and neutrons) together.

The Higgs boson definitively has mass, which is the reason virtual photons can exist in the vacuum, and in abundance. I suspect it might also have something to do with why we never (or very, very seldom) ever see any photons spontaneously produced from the vacuum.
Interesting... Can I ask why you use the term "virtual" when describing the photon particle/wave?

Hmmmm. 299792458 m/s certainly does not seem dimensionless.

A meter is not a measure of space.

2.997925 X 10^8 meters/second = c
That is correct, c is not dimensionless.

Express a meter in terms of light travel time, in seconds, and you have a dimensional analysis that resolves to seconds/second. It's dimensionless. (also a light sec/sec)
That is a nice useless exercise. The bottom line is speed is not dimensionless.

A meter is not a measure of space.
Are you saying a meter is not a measure of length?

Are you saying a meter is not a measure of length?

@origin -- I'm a big fan of the way you consistently apply dimensional analysis on these forums, and really pleased to be able to pick up this critical part of the conversation.

Let me see if I can describe what is really bothering me about dimensional analysis in general, and then move to the specifics.

It is next to impossible even to engage a mathematician in a discussion of dimensional analysis. This is because it is physical, and only physicists actually worry about being consistent about the way they must reason with such things.

However, it's a fact, it was something of a shock to me when I became the manager of a local calibration laboratory and discovered first-hand how few standards were actually needed in order to calibrate every instrument in the lab (HUNDREDS of them!!!). You need a standard of length, and c, and THAT'S ABOUT IT, when you get right down to it. Masses are related to length by the way they move when a force is applied: LENGTH. dB Pascals can be calibrated by nothing more than the mass of a quarter on a diaphragm for an ultrasonic sound level meter. All of these instruments require some sort of special calibration standard equipment, but basically, it all boils down to JUST THOSE TWO. Is this not something that gives you pause? It did for me.

Now to the specific issue about c being dimensionless. Let's just talk about math that we can rigorously apply here. The only reason that c isn't "actually" dimensionless is because you haven't considered the true meaning of the measurement. We are always comparing the motion (meters/sec) of something to the motion (meters/sec) of something else. It's a fact. This is why mathematicians won't even argue with physicists about the topic. They could care less what silly things physicists do in order to make sense of the physical world. And it isn't just c that is actually dimensionless. It's basically EVERYTHING that we use an instrument to measure. The conventions and the units of measurement are "arbitrary" in each and every case.

Questions?

Interesting... Can I ask why you use the term "virtual" when describing the photon particle/wave?

As a philosopher of science, I want to make certain you get this concept. It's kind of important.

Astronomers and astrophysicists routinely measure the Doppler shifts of bound electrons (electrons inside of atoms, ions) from across cosmological distances, and we can easily do that because we know all about spectroscopy and quantum changes in electron configuration of atoms.

But let's talk for a moment about photons that are either from "free" electrons or otherwise unbound situations, such as the decay of positronium (a short lived atom consisting of an electron and a positron or anti-electron).

Unless you know the details about how that photon was created either by 1) seeing an electron accelerate and emit a photon, or 2) witness the diametrically opposed gamma ray photons propagating in two directions from, for example, the decay of positronium, THEN, you will be unable to determine, by any means, what is the energy of any such photon you intercept. You either must have knowledge about the thing that produced the photon or else ALL PHOTONS ARE VIRTUAL. They can literally be any energy, depending on the state of motion of the observer who intercepts it. THE SAME SITUATION occurs if a micrometer or a bullet (particle of matter) is intercepted by the same observer. The energy is indeterminate unless you know details about the reference frame which produced it.

THIS IS EXACTLY THE REASON THAT "RELATIVITY" REQUIRES TWO (NOT JUST ONE!) OBSERVER. No one ever explained that to me, and that included dozens of physics professors, some of whom were charged with explaining relativity and testing me on the subject. Why did they not understand that this is of foundational importance to the theory? I've read hundreds of texts about relativity, and found them lacking in the exact same way. Why is that? This is not an obvious feature to the casual observer. This is a hard idea. There have been people who tried formulating all of relativity without using two reference frames because they believed that two were not essential. Stupid idea, right? What do you think a virtual photon is?

THIS IS EXACTLY THE REASON THAT "RELATIVITY" REQUIRES TWO (NOT JUST ONE!) OBSERVER. No one ever explained that to me, and that included dozens of physics professors, some of whom were charged with explaining relativity and testing me on the subject. Why did they not understand that this is of foundational importance to the theory? I've read hundreds of texts about relativity, and found them lacking in the exact same way. Why is that? This is not an obvious feature to the casual observer. This is a hard idea. There have been people who tried formulating all of relativity without using two reference frames because they believed that two were not essential. Stupid idea, right? What do you think a virtual photon is?

Perhaps you didn't pay any attention in any of your attempts to learn relativity theory. It is literally about comparing systems of coordinates.

As a philosopher of science, I want to make certain you get this concept. It's kind of important.

Astronomers and astrophysicists routinely measure the Doppler shifts of bound electrons (electrons inside of atoms, ions) from across cosmological distances, and we can easily do that because we know all about spectroscopy and quantum changes in electron configuration of atoms.

But let's talk for a moment about photons that are either from "free" electrons or otherwise unbound situations, such as the decay of positronium (a short lived atom consisting of an electron and a positron or anti-electron).

Unless you know the details about how that photon was created either by 1) seeing an electron accelerate and emit a photon, or 2) witness the diametrically opposed gamma ray photons propagating in two directions from, for example, the decay of positronium, THEN, you will be unable to determine, by any means, what is the energy of any such photon you intercept. You either must have knowledge about the thing that produced the photon or else ALL PHOTONS ARE VIRTUAL. They can literally be any energy, depending on the state of motion of the observer who intercepts it. THE SAME SITUATION occurs if a micrometer or a bullet (particle of matter) is intercepted by the same observer. The energy is indeterminate unless you know details about the reference frame which produced it.

THIS IS EXACTLY THE REASON THAT "RELATIVITY" REQUIRES TWO (NOT JUST ONE!) OBSERVER. No one ever explained that to me, and that included dozens of physics professors, some of whom were charged with explaining relativity and testing me on the subject. Why did they not understand that this is of foundational importance to the theory? I've read hundreds of texts about relativity, and found them lacking in the exact same way. Why is that? This is not an obvious feature to the casual observer. This is a hard idea. There have been people who tried formulating all of relativity without using two reference frames because they believed that two were not essential. Stupid idea, right? What do you think a virtual photon is?
Thanks for taking the time to write all the above.

Being able to see the obvious is one of the greatest challenges people face. Normally the obvious is obscured by among other things such as a passionate vested interest, conditioning and so on.
[Re: Buddhist principles concerning the self evident]
Of course relativity applies in the least to a dualistic system. A system of comparison. In fact all values are relative not only to each other but also to their fundamental underpinning source of value in the first instance. Zero in math, non-existence in physics.

Example proof: x+y = z therefore z-x=y
but take it one more step: and prove the equation in absolutum.
z-(x+y) = 0

It is the zero that grants the relative values of x and y which in this case add to z

In fact it could be said that absolute zero is the universal reference frame that typically is assumed or presumed to exist in the background of all SRT theorising.
One of my greatest objections to SRT is that it uses a zero that is no longer invariant and contrives it to being variant [ re: relativity of simultaneity] In doing so effectively "fudging" the values other wise demonstrated.

Typically:
Proving the Transform:

I would contend though due to the floating value of zero we actually have:

Thus absolute time vs relative time comes to the fore and fuels the arguments about counter intuitiveness that abound on the net and in the classroom.
Intuitively, people know and have difficulty expressing that in SRT zero is no longer invariant.
Thus claims of Fudge spring up all the time...
To me it is just Einsteins attempt (via Lorentz) to do what all theorists have historically done and that is find a way to resolve the inherent paradox that has been discussed in this thread.

edit: I might add that even in "Value Theory" little attention is placed on the source of all value...but deals almost exclusively with the values already contrived.

About the closest thing to the "indeterminate / virtual photon energy" argument I see these days is a referent to Mach's principle. I really hate that. Mach was, and is, "all washed up", as a philosopher, scientist, thinker, whatever. Those "fixed stars" Mach refers to are very close. At cosmological distances, everything and ourselves are flying away from each other at relativistic velocities. They're not "fixed" in any sense of the word, the way Mach would have us understand. It's like finding Lamarck's flawed treatise in textbooks instead of Darwin, and frankly, it offends me to find the same thing in physics. How about, we drop studying Roman Numerals, Lamarck, Mach, and I don't know… maybe Karl Popper to boot?

Perhaps you didn't pay any attention in any of your attempts to learn relativity theory. It is literally about comparing systems of coordinates.

"systems of coordinates"? Don't you mean "inertial reference frames"? In math, "systems of coordinates" would mean things like Cartesian, cylindrical, spherical, complex Argand diagrams, etc, etc, and transformations within and between them. "Systems of coordinates", except within a given inertial reference frame, don't have physical meaning in relativity theory BECAUSE THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ABSOLUTE SPACE OR ABSOLUTE TIME.