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Maxwell's Paradox


ParanoiA
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Ok, I'm a little confused by Maxwell's paradox associated with light always traveling at light speed. Supposedly, Einstein pondered the state of affairs if we chased a beam of light at light speed, thereby causing the light beam to "appear" stationary.

 

The question I have is, how is that a paradox? Just seems like common sense to me. We don't even need light to recreate the paradox.

 

How about a car? If a car is traveling at 5 miles per hour, and I run 5 miles per hour along side it, then it will appear stationary relative to me.

 

In both scenarios the car and the light are still traveling at their respective speeds, but I'm just running along with them.

 

A crucial point, yes, but I just don't see how that's a "paradox". Am I missing something?

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Supposedly, Einstein pondered the state of affairs if we chased a beam of light at light speed, thereby causing the light beam to "appear" stationary.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_light

 

Constant velocity from all reference frames

 

It is important to realise that the speed of light is not a "speed limit" in the conventional sense. An observer chasing a beam of light will measure it moving away from him at the same speed as will a stationary observer. This leads to some unusual consequences for velocities.

 

Of course, this is Einstein's theory--there are others

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Supposedly, Einstein pondered the state of affairs if we chased a beam of light at light speed, thereby causing the light beam to "appear" stationary.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_light

 

Constant velocity from all reference frames

 

It is important to realise that the speed of light is not a "speed limit" in the conventional sense. An observer chasing a beam of light will measure it moving away from him at the same speed as will a stationary observer. This leads to some unusual consequences for velocities.

 

Of course, this is Einstein's theory--there are others

 

 

Well, see this paradox is brought up in the context prior to Einstein's contributions, he was only 16. We were still on Newtonian laws at this point.

 

I don't see what is so paradoxical about traveling the same speed as a moving object, thereby making the object appear stationary.

 

There must be more to what Maxwell stated for any "paradox" to emerge.

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Well, see this paradox is brought up in the context prior to Einstein's contributions, he was only 16. We were still on Newtonian laws at this point.

 

you didn't specify this before

 

 

I don't see what is so paradoxical about traveling the same speed as a moving object, thereby making the object appear stationary.

 

The paradox is in relation to Einstein's theory, I believe. Everything else (besides light) works that way.

 

There must be more to what Maxwell stated for any "paradox" to emerge.

 

I'd say, not until light, as photons (wave/particle) , are fully described.

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A crucial point, yes, but I just don't see how that's a "paradox". Am I missing something?
The paradox was this: Maxwell says that light travelled at c.

 

Pretty simple, but think like Einstein did, relatively, and it becomes a big paradox!

 

Travels at c relative to what? Relative to me? If so then what if someone overtakes me at half the speed of light? Then they see light at c/2... but this is against what Maxwell said. If I travelled at c then I would see like moving at v=0, but that also violates what Maxwell said, because c is not 0!

 

This is the paradox.

 

Einstein went on to solve the paradox by introducing relativity, which says that light travels at c relative to everything. Maxwell was correct; light travels at c. Einstein added to that by saying light travels at c relative to anything and everything. The consequences of this lead him onto further discoveries and more relativity.

 

[edit]wow! this is my 5,000th post here!

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  • 4 weeks later...
An observer chasing a beam of light will measure it moving away from him at the same speed as will a stationary observer. This leads to some unusual consequences for velocities.

 

There has however been very few experiments if any where light was accuratly measured in an A to B pathway, that is a source to destination with perfect syncronization of seperate frames clocks.

 

Most to all experiments that I have come across measure lights speed coming towards an observer, either from a source or from an A to B to (return) A. Source reflector back to detector.

 

These forms can not and could not ever detect a change in light even if there was one, because the average resorts to C.

 

Tests that have been done in A to B like apparatus' have found change in energy, wavelength, and/or velocity of light.

 

Since the MM experiment was flawed to be able to detect an absolute space whether it was there or not more attention should be payed to being certain on these assumptions.

see here in the theory of absolute relativity (work in progress)

http://www.scienceforums.net/showthread.php?t=23633

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There has however been very few experiments if any where light was accuratly measured in an A to B pathway, that is a source to destination with perfect syncronization of seperate frames clocks.

 

Most to all experiments that I have come across measure lights speed coming towards an observer, either from a source or from an A to B to (return) A. Source reflector back to detector.

 

These forms can not and could not ever detect a change in light even if there was one, because the average resorts to C.

 

Tests that have been done in A to B like apparatus' have found change in energy, wavelength, and/or velocity of light.

 

Since the MM experiment was flawed to be able to detect an absolute space whether it was there or not more attention should be payed to being certain on these assumptions.

see here in the theory of absolute relativity (work in progress)

http://www.scienceforums.net/showthread.php?t=23633

 

 

You should probably confine your non-mainstream arguments to your own threads in speculations, and not hijack physics threads, where well-tested physics are the appropriate responses.

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Ok, I'm a little confused by Maxwell's paradox associated with light always traveling at light speed.

 

Maxwell's equations in vacuum have a simple solution: Travelling sinusoidal plane waves. The velocity of these waves are equal to the inverse of the square root of the product of the electrical permittivity and magnetic permeability of free space. Maxwell, seeing that this value was very close to the speed of light, conjectured that light is an electromagetic wave.

 

The equations dictate the electromagnetic fields propagate at some invariant speed c. The velocities of neither the transmitter nor the receiver come into play; the velocity is invariant. This is the paradox. The only invariant velocity per the Galilean transform is an infinite velocity. The Lorentz transform was explicitly developed to find some representation scheme in which Maxwell's equations are invariant.

 

Einstein's brilliance was not in the development of the Lorentz transform. That development preceded Einstein by several years. What Einstein did was to replace the ad-hoc nature of those developments with two simple hypotheses.

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