COMMENTS: Einstein’s 1905 Paper on Relativity (Part 1)

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Reference: Disturbance Theory

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This examination of Einstein’s 1905 paper on relativity (see the link above) is being carried out to see if Einstein’s original postulates can be modified to bring better consistency among the Theory of Relativity and Newtonian Mechanics.

Einstein’s 1905 paper: http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/#tex2html1

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INTRODUCTION

“It is known that Maxwell’s electrodynamics—as usually understood at the present time—when applied to moving bodies, leads to asymmetries which do not appear to be inherent in the phenomena. Take, for example, the reciprocal electrodynamic action of a magnet and a conductor. The observable phenomenon here depends only on the relative motion of the conductor and the magnet, whereas the customary view draws a sharp distinction between the two cases in which either the one or the other of these bodies is in motion. For if the magnet is in motion and the conductor at rest, there arises in the neighbourhood of the magnet an electric field with a certain definite energy, producing a current at the places where parts of the conductor are situated. But if the magnet is stationary and the conductor in motion, no electric field arises in the neighbourhood of the magnet. In the conductor, however, we find an electromotive force, to which in itself there is no corresponding energy, but which gives rise—assuming equality of relative motion in the two cases discussed—to electric currents of the same path and intensity as those produced by the electric forces in the former case.”

This introductory paragraph from the paper mentions asymmetry observed in the relative motion between a magnet and a conductor. This asymmetry occurs in the reference frame of the lab, which results in different interpretation of the same phenomenon.

This “asymmetry” disappears when we use the magnetic lines of force, which are attached to the magnet, as the reference frame. The conductor moves relative to these lines of force the same way in either case producing the same result.

“Examples of this sort, together with the unsuccessful attempts to discover any motion of the earth relatively to the “light medium,” suggest that the phenomena of electrodynamics as well as of mechanics possess no properties corresponding to the idea of absolute rest. They suggest rather that, as has already been shown to the first order of small quantities, the same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good.1 We will raise this conjecture (the purport of which will hereafter be called the “Principle of Relativity”) to the status of a postulate, and also introduce another postulate, which is only apparently irreconcilable with the former, namely, that light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body. These two postulates suffice for the attainment of a simple and consistent theory of the electrodynamics of moving bodies based on Maxwell’s theory for stationary bodies. The introduction of a “luminiferous ether” will prove to be superfluous inasmuch as the view here to be developed will not require an “absolutely stationary space” provided with special properties, nor assign a velocity-vector to a point of the empty space in which electromagnetic processes take place.”

This paragraph states that no motion of the earth relatively to the “light medium” has been discovered. This is incorrect because the very fact of radial acceleration due to inertia is a proof of motion relatively to the “light medium”.

This “light medium” is the space itself as established by Maxwell’s equations. The very fact that the speed of light is determined exclusively by the permeability and permittivity of space establishes space as the “light medium”. Light is a disturbance in space.

It was assumed that space could not be a medium because it could not be rigid to electromagnetic waves, while being completely permeable to matter. It was not realized that space puts up resistance to motion relative to it in the form of inertia. Thus space is not completely permeable to matter. Space resists the motion of matter. This resistance shows up as inertia.

Any motion relative to space requires force and it is accompanied by acceleration. Moons are always accelerating toward their planets.  Planets are always accelerating toward their stars. Stars are always accelerating toward the center of their galaxies and so on. There may appear to be no acceleration in the direction tangential to an orbit. But there is always a radial acceleration toward some center. When there is no force or acceleration, there is no motion relative to space.

There is no uniform motion without acceleration that travels in straight line. All Newtonian or Einstenian inertial frames are actually a single frame, which is at rest relative to space. This nicely explains the Principle of Relativity.

Any motion in this single frame is resisted by inertia. A fixed velocity in this frame shall result from a balance between acceleration and inertia. The velocity of light is finite and constant because there is a balance between an electromagnetic push of disturbance and the inertia of disturbed space.

If a Michelson-Morley experiment is conducted to compare the speed of light in the direction tangential to earth’s orbit and also normal to it, it is likely to observe a difference due to the centripetal acceleration of earth. Einstein’s assumption that there is no motion of the earth relative to the “light medium” is not fully justified.

An absence of inertia may be used as an absolute rest point from which to measure motion. Any motion relative to space will manifest some force due to inertia as acceleration.

The phenomena of electrodynamics as well as of mechanics, has inertia as a property common between them that can be referenced from the idea of undisturbed space.

Einstein postulates as the Principle of Relativity: “The same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good.”

This postulate assumes that light has same inertial characteristics as matter. This assumption is not justified.

Einstein makes another postulate: “Light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.”

This postulate assumes that there is no property shared by light with the body that emits it, which control their respective velocities. This assumption is also not justified because the velocities of light and the emitting body are related by their respective inertia relative to space.

“The theory to be developed is based—like all electrodynamics—on the kinematics of the rigid body, since the assertions of any such theory have to do with the relationships between rigid bodies (systems of co-ordinates), clocks, and electromagnetic processes. Insufficient consideration of this circumstance lies at the root of the difficulties which the electrodynamics of moving bodies at present encounters.”

Essentially, Einstein uses RIGID MATTER as its reference frame. We may call it the Material Reference Frame or MRF. This reference frame does not properly account for the inertia associated with light and sub-atomic particles. It actually considers inertia of light particle (photon) to be zero.

The proper reference frame would however be SPACE. We may call it the Space Reference Frame or SRF. This reference frame shall account for the inertia associated with light and sub-atomic particles. It would not represent space by rigid coordinates. The SRF coordinate system shall take into account the varying characteristics of inertia of the particles being considered.

[To be continued…]

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