When I studied relativity I didn't like it because it was not logical. Time dilation? Length contraction? Curved space-time? I had some ideas to explain things differently, but only now, after 25-30 years, armed with new knowledge, I finally obtained a simple, phenomenological theory/model that makes time dilation, curved space-time, frame-dragging, twin paradox and all other peculiar things predicted by Einstein's relativity, and confirmed by experiments, easy to understand. My theory agrees with mainstream relativity in term of results (the math is the same, for now), but is not just a mathematical model that works ...
The main idea is that the constancy of the speed of light in vacuum, postulated and used by Einstein (when dark matter was unknown!), can be explained using dark matter … This explanation doesn't change (all) the results (since postulated or explained, the same thing is used), but makes everything easier to understand (see below) and opens new doors to knowledge.
In my opinion, Einstein's relativity is a 4D “map” of a 3D reality. Like a topographic map (with contour lines, capable to show, for a trained eye, the mountains and valleys on a 2D paper), Einstein's 4D space-time / relativity can help us get good results, but it isn't the true representation of the reality and can be misleading.
If you expect sophisticated mathematics, you will be disappointed. My “article” is based mostly on reasoning and on proposing experiments capable to prove dark matter relativity better than Einstein's relativity. New mathematical and/or computer models for dark matter relativity can be made later.
1. My hypothesis is that dark matter consists in a huge number of very small particles, small enough to fill uniformly, like a gas, the "empty" space inside the atoms and light enough to make only 4 times the mass of ordinary matter and to pass largely unnoticed in terms of drag. These particles, similar with electrons, but charge-less and probably lighter and smaller, are interacting gravitationally with ordinary particles (this is the main thing we know about dark matter) and with each other.
Due to gravitational attraction towards the center of massive objects (planets, stars, galaxies), this gas-like dark matter, similar to atomic/molecular gas, forms (huge) atmospheres, roughly spherically symmetric around the center of gravity, the DM halo detected in the case of galaxies. Dark matter atmosphere (short: darkmosphere), like normal (air) atmosphere, increases in density from outside towards the center and travels with the massive object (in the surrounding, larger, darkmosphere).
Furthermore, these very small dark matter particles are able to “absorb” and very quickly re-emit light/photons, like electrons/atoms (see here), with the difference that photons are always re-emitted as they were, in order to have this perfect transparency of "dark" matter. Also, for some reasons, the time between absorption and re-emission and the speed of re-emission are always the same (at least on average), in order to have the same speed in "vacuum" for all photons (all frequencies), and the "drag", in the space between particles, is zero (or very close to zero), because we see (almost) no unaccounted redshift.
So, in this model, the speed of light/photons through dark matter depends only on the speed between dark matter particles, which is constant (the re-emission speed), and the number of delaying absorptions/re-emissions.
If you prefer a wave approach (instead of photons being absorbed and re-emitted), you may consider this dark matter atmosphere as a perfectly transparent gas, for light and all other electromagnetic radiations, with the observation that the speed of light through gases tend to decrease when the density of the gas increases.
2. Time dilation.
Time dilation and the twin paradox are still very hard to grasp for most of the people, after more than 100 years since relativity was born … You can see in relativity forums questions & opinions about these subjects time and time again. This is good, because this is the main way to really understand relativity. The problem is that the answers are misleading. First of all, the answers are not about what is happening to clocks/humans. There are only geometrical explanations on how to understand & apply the theory. And instead of considering (for kinematic time dilation) real life experiments, like the Hafele–Keating experiment, they are “playing” in a world without gravity, in order to remain in Special Relativity. No wonder that they don’t understand what is happening.
Let’s consider a more realistic twin paradox experiment (I wrote about it here), a simplification of the Hafele-Keating experiment (something heavily tested):
One twin is living in a tower on Earth, at the equator, and the other is flying around the Earth with constant, high, speed, at the same level with the "tower twin". Both are using very accurate clocks with 2 displays, one normal and one very big.
The plane with the flying twin gets very close to the tower every time it completes a full circle around the Earth (following the equator) and both twins are taking pictures with both plane & tower cocks in the same frame/picture (remember the normal + big displays).
The pictures are dropped at the tower base to be easily compared.
Now, the most important & current misconception is that the velocity time dilation (a difference in the elapsed time measured by two observers) is reciprocal … If someone compares the pictures dropped by the above twins, he/she can see that it is not always the case: they agree about which clock is remaining behind ... Reciprocity is valid if the flying twin looks back and compare the plane clock with the tower clock and the tower twin looks after the plane to also compare the clocks. And this is due to the fact that the image/information travels with a limited speed. When side by side, they instantly compare their clocks. In my opinion only this instant comparison is important (if you want to understand what is happening). It should be called real time dilation, and the other apparent time dilation.
Another misconception is that the stay-at-home twin, the one that didn’t experience acceleration, would age more. This is not always true. In my experiment, the tower twin may age less if the plane is flying westwards ... So, the acceleration is not enough (not the reason) for aging less.
The reason for the asymmetric aging is considered the fact that the traveling twin has changed the frame in order to return home (the starship stopped, turned around towards Earth and accelerated again to the traveling velocity). Let’s analyze this in my tower-plane experiment, but now we plant mirrors along the path (equator) in order for the twins to be able to see each other all the time. In this way we are recreating the Earth-starship case, meaning that the plane is departing from the tower, travels (around the Earth, at the same height as the tower twin) a long distance (light years, if you wish), stops at the “destination”, turns around and returns. The twins can monitor each other (through the mirror system), like in the Earth-starship case, and the calculation & resulting aging difference is the same: the “stay-at-home” twin ages more. If the Earth is not spinning (the tower is at rest in the Earth-centered, non-rotating reference frame), the result is the same, the “stay-at-home” twin ages more. Now (with the Earth not spinning), what if, instead of turning around, the plane continues forward and only the telescope is turned, towards the front of the plane? It is like the plane had turn around … The twin aboard can see (through mirrors) that he/she is approaching the tower, exactly like he/she would do if the plane was turned … So, it is the “frame switch” the reason for the aging difference or the only reason is the velocity in a frame of reference at rest with respect to the center of the earth?
As I wrote earlier, the geometrical explanations (while not wrong) are misleading. If you really want to understand time, time dilation & twin paradox, you have to study the GPS system and the Hafele-Keating experiment and to learn the 2 most important things/facts: near Earth, clocks at higher altitude tick faster than clocks on Earth's surface and, at the same altitude, the rate of a clock is greatest when it is at rest in the Earth-centered, non-rotating reference frame.
The big/important questions are: what makes the clocks to behave like that? and how? The answer for “what” is dark matter and for “how”, let’s use my model (see above “1. My hypothesis”):
Dark matter particles, attracted by the Earth’s gravity are forming an atmosphere (darkmosphere), which is (almost) static with respect to the above mentioned, Earth-centered, non-rotating reference frame. This means that the 2 facts we have to explain are: A - why clocks at lower dark matter density (higher altitude) are ticking faster than clocks on Earth's surface? and B – why, at the same dark matter density, the rate of a clock is greatest when it is at rest (with respect to the darkmosphere)?
The simplest way is to consider a light clock, where a pulse of light is bounced between two mirrors that are a known distance apart and the elapsed time is inferred by counting the number of round trips from one mirror to the other.
A. - According to my model the speed of light/photons through dark matter depends only on the speed between dark matter particles, which is constant (the re-emission speed), and the number of delaying absorptions/re-emissions, so at lower dark matter density (higher altitude) there are less delays and the photons are traveling faster, completing more round trips between the mirrors, counting more seconds between 2 events, so the light clock there is ticking faster than the one on Earth's surface (where the density is higher). [Note: you’ll see later why the speed of light/photons is a constant, c, when measured using local instruments, while photons appear to travel with different speeds when viewed from another place.]
B. - When the light clock is moving through darkmosphere, the photons are forced to do longer, diagonal trips between mirrors, so the time needed increases, the number of round trips decreases, less seconds being counted between 2 events, so the clock is ticking slower than the static one. Greater the velocity, slower the clock.
How about other clocks? Well, all the clocks are made of atoms/molecules and these are systems composed of electrically charged particles (protons, electrons) held together by electromagnetic forces. The force carrier for the electromagnetic force is considered to be a photon … so atoms and molecules are like complex light clocks, where instead of light photons bouncing between mirrors we have force carrier photons traveling between protons and electrons ... That’s why not only all other clocks are changing their “rates” as the light clock above, but also any structure held together by force carrier photons, including us …
If, let's say, an electron in the electron cloud of an atom moving through darkmosphere (at constant altitude) is hit by a light photon and changes its trajectory, all other "participants" (other electrons, nucleus) will be "informed" about it with a delay, compared to a static atom (in the same darkmosphere, at the same altitude/density), because force carrier photons have to travel longer, diagonal paths, as explained for the light clock. The response/reaction from the "participants" will arrive at the first electron also with a delay. The electron will also react, and the information about it will get to the others with a delay ... And so on ... And this is valid not only when a light photon hits an electron in the cloud, this happens all the time, because any change in position is also a change, important for the others, for the stability/integrity of the atom/system … So it's no wonder that a delay of force carrier particle triggers a "time dilation", a slow-down of all the processes based on it.
In conclusion: time dilation (or, better said, the disparate clock rates) is (are) caused by the differences in dark matter density (gravitational time dilation) or by the differences in speed with respect to the dark matter atmosphere (kinematic time dilation).
By the way, the above explanation is in agreement with no longer needed clock postulate.
3. The constancy of the speed of light in vacuum.
The reason for the speed of light in vacuum being a constant, while the photons are appearing to move at different speeds, is simple: we measure it using local instruments made of atoms/molecules (we have no other choice) and, as shown above, these are systems held together by the electromagnetic force, transmitted through force carrier photons, so they are also (and equally) affected by any change in photon speed.
The second is defined as exactly 9,192,631,770 times the period of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium-133 atom […] Radiation of this kind is one of the most stable and reproducible phenomena of nature. The meter was defined as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole or in terms of a prototype meter bar, but now is defined as the length of the path traveled by light in a vacuum in 1/299792458 second.
The current definition of the meter is based on the constancy of the speed of light, so it’s useless (for the explanation of the constancy), but when we determined the speed of light in vacuum (and found it constant) we used the meter bar/stick, made of atoms/molecules ...
We seem to consider atoms and molecules very reliable, so we can use them to define the second and the meter in another way. We can pick a certain, stable molecule and define the second as N repetitions of a certain, reliable cycle, like a scissoring vibration (see here), and the meter as M time the (average) distance, D, between the nuclei of two atoms involved (e.g.: C and H in the CH2X2 group).
Now, if we consider one virtual force carrier photon “bouncing” between the nuclei of two of the atoms involved in the cycle above (e.g.: C and one of the H), we expect that the distance covered by this photon between the nuclei in one cycle, measured in D’s, to be the same, d. There are no reasons, as the molecule is stable, to have different distances traveled, measured in molecule related units (D), in 2 identical cycles. [Note 1: this is, in a way, implied by the first postulate.] [Note 2: real force carrier photons are exchanged all the time, without waiting for a return, like the virtual one above.]
So, in one second (N cycles), the virtual photon above travels a distance N∙d, measured in D’s, but one D is 1/M meters (see the above definition of the meter), so the distance traveled in one second by the photon is N∙d/M meters, which is constant, no matter how the "real" speed of force carrier photons (or any photon) changes (see above the influence of the dark matter density and the influence of the movement through dark matter) and how, consequently, the “speed”/pace and even the size of the atoms/molecules may also change. We have no choice but to rely on local atoms/molecules. That's why the speed of light in "vacuum" appears invariant.
4. Warped space-time / gravity wells.
We rely on our senses and instruments to judge what is real and what is not. That's why we considered the speed of light in vacuum and the size and pace of atoms/molecules constant, when in fact they are not quite so, as explained above. This is the reason why Einstein's space-time is warped.
With my dark matter model, it becomes obvious that the regions of space-time around massive objects are warped in order to map the changes in dark matter gas density, because an increase in dark matter density makes light/photons to move slower, which in turn makes our clocks to run slower, etc. It's that simple.
Questions like why there is still gravitational time dilation at the center of the Earth, where the space-time is flat? are now much easier to answer: at the center of the Earth, the density of dark matter gas is greatest, so right there is the greatest gravitational time dilation (lowest clock rate) in the “gravity well”.
5. Time. In Einstein's relativity, time is considered somehow similar to space dimensions, although there is no known way to go back in time. Time is considered as part of space-time, the "fabric" of the cosmos. It appears that the past still exists somewhere and that the future is also there, predetermined. For me, all these are unacceptable. Also, the behavior/rate of each clock is considered (implied) as being dictated by the time component of the space-time. How?
With my model, time becomes/is the result of counting nature's reliable cycles (years, days, atomic oscillations, etc.), a notion we invented in order to be able to compare different movements (speed, acceleration), to compare different processes (aging, growing, erosion, etc.), to organize our live (catch a plane, train, etc.) and to make order in events (history). Time travel is out of the question. Only present exists. The past "exists" only in our memory/records, or as information we receive from distant stars through light. The future is not predetermined. We can make some predictions (weather forecast, etc.) but never perfect.
And the behavior/rate of our clocks (and atoms/molecules) is determined, as I explained above, by the "real" speed of light, speed that depends on the density of dark matter atmosphere, and by the movement of the clock/atom/molecule through darkmosphere.
6. This makes the twin paradox easy to understand, as explained at “Time dilation”.
7. Gravitational lensing. The fact that light/photons can slow-down or speed-up through "vacuum" due to different densities of dark matter gas, explains why light bends near massive objects. It is simple refraction (only without dispersion, because there are no differences in speed for different wavelengths). And, if measured with local instruments, the speed of light is the same, c, in each and every point of the beam trajectory/path, in total agreement with Einstein's relativity.
8. With dark matter relativity it's also very easy to understand the Shapiro time delay: radar signals passing near a massive object are delayed because they travel trough denser dark matter gas.
9. So, we don't need to bend the space anymore. Space is not entwined with time. There is no space-time fabric. There are no wormholes. Space is just the boundless three-dimensional extent that contains all types of matter and energy.
The realization that the speed of light in "vacuum" only appears constant, due to the fact that all our instruments are made of atoms/molecules depending on the very same speed of light, to the fact that we rely on atoms/molecules when in reality they are not so reliable, makes everything logical, not only functional.
10. Frame-dragging, the fact that space-time rotates around rotating massive objects, translates into dark matter atmosphere rotation/dragging, much more logical, with the observation that the spaces between atoms / atom elements are too big, compared to dark matter particles, to have more/total rotational drag.
11. Another peculiar aspect in Einstein's relativity is the relativistic mass, a mass that depends on velocity. At speeds close to c, mass approaches infinity.
In my dark matter relativity, dark matter is like a gas made of particles similar to electrons but charge-less and probably lighter and smaller (see above). When an object/particle moves through this gas, it probably collides with many of these very light dark matter particles, resulting a very small drag [the drag is significant only in extremely high DM densities, near the black holes, being the real reason for binary black hole inspirals]. If, somehow, few of them stick to the traveling object, this will result in a tiny increase of the object's mass. At very high speeds, is expected that the object will undergo much more impacts with dark matter particles and therefore more of them may stick to it, increasing significantly its mass. This may be the logical explanation for Einstein's relativistic mass, if the increase is real, not just a mathematical consequence of "time dilation".
[I suspect that the increase in mass is real and that the Higgs boson is a short-lived particle made mainly of dark matter particles carried by the colliding protons acting like snow-plows. Maybe dark matter atmosphere and the Higgs field are in fact the same thing …]
12. The same approach may explain static mass increase, the increase in inertia/mass of a body when other masses are placed nearby, because more masses make dark matter atmosphere to become denser, meaning that more dark matter particles may stick to an object/particle moving through it ... and this includes not only translation movements, but also the vibrations (of the atoms in the molecules), rotations, etc..
13. In fact, the same approach explains why an object, made of atoms, weights more if heated: atoms inside vibrate/move faster, gaining more dark matter particles.
These effects (12 and 13), predicted and calculated using Einstein's relativity, are very very small, in agreement with my view/model: dark matter particles are very very light.
So, after more than 100 years of controversy (at least for non-physicists), relativity becomes logical, accessible for everyone through simple reasoning. The mathematics may remain the same, because Einstein's mathematical model, being based on sound, confirmed, principles and facts (including the postulated constancy of the speed of light in "vacuum", explained with my model), delivers good, accurate results. Using correctly what our (not so reliable) instruments "told" us, it can predict correctly what the same instruments will "tell" in new situations.
The new understanding of relativity provided by my dark matter model, combined with Einstein's mathematical model, can be considered a new relativity, dark matter relativity.
Experimental ways to prove dark matter relativity
Until now I explained, using my dark matter model, how Einstein's relativity peculiar predictions become logical, easy to understand. Now is the time to use my model in order to make other "peculiar" predictions, predictions that can be tested/confirmed by experiments.
All my predictions are based on the idea, mentioned above, that dark matter gas should behave like atmospheric gas and form dark matter atmospheres (darkmospheres) around massive objects, atmospheres that travel with the corresponding massive object, due to its gravitational attraction. This idea seems to be confirmed by what we learned studying the Bullet Cluster.
1. This prediction is about the size of the Earth’s darkmosphere. The idea is that at the boundary between Earth’s darkmosphere and the surrounding Sun’s darkmosphere the force acting on a test dark particle should be zero (the gravitational and centrifugal forces acting on the particle should cancel each other). A little closer to the Earth, the particle would “fall” towards Earth, being a part of Earth’s darkmosphere. A little further, the particle would “fall” outside the Earth’s influence, being a part of Sun’s darkmosphere. That means that the size of the Earth’s darkmosphere is roughly the size of the Earth’s Hill sphere.
I manage to test & confirm this prediction, but only theoretically, as you can see here (the end result is here). I suspect that the real/experimental size is a bit smaller, because of the friction/drag that may occur between the Earth’s darkmosphere and the surrounding Sun’s darkmosphere.
Speaking about the experiment: I suggest 2 (or more) optical clocks linked with a long towing cable and also connected through optical fiber. The upper clock would use thrust to climb in a spiral from the Earth, towing the second clock. Inside the Earth’s darkmosphere, the upper clock should tick faster than the lower one, all the time. When the upper clock gets out of the darkmosphere, it should suddenly tick slower than the other, because of the very fast movement through the Sun’s darkmosphere (kinematic time dilation). Then, after the other/towed clock also gets out of the Earth’s darkmosphere, the first clock should tick slower then the other, if the movement is towards the Sun, faster, if the movement is opposite the Sun, and at the same rate if they are following the Earth’s orbit.
2. This prediction is the first I imagined, because it was the most obvious:
If we have one clock on Earth, at one pole, that clock will not be affected at all by speed-related "time dilation", being static in relation with the Earth's darkmosphere that contains it. Another clock, situated on Earth's orbit around the Sun, moving with the same speed as the Earth (and the first clock on it), but far outside Earth's darkmosphere (it may move in opposite direction), in the Sun's darkmosphere, will experience significant speed-related "time dilation", because it moves fast through the darkmosphere that contains it.
According to special relativity, both clocks should experience the same speed-related "time dilation", but I'm not sure what a thorough application of general relativity may reveal ...
There will be also differences due to "gravitational time dilation", between the two clocks, but this time I don't expect disagreements with Einstein's relativity.
It would be costly, but this idea should be tested, by sending at least one atomic clock in space, around the Sun, as considered above.
3. This prediction is based on the idea (see above) that the rate of a clock depends on the density of dark matter gas that contains it. There are atomic clocks able to detect the tiny changes in darkmospheric pressure/density determined by a very small change in altitude (gravitational "time dilation"). So, if we have two atomic clocks, one at each pole (to avoid speed-related "time dilation" - see the previous prediction) we may use them to detect "seasonal" changes in Earth's darkmosphere pressure. In my opinion, in spring/autumn, when one pole is oriented forwards and the other backwards (in relation with Earth's rotation around the Sun), we should detect an increase in dark matter pressure (and density) with the clock at the front (the clock will run slower) and a decrease with the one at the rear (the clock will run faster).
4. The clocks above (at the poles) should also have summer/winter differences in rate, because at the pole oriented towards the Sun the pressure/density of dark matter atmosphere is lower (resulting a higher clock rate) than at the pole situated at the far side. Just calculate/determine the points on Sun-Earth line where gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel each other (see the first prediction) and you’ll see that the Earth’s darkmosphere is thicker at the far side, resulting a higher pressure/density at the ground level for that side.
5. This prediction/test is based on the same ideas as no. 3 and no. 4, but is aimed to detect, if possible, daily changes in dark matter pressure. This time a clock remains at one pole but the other is placed close to the equator, so it can make daily rotations around the Earth's center. If the clocks are accurate enough, we may detect daily variations in the rotating clock, due to the differences in dark matter pressure between the forward section and the rear section of Earth's darkmosphere (in relation with Earth's rotation around the Sun) and also due to the differences in dark matter pressure between the far side and closer to the Sun side of the Earth’s darkmosphere (night/day variations).
Conclusion: This new relativity, dark matter relativity, not only validates Einstein's relativity, but is also validated by it and by all the experiments that confirm it, since the only difference is that the constancy of the speed of light in vacuum is now explained rather than postulated. Basically, dark matter relativity makes Einstein's relativity logical not only functional. But the most important aspect of this theory is that, if confirmed by the experiments above, it will greatly improve our understanding of time, space and, last but not least, dark matter. It is ridiculous that we are still unable to detect and understand dark matter, a stuff that is much more abundant than ordinary matter, so different approaches, like the one above, should be considered desirable, properly analyzed and tested experimentally. Maybe not everything I wrote is correct, but I believe and hope that the basic idea is.