Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

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Steve3007
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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Steve3007 » September 23rd, 2018, 8:13 am

I think we’re all aware of basic Newtonian mechanics.
I would have thought so too.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Steve3007 » September 23rd, 2018, 8:20 am

Burning Ghost, does your answer mean that you see no contradictions in this post:

viewtopic.php?p=320183#p320183

If so, out of interest, what do you make of this:
David Cooper wrote:...if something is not moving in one frame (no change in spatial distance between itself and any other object at rest in that frame) and is moving in another (with a change in spatial distance between other objects which are at rest in that frame), then we have contradictory claims from different frames about whether the object is moving or not, and we can't tell which one is wrong.
See here for some context:

viewtopic.php?p=320037#p320037


I've yet to figure out what to make of it. I must be missing something.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Halc » September 23rd, 2018, 9:27 am

Burning ghost wrote:
September 22nd, 2018, 8:00 pm
DC -

Congrats! You’ve made what appears to be the first post on this thread that actually sets out some clearly defined positions:
The underlying reality provides a limited number of options for what the clocks are actually doing:-

(1) One of the clocks is ticking faster than the other, while the latter is not ticking faster than the former. (The set 3 models conform to this.)

(2) Both clocks are ticking at the same rate as each other. (The set 1 models conform to this, as does a lucky case of set 3 where both clocks are equally slowed.)

(3) Neither clock is really ticking at all. (Set zero models conform to this because they lack running time.)
I have no clearly defined position as I find myself in the defense role.

Models 3, 0 respectively seem to describe a A-theory interpretation of LET, and the past left behind by growing block theory, which is also A-theory, and yes, the clocks in that model don't tick at all. Model 2 is A and B theories combined, and is I notice not on the list of 3, rightly so, and for the reasons stated on the webpage.

David: If I am misrepresenting the 3 models, then spell them out in your 'clearly defined position' instead of referring to some position described loosely in a place not even on this forum.

My position: The list is incomplete. It lacks all the B-theory interpretations of the underlying reality. Most adherents to Einstein's relativity assume a B interpretation (spacetime) model that lacks a preferred moment. Even Lorentz Ether Theory (LET) was envisioned that way by Lorentz himself since he's the author of all the Lorentz transformations of rotating coordinate systems in 4D spacetime, used in the later work of Minkowski and Einstein. LET differs from Einstein's model in that it asserts ether and a preferred foliation (to which a there can be a local frame) in which that ether is at rest. Einstein denied such a preferred frame, but since physics works in any frame, LET's preferred frame cannot be shown to be wrong.

David's proof of Einstein being wrong is that it demands a B interpretation. It doesn't explicity, but does describe spacetime in these terms, so I am willing to say it strongly implies it. The argument that such interpretations of the underlying reality are wrong seem to revolve around incompatibility with his list of 3 above, all of which assume A-theory. He has a quiz for you to take on his web page. First question is if you accept the flow of time (A-theory), and the quiz throws you out if you don't. Try it. B theory is already wrong because it isn't A theory.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Halc » September 23rd, 2018, 10:07 am

Steve3007 wrote:
September 22nd, 2018, 1:54 am
Regarding the pop quiz post in which you set out Marrett's thought experiment involving ceasium clocks and Sidereal, Earth rotation, clocks, you asked readers to find the flaw in the physics.

One point that immediately springs to mind: An apparent difference between the caesium clocks and the clocks which consist of the Earth's rotation is that reading the ticks from the latter involves doing something non-local. It involves making an observation as to whether a distant reference star, in a is directly overhead (or has reached some other pre-decided point in the sky which is used to determine whether a new sidereal day has started). But in the case of the caesium clock, or any other kind of local clock, which can of course be made arbitrarily small compared to the distances over which the gravitational potential varies, this isn't true. All parts of that type of clock are stationary with respect to the same (rotating) reference frame.

Am I getting warm?
A good choice of star is one that has minimum motion relative to our solar system, and is quite distant to minimize parallax, which makes your clock have an annual to it. But the effect is local. It is the Earth spinning, not the sky. The light is really coming from that direction. The two sidereal clocks, however crude, will be in sync even after millennia.
Yes, in a rotating frame, the star moves (far faster than light!), but I don't recommend trying to consider this scenario in such a frame.

The answer lies with the gravitational difference, which is the primary reason the caesium clock on the mountain gets ahead of the other 3.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Halc » September 23rd, 2018, 10:30 am

Steve3007 wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 8:20 am
Burning Ghost, does your answer mean that you see no contradictions in this post:

viewtopic.php?p=320183#p320183

If so, out of interest, what do you make of this:
David Cooper wrote:...if something is not moving in one frame (no change in spatial distance between itself and any other object at rest in that frame) and is moving in another (with a change in spatial distance between other objects which are at rest in that frame), then we have contradictory claims from different frames about whether the object is moving or not, and we can't tell which one is wrong.
See here for some context:

viewtopic.php?p=320037#p320037

I've yet to figure out what to make of it. I must be missing something.
David is quite clear about what he means by this. Taken from a post about 10 back:
David Cooper wrote:
September 22nd, 2018, 4:44 pm
Halc wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 7:08 pm
The terms as you use them is an invalid usage. Even the LET people make it clear when they're talking about absolute velocity/motion, as distinct from motion relative to alternate frames. Call it bias if you will, but use terms like 'absolute velocity' when you refer to them, because the definition of 'velocity' is a relation between two things.' Absolute velocity on the other hand would be a property of one thing.
I try to avoid using the word "velocity" altogether. The word "speed" is much clearer, and "relative speed" when not talking about absolute speed.
David claims that above, and also claims not to be playing language games. So he redefines 'speed' as an absolute speed, not as a relation to a frame, so he interprets "if something is not moving in one frame (no change in spatial distance between itself and any other object at rest in that frame)" as an assertion that objects in that frame are at absolute rest, not at rest relative to the frame. Notice the words 'relative to the frame' never appear. So this other frame 'claims' that the thing is absolutely moving (his terms), then the frames are making contradictory claims about absolute motion. This is why he needs to say that frames claim things, not that theories make claims about the physics relative to this frame or that one. The meaning of the two wordings changes given David's redefinitions of 'speed' and 'moving'.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Steve3007 » September 23rd, 2018, 11:04 am

Halc wrote:David claims that above, and also claims not to be playing language games. So he redefines 'speed' as an absolute speed, not as a relation to a frame, so he interprets "if something is not moving in one frame (no change in spatial distance between itself and any other object at rest in that frame)" as an assertion that objects in that frame are at absolute rest, not at rest relative to the frame. Notice the words 'relative to the frame' never appear. So this other frame 'claims' that the thing is absolutely moving (his terms), then the frames are making contradictory claims about absolute motion. This is why he needs to say that frames claim things, not that theories make claims about the physics relative to this frame or that one. The meaning of the two wordings changes given David's redefinitions of 'speed' and 'moving'.
But David also seems to make it clear that when he refers to "absolute speed" he is referring to speed relative to the ether. So if what you say above is true he interprets this:

"something is not moving in one frame ..."

as an assertion that something is not moving relative to the ether. Obviously just a blatent, and really quite bizare (if he doesn't know he's doing it) misrepresentation of what is being said. It's as if I say:

"My car is moving along the road at 60mph"

and he says:

"What's that you say? Your car is moving along the road at 60mph and is also stationary relative to the ether? Why, you're contradicting yourself!"

As I said in this post:

viewtopic.php?p=320075#p320075

even if we accept that there is such a thing as an ether and that "absolute motion" means motion relative to that ether, there is still no contradiction in talking about objects moving at different velocities/speeds relative to various other objects. We've simply added another proposed thing (the ether) to talk about their movement relative to.

Yet he says this:
If it's relative to the aether, then there are clearly contradictions. How can you possibly imagine otherwise?
Just weird.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Steve3007 » September 23rd, 2018, 11:17 am

Halc wrote:The answer lies with the gravitational difference, which is the primary reason the caesium clock on the mountain gets ahead of the other 3.
How so? As I understand it, there's a caesium clock at the top of the mountain and a caesium clock at bottom. Surely, by definition, the caesium clock at the top of the mountain is in the same position in the Earth's gravitational potential well as the top of the mountain itself, which serves as a sidereal clock?

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Steve3007 » September 23rd, 2018, 2:15 pm

Thinking about this some more, I guess the answer is that there aren't two sidereal clocks. There's only one. The writer seems to see the rotation of the part of the Earth's surface at the top of the mountain as being a different "clock" to the "clock" represented by the rotation of the part of the Earth's surface that's at sea level. But it isn't. There's only one sidereal clock: the whole Earth. And that clock is not at the same position in the Earth's gravitational potential well as either of the two caesium clocks. It's spread through the entire potential well.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Halc » September 23rd, 2018, 2:39 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 11:17 am
How so? As I understand it, there's a caesium clock at the top of the mountain and a caesium clock at bottom. Surely, by definition, the caesium clock at the top of the mountain is in the same position in the Earth's gravitational potential well as the top of the mountain itself, which serves as a sidereal clock?
Yes, both the high altitude clocks are at the same gravitational potential. They're effectively at the same place.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Halc » September 23rd, 2018, 2:56 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 2:15 pm
Thinking about this some more, I guess the answer is that there aren't two sidereal clocks. There's only one.
No, there are very much two clocks.
The writer seems to see the rotation of the part of the Earth's surface at the top of the mountain as being a different "clock" to the "clock" represented by the rotation of the part of the Earth's surface that's at sea level. But it isn't. There's only one sidereal clock: the whole Earth. And that clock is not at the same position in the Earth's gravitational potential well as either of the two caesium clocks. It's spread through the entire potential well.
Then it would measure absolute time, as the author claims, or at least it would if the Earth had no linear velocity relative to this ether.

I find it funny that I can find no computation of absolute time in the LET site. OK, I probably missed it, since I don't know what to look for. Exactly how much is a clock at sea level dilated when that clock's absolute speed happens to exactly match the absolute speed of the solar system? Surely they've computed this somewhere. I'm less interested in the answer than I am in the assumptions used to compute it.
The part about matching speed with the solar system eliminates as much as is reasonable the daily and annual variances in speed due to spin and orbits. Sometimes we're faster, and sometimes slower, so at some points the speeds must match.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by Steve3007 » September 23rd, 2018, 3:04 pm

No, there are very much two clocks.
Two sidereal clocks? Represented by the circular motions of two points on the Earth's surface? That seems odd. In that case, we must surely conclude that every point on the surface of the Earth is a different sidereal clock. The Earth is an infinite number of different sidereal clocks.

So how can the caesium clock at the top of the mountain get out of sync with the sidereal clock represented by the top of the mountain? Come to think of it, in this way of viewing things, surely the body of the caesium clock, since it's perched on the surface of the Earth (on the mountain) is itself a sidereal clock.

I have the uneasy feeling that I've completely misunderstood this particular problem.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by David Cooper » September 23rd, 2018, 4:27 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 3:29 am
A reference frame is a set of coordinates against which measurements can be made. i.e. it is thing to which we refer when making measurements. An example: If I am sitting in a car I could imagine a set of marks, like those on a ruler, drawn on the inside of that car. I can measure the positions and velocities of things both inside and outside the car with reference to those marks. I could also imagine a set of marks drawn on the road. I can measure the positions and velocities of things both inside and outside the car with reference to those marks too.

When I use the term "with respect to" a reference frame I mean "measured against" that reference frame. I may also say "with respect to" an object. In that case I mean "measured against" a reference frame fixed to that object. Just like a ruler is glued to it.
I don't think anyone here disagrees with you on any of that. The problem is that you refuse to accept necessary consequences of what frames are and how they work. When someone makes measurements using a frame in order to answer specific questions, the answers that emerge are dictated by the rules of correct frame usage. With all frames, there's a standard set of questions that can always be asked, and the answers to those questions are always forced, which means that frame A analysis produces claims. I have previously used a wording which you dislike ("frame A asserts that...."), but I told you repeatedly how it was to be understood, but you just ignored that every time and insisted that what I was saying was wrong even though it was fully sound when interpreted in the way you had been told to interpret it. That was you playing games of avoidance - there should have been no need for any dispute over this.

Another thing you repeatedly played games with was my claim that it's impossible to tell whether you're moving or not, but that's again a fully sound claim. The lack of a clause saying "with respect to frame X" is precisely why it's a sound claim - as soon as you pin it to a specific identifiable frame, you can tell if it's moving or not relative to that frame, but when the choice of frame is open, it's impossible to give an absolute answer as to whether you're moving or not. Furthermore, if someone believes there to be an absolute frame which can't be identified, the question as to whether you're moving or not automatically ties itself to that frame in their mind, and again it's clearly true that you can't tell if you're moving or not relative to that frame. Then, when you view things in the context of set 2 and set 3 models, you can see that set 2 models break without an absolute frame because of the contradictions, most clearly seen when thinking about the relative ticking rates of clocks. This makes the existence of an absolute frame more likely as the number of viable models has been reduced. It is further reduced by the elimination of set zero models due to their inability to make causality real. The only surviving models that work without an absolute frame are contrived models which produce event-meshing failures. It is therefore most rational to consider there to be an absolute frame, which most people (who haven't been brainwashed into thinking there isn't one) automatically assume exists. For them, the idea that you can't tell if you're moving or not is not one that causes them any interpretation difficulty whatsoever. This phrase which you've had such a fit over was merely a line in an introduction to relativity, and it was a fully valid one. It also has no importance to the actual argument that is supposed to be under discussion here. All you have done by sinking your teeth into it is waste a lot of people's time.
Suppose I am sitting in the car and the car is driving along the road. Suppose we consider just the car's chassis, not its wheels or its engine parts. Suppose that chassis is rigid. It doesn't flex or bend. Suppose I'm sitting still and not jumping around inside the car. My velocity with respect to the chassis of the car is zero. My velocity with respect to the road is not zero. The car's velocity with respect to the road is not zero. The road's velocity with respect to the car is not zero. The road's velocity with respect to the road is zero. The car's velocity with respect to the car is zero.
Again no one has any problem with this - it's easy to transform from one wording to another and to recognise that the same thing's being said regardless of the wording used.
Obviously (my position is) there are no contradictions in any of the above measurements of the movements of various objects with respect to other objects.
And no one has claimed there are any contradictions directly contained in them.
As you can see, a very simple concept that does not in and of itself have anything to do with such subjects as the speed of light or Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity. But if we were to go on to discuss those subjects we would have to have nailed this simple concept. This may all seem obvious, And I thought that it was. But apparently some disagree. This is the point of contention.
The place where contradictions are involved in that is when the underlying reality is considered. You want to reject the idea of the underlying reality, and in the case of things moving or not moving, the issue is insufficiently clear to make any direct progress. That's why you should be focusing on the relative ticking rates of clocks instead, as you have been directed to do repeatedly from the start, but you obviously prefer to ignore that because it destroys your position. You've also been led to other things that show the underlying reality in other clear ways, but you either ignored or botched them too. Frame A analysis says that the speed of light relative to object A is c in all directions. Frame B analysis says that the speed of light relative to object A is not c in some directions. What is the speed of light relative to object A in the underlying reality? Your answer appears to be to deny the underlying reality, but there has to be one, and the issue of the relative ticking rates of clocks makes that more than adequately clear. Then there's my thought experiment with the rotating ring, but you were incapable of making frame A measurements of the speed of the red (clockwise) light relative to the material of the ring that it was passing through, even though most ten-year-olds can correctly make such a frame A measurement. Instead, you tried to provide measurements from the rotating frame and pass them off as the frame A measurement. The reality is that you've done nothing but play games of avoidance, and then you've had the nerve to complain about your time being wasted. And I've been blamed for not putting the argument across clearly because I have to waste so much time responding to your tactics of continual diversion.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by David Cooper » September 23rd, 2018, 5:27 pm

Halc wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 9:27 am
Models 3, 0 respectively seem to describe a A-theory interpretation of LET, and the past left behind by growing block theory, which is also A-theory, and yes, the clocks in that model don't tick at all. Model 2 is A and B theories combined, and is I notice not on the list of 3, rightly so, and for the reasons stated on the webpage.

David: If I am misrepresenting the 3 models, then spell them out in your 'clearly defined position' instead of referring to some position described loosely in a place not even on this forum.
Let's start by looking at the two set zero models: static eternal blocks without running time, one 3D and the other 4D. The issue of how these blocks come into existence is not normally considered, but for the causality written through the block to be real, it has to be generated in order of causation. The other three sets of models attempt to make that causality real by providing ways to run the process of causality (which automatically involves running some kind of time). This means that the set zero models, if they are to be generated in a non-magical way, would also need to be one of the block versions of one of the other sets.

The set 1 models don't allow a time tied to any specific frame to govern the unfolding of events, so no clocks tick slow. The result is event-meshing failures (where different objects that pass through specific Spacetime locations are unable to arrive there at the same Newtonian time), but in the block versions of set 1 these failures can be eliminated over Newtonian time. Such models necessarily have two kinds of time in them: a time dimension and a Newtonian time independent of the time dimension, and this makes them too contrived to be considered as anything other than far-fetched in the extreme.

The set 2 models allow clock A to tick faster than clock B while clock B ticks faster than clock A, so they are all invalidated by contradictions.

The set 3 models have an absolute frame, but once the block is complete, the imaginary physics in that block is no longer troubled by the contradictions which were only a problem during the construction phase, so it can arguably be considered to be a set zero model by that point, except for one thing: it was specifically built by a mode 3 model running on different physics, so the block version is entirely superfluous and contrived. That is why it should not be considered to be the same model as its set zero equivalent which is not burdened by any construction phase with rival physics, except that it is left needing a construction phase to make the causality real, and all it has to do that with is magic (with different physics still applying).

If we're looking for rational theories, which we should be, then the set zero and set 2 ones are out. If we're looking for theories without superfluous junk in them, the set 1 models and the set 3 block models are also out. The only respectable theories left are the non-block set 3 models, one of which is LET, while the other is arguably compatible with GR.

The six non-block models are all A-theory interpretations. The eight block models are all B-theory interpretations. If you want a set zero 4D block to be generated by a set 3 4D non-block model, then the resulting block will actually be a set 3 4D block model which is dependent on the non-block version for its creation, and that means it is governed by two different sets of laws of physics: one for the construction phase, and one for imaginary physics within the completed block.
My position: The list is incomplete. It lacks all the B-theory interpretations of the underlying reality.
There are eight B-theory models there to cover all bases, so how is it incomplete?
Most adherents to Einstein's relativity assume a B interpretation (spacetime) model that lacks a preferred moment.
That would be the set zero 4D block model.
Even Lorentz Ether Theory (LET) was envisioned that way by Lorentz himself since he's the author of all the Lorentz transformations of rotating coordinate systems in 4D spacetime, used in the later work of Minkowski and Einstein.
The Lorentz transformations were designed for the set 3 3D non-block LET model and happen to fit the 4D mathematical abstraction too when representing it through 3D frames.
David's proof of Einstein being wrong is that it demands a B interpretation. It doesn't explicity, but does describe spacetime in these terms, so I am willing to say it strongly implies it.
I allow it to have multiple interpretations, including both A and B. It can usually only be one at a time though and not a mixture of incompatible models (though I don't object to a non-block model being considered to be part of the same model as it's block equivalent, the one that it generates, but you do have to recognise that this requires two sets of laws of physics to be used in such a composite model in some cases, though note that set 1 models are able to use the same laws of physics for both phases).
The argument that such interpretations of the underlying reality are wrong seem to revolve around incompatibility with his list of 3 above, all of which assume A-theory.
The argument is that set zero models cannot have real causality in them unless the block is generated through a process that involves an A theory, which means that you have to hunt for viable theories outside of set zero.
He has a quiz for you to take on his web page. First question is if you accept the flow of time (A-theory), and the quiz throws you out if you don't. Try it. B theory is already wrong because it isn't A theory.
If you don't accept flow, you're stuck firmly in set zero with fake causation, and that's not viable.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by David Cooper » September 23rd, 2018, 6:07 pm

Halc wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 10:30 am
David claims that above, and also claims not to be playing language games. So he redefines 'speed' as an absolute speed, not as a relation to a frame, so he interprets "if something is not moving in one frame (no change in spatial distance between itself and any other object at rest in that frame)" as an assertion that objects in that frame are at absolute rest, not at rest relative to the frame.
(I'm not redefining the word "speed" - I'm using it exactly the same way it's used when referring to the speed of light.) If frame A analysis says that object A is at rest, then that frame is producing a claim that object A is at rest relative to that frame, but it is also automatically providing a theory about the speed of that object relative to a proposed fabric of space which may or may not be correct. We can then go through the different models available and ask whether that theory about what's happening in an underlying reality is relevant or not, so let's do that here:-


Set zero 3D and 4D (block): the underlying reality doesn't need an absolute frame to remove the contradictions, but the causation in these models is fake.


Set 1 3D and 4D non-block: the underlying reality doesn't need an absolute frame to remove the contradictions, but these models are invalidated by event-meshing failures.

Set 1 3D and 4D blocks: the underlying reality doesn't need an absolute frame to remove the contradictions, but the model is contrived and far-fetched, not least because it contains two kinds of time.


Set 2 models: the underlying reality needs an absolute frame to remove the contradictions, but such a frame is denied, so all four of these models are invalidated.


Set 2 3D non-block (LET): the underlying reality needs an absolute frame to remove the contradictions, and it has one.

Set 2 4D non-block: the underlying reality needs an absolute frame to remove the contradictions, and it has one.

Set 2 3D and 4D blocks: the underlying reality doesn't need an absolute frame to remove the contradictions using the imaginary physics of the completed block, but it does depend on an absolute frame during the construction phase (and it has an absolute frame).


This illustrates why the models need to be kept apart and each be discussed individually. I've frequently been specifically discussing set 2 models while being attacked on the basis that what I'm saying doesn't apply some other models, but of course it doesn't apply to those other models when it's set 2 that's being discussed - we must deal with one model at a time, and once it's been eliminated from the enquiry, we should recognise that it's gone and not attempt to drag it back in by the back door. Set zero models have been eliminated because of their fake causation, so they're gone - the only excuse to bring them back into play at all is to try to show that their causation isn't fake, and that's a discussion in its own right which is certainly worth picking over again, but it's an extreme position to consider the causation in it to be real based on a parallel in which real causation is imagined to act in sets of abstract things that don't exist.
Notice the words 'relative to the frame' never appear. So this other frame 'claims' that the thing is absolutely moving (his terms), then the frames are making contradictory claims about absolute motion. This is why he needs to say that frames claim things, not that theories make claims about the physics relative to this frame or that one. The meaning of the two wordings changes given David's redefinitions of 'speed' and 'moving'.
The theories make claims about the physics relative to frames, but the frames also represent an underlying reality, and when we look at the required set 2 underlying reality, we find that contradictions invalidate the set 2 models. That's all we care about when looking at the issue of contradictions - they have done their job by eliminating any imagined set 2 version of SR.

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Re: Does Special Relativity contain contradictions?

Post by David Cooper » September 23rd, 2018, 6:45 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 11:04 am
But David also seems to make it clear that when he refers to "absolute speed" he is referring to speed relative to the ether. So if what you say above is true he interprets this:

"something is not moving in one frame ..."

as an assertion that something is not moving relative to the ether. Obviously just a blatent, and really quite bizare (if he doesn't know he's doing it) misrepresentation of what is being said.
The frame is automatically a theory about an underlying reality whether you want it to be or not. With some models, that has no significant implications, but with other models it does.
It's as if I say:

"My car is moving along the road at 60mph"

and he says:

"What's that you say? Your car is moving along the road at 60mph and is also stationary relative to the ether? Why, you're contradicting yourself!"
And no one has called that a contradiction. It would be a contradiction if you said the same about the road though and insisted that both the car and road are stationary in an absolute frame, and that's where actual contradictions come into play. All frames are attempts to describe the same reality, and yet some of them must be closer to a true description of it than others if we're using models where this makes a difference. If you're working with a set zero model in mind, then this argument simply isn't relevant to it to it as it produces no contradictions there (because there is no running time and no speed of anything). If you're working with a set 2 model in mind though, that model generates contradictions and thereby eliminates itself from the enquiry, which is exactly why we're using this to test it - we test the models to destruction to find out which ones survive, and the set 2 ones fail the test.
even if we accept that there is such a thing as an ether and that "absolute motion" means motion relative to that ether, there is still no contradiction in talking about objects moving at different velocities/speeds relative to various other objects. We've simply added another proposed thing (the ether) to talk about their movement relative to.
That's correct, but there are still contradictions generated for set 2 models which we find if we look for them.
Yet he says this:
If it's relative to the aether, then there are clearly contradictions. How can you possibly imagine otherwise?
Just weird.
There's nothing weird about it - the car (that's moving along the road) and the road cannot both be stationary relative to the aether. It all comes down to the fact that all frames are descriptions of an underlying reality, and some (if we're working with set 2 models) are better descriptions of it than others. We know that they aren't all equally good descriptions because the car frame's analysis says that the car's clock is ticking faster than the road's clock, while the road frame's analysis says that the road's clock is ticking faster than the car's clock, and we know that it is not possible for both of those things to be true in the underlying reality. This destroys all set 2 models, but it does nothing to damage any models in any of the other sets because they are all Lorentz invariant. All we care about when it comes to these contradictions is what it means for the set 2 non-block 3D and 4D models which could be taken as representing SR. The contradictions show us that SR cannot rely on these broken models for its survival. If SR is to be viable, it must be found elsewhere in the other sets.

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