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rwjefferson
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Has aether been disproved?

 

Yes

 

Were Michelson and Morley even looking in the right direction?

 

Yes

 

peace

ron

 

P.S.

kind and well reasoned responses are always greatly appreciated

insults not so much

 

Well reasoned questions get well reasoned responses, I have no idea why you question the Michelson Morley experiment, afaik it was done correctly and the result still stands, if you think other wise feel free to say why... .

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One must remember that Bradley had shown that we could not be stationary with respect to the aether in ~1725, via the observation of stellar aberration. M-M showed we were not moving through it.

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Has it been disproved? Of course not. You can't prove that invisible magic pixies don't permeate all of space either. You can never prove that something doesn't exist. What relativity does is make aether unnecessary, unlikely, and ugly. This doesn't mean it doesn't exist - for example, Lorentz ether theory is physically equivalent to special relativity. LET has been abandoned, not because it makes bad predictions (it makes the same predictions as SR), but because it's not nearly as elegant, it requires more assumptions, and it does not easily generalize to something that resembles general relativity.

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Has it been disproved? Of course not. You can't prove that invisible magic pixies don't permeate all of space either. You can never prove that something doesn't exist.

 

Yes, yes you can. It's one of the basic principles of science: falsification. It relies on a logical tool called Modus Tollens.

 

p->q

~q

~p

 

In this case, it was a bit more complicated, but still the same idea.

 

a->(svm) (premise)

~s (empirically derived)

~m (empirically derived)

~s&~m (conjunction 2,3)

~(svm) (DeMorgan 4)

~a

 

Where a is "aether exists", s is "we are stationary with respect to the aether", and r is "we are moving with respect to the aether". We have indeed proven that luminiferous aether does not exist.

 

One must remember that Bradley had shown that we could not be stationary with respect to the aether in ~1725, via the observation of stellar aberration. M-M showed we were not moving through it.

 

See the experiments swansont mentioned for the empirical derivation I spoke of above.

 

LET has been abandoned, not because it makes bad predictions (it makes the same predictions as SR), but because it's not nearly as elegant, it requires more assumptions, and it does not easily generalize to something that resembles general relativity.

 

It DOES make bad predictions. That is what let us prove that aether does not exist.

Edited by ydoaPs
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Yes, yes you can. It's one of the basic principles of science: falsification. It relies on a logical tool called Modus Tollens.

 

p->q

~q

~p

 

In this case, it was a bit more complicated, but still the same idea.

 

a->(svm) (premise)

~s (empirically derived)

~m (empirically derived)

~s&~m (conjunction 2,3)

~(svm) (DeMorgan 4)

~a

 

Where a is "aether exists", s is "we are stationary with respect to the aether", and r is "we are moving with respect to the aether". We have indeed proven that luminiferous aether does not exist.

 

I do not dispute that theories may be falsifiable. The existence of an ill-defined concept like aether, however, is not. We have not disproven the existence of aether for the reason that one can always introduce new phenomenon to explain why motion with respect to it is undetectable. This is exactly what Lorentz did when he invented the concepts of "local time" and "length contraction."

 

It DOES make bad predictions. That is what let us prove that aether does not exist.

 

No, it doesn't. You seem to be confusing earlier ether models with LET. LET gives the Lorentz transformation as the way of transforming between reference frames for the explicit purpose of explaining the null result of the M&M experiment. In their predictions LET and SR are completely equivalent. The difference comes from the interpretation of the Lorentz transformation.

 

Bear in mind, I definitely do not advocate LET as a better alternative to SR.

Edited by elfmotat
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I do not dispute that theories may be falsifiable. The existence of an ill-defined concept like aether, however, is not. We have not disproven the existence of aether for the reason that one can always introduce new phenomenon to explain why motion with respect to it is undetectable. This is exactly what Lorentz did when he invented the concepts of "local time" and "length contraction."

 

That's one of the problems with just talking about "the aether" rather than a specific aether theory. The original aether concept, tested by Michelson and Morley, has been disproven. The idea of the aether is a zombie.

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Has aether been disproved?

 

Were Michelson and Morley even looking in the right direction?

 

peace

ron

 

P.S.

kind and well reasoned responses are always greatly appreciated

insults not so much

No. This is a good lesson in the philosophy of physics; you can't prove something exists which doesn't exist.

 

Yes, yes you can. It's one of the basic principles of science: falsification. It relies on a logical tool called Modus Tollens.

The ether theory is not falsifiable. Falsification means that its possible for an observation to happen which proves the theory wrong. That's not the case with the ether theory. No observation can happen which contadicts the ether theory. swansont was right on this. Early experiments showed that the value of the speed of light was independant of any frame of reference. That proves that the original theory is wrong. People have taken that theory and bastardized it into something that is not falsifiable.

Edited by pmb
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The ether theory is not falsifiable. Falsification means that its possible for an observation to happen which proves the theory wrong. That's not the case with the ether theory. No observation can happen which contadicts the ether theory. swansont was right on this. Early experiments showed that the value of the speed of light was independant of any frame of reference. That proves that the original theory is wrong. People have taken that theory and bastardized it into something that is not falsifiable.

 

This sound contradictory. The specific aether theory M-M were trying to confirm is falsifiable and falsified; it made a prediction and the experiment showed that it is spectacularly wrong. The aether as a general concept is not falsifiable because the theories keeps changing, ad-hoc, to prevent falsification.

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This sound contradictory. The specific aether theory M-M were trying to confirm is falsifiable and falsified; it made a prediction and the experiment showed that it is spectacularly wrong. The aether as a general concept is not falsifiable because the theories keeps changing, ad-hoc, to prevent falsification.

Please take a closer read of my last post

 

The ether theory is not falsifiable. Falsification means that its possible for an observation to happen which proves the theory wrong. That's not the case with the ether theory. No observation can happen which contadicts the ether theory. swansont was right on this. Early experiments showed that the value of the speed of light was independant of any frame of reference. That proves that the original theory is wrong. People have taken that theory and bastardized it into something that is not falsifiable.

Notice where I used the terms "ether theory" at the begining and the "original theory" later. I said that people have taken the original theory and bastardized it to something that is not falsifiable. I never saw anybody use different names for the two theories so I called the first one, the real one, the "original theory" and thus the bastardized one the current one, which is not falsifiable.

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That's one of the problems with just talking about "the aether" rather than a specific aether theory. The original aether concept, tested by Michelson and Morley, has been disproven. The idea of the aether is a zombie.

 

 

Aether as originally conceived has indeed been disproven. Undetectable aether as described in LET has not been disproven , and is not falsifiable. The OP asked whether or not "aether" has been disproven, not whether "aether as originally conceived" has been disproven. Aether itself (as per the OP) has not been disproven.

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When we have finished deciding "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" we can move onto "What is the difference between an ether that does not exist and an ether that can never be detected?"

 

That's exactly why SR took over - basic Occam's razor. SR doesn't prove aether doesn't exist, it just makes it unnecessary.

Edited by elfmotat
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Aether as originally conceived has indeed been disproven. Undetectable aether as described in LET has not been disproven , and is not falsifiable. The OP asked whether or not "aether" has been disproven, not whether "aether as originally conceived" has been disproven. Aether itself (as per the OP) has not been disproven.

 

OTOH, the OP mentions Michelson and Morley, which is an indication of which aether theory is under scrutiny here.

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OTOH, the OP mentions Michelson and Morley, which is an indication of which aether theory is under scrutiny here.

 

Not really. LET, if anything, has more to do with the M-M experiment than previous models given that it was invented for the purpose of explaining the experiment's null result.

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nice gun

 

Pseudoscience is based on false assumptions. Science is enlightened by self-evident observation. Classical physics is based on false assumptions.

 

Dogma dictates aether is not subject to gravity. Thus, dogma dictates that M&M disproves space is filled with weakly interacting massive quantum particles. Yet current observations indicate space is in deed filled with a wimpy aether.

 

Stand on a scale and look up. Release a quanta of weakly interacting massive particles from high overhead. Can the gravitational acceleration of massive particles be measured by doppler confined to looking along horizontal vectors?

 

peace

ron

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Dogma dictates aether is not subject to gravity. Thus, dogma dictates that M&M disproves space is filled with weakly interacting massive quantum particles. Yet current observations indicate space is in deed filled with a wimpy aether.

 

One of the points of the responses to the OP is that there is no such thing as "the aether"; one must point to a specific aether theory. The theory falsified by M-M made specific predictions. It had nothing to do with WIMPs or dark matter, it was the proposed medium for EM wave propagation. This is a very different claim than in the OP; this is almost the fallacy of equivocation (or perhaps it's merely moving the goalposts). Nobody claims that dark matter is not subject to gravity. The claims of "dogma" are disingenuous.

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Has Aether been disproved?

 

Aether has never been disproved, but an aether of a certain type concerning a minimum speed relative to the Earth's motion, has been seemingly disproved by a number of experiments. Gravity-centered aether has never been disproved. Or aether speeds less than the accuracy of the testing equipment, cannot be disproved. The mathematics of Special Relativity was developed before Einstein by Hendrik Lorentz. His proposal was that the aether could not be observed with an interferometer because the equipment's rotating motion would change dimensionally and therefore could not be used to detect the aether. Einstein proposed his Special theory of Relativity where aether was not needed, so it was thought to be a simpler explanation since aether had not been detected.

 

In the 19th century there were many different types of aether proposals. Most were particulate aether models and most proposed that luminiferous aether was the "carrier" of electro-magnetic radiation , which accordingly would be physical EM waves of aether. There are many new mainstream particulate aether theories today. None choose the name aether, however, since most consider the aether to have been disproved. Dark matter, gravitons, Higg's particles, quantum foam, and many other hypothetical models can be called aether models. Newly proposed aetherial energy is the dark energy hypothesis and other such proposed energies. Real energies known to exist in the background field nowadays is called the Zero Point Field. In the 19th century this too was theoretically known as the aether field.

 

So has aether been disproved? Absolutely not if the aether is defined as a particulate background field! A background field of one type or another has been proven to exist in the form of the ZPF. What is in this field? known energies and maybe a number of theoretical particles along with known particles like neutrinos. Is this field the "carrier of light?" there is no recognized evidence so far that EM radiation has a particle carrier as in the luminiferous aether proposed in the last century. Could there still be a luminiferous aether? I think the possibility still remains --

 

But most would agree that the mainstream answer is no, that the luminiferous aether has been disproved.

Edited by pantheory
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  • 2 weeks later...

the bigger the gun

 

welcome to my wormhole.001

Dogma dictates aether is by definition not subject to gravity.

Dogma dictates m&m proves curvature is force and holes are dense.

Dogma snarls it is heretical pseudoscience to hold or defend the theory that space is all so fluent.

 

def: aether

the fifth elemental state of matter

the quantum particles that constitute space

 

def: aether wind

the differential flow of weakly interactive massive particles

 

just askin

Observation indicates space is filled with weakly interactive massive quantum particles.

How might the drag and direction of wimpy matter be measured here on earth?

 

ItS

peace

r~

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Dogma dictates aether is by definition not subject to gravity.

Aether models are no longer mainstream theory. Aether last century was defined as a particulate background field. A luminiferous aether was a particulate background field that was the "carrier" of EM radiation. Although there are still a great many hypothetical particulate background field models involving the Zero Point Field such as dark matter, Higg's particles, gravitons, etc. these models no longer like to be called aether models.

 

Dark matter particles as an "aether," are accordingly influenced by gravity. There are also a large number of non-mainstream aether based gravity models, most that I know of are mechanical gravity models involving pushing gravity aethers.

 

Mainstream theory considers the Dogma dictates m&m proves curvature is force and holes are dense.

I don't understand your meaning here?

 

Dogma snarls it is heretical pseudoscience to hold or defend the theory that space is all so fluent.

There are many models of space in the 20th century that propose very complicated models of space. The extremely simple models of space generally are now unfavored because of General Relativity via warped and curved space, the Big Bang model via expanding space, and the dark energy hypothesis concerning accelerated expansion of space. The good news is that in the last 10-20 years there is less dogma, which I think generally happens during times of theoretical changes.

 

def:

aether the fifth elemental state of matter the quantum particles that constitute space

 

There are more that one non-mainstream model that I have heard of, that makes such a proposal :)

 

def: aether wind the differential flow of weakly interactive massive particles

 

Such proposals include both massive and non-massive aether particles which accordingly make up/ produce the so-called aether wind based upon differential field pressures.

 

Observation indicates space is filled with weakly interactive massive quantum particles.

This is the mainstream view concerning dark matter.

 

How might the drag and direction of wimpy matter be measured here on earth?

There are a number of experiments trying to find dark matter, in one or more possible forms.

//

Edited by pantheory
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Dogma dictates aether is by definition not subject to gravity.

Dogma dictates m&m proves curvature is force and holes are dense.

Dogma snarls it is heretical pseudoscience to hold or defend the theory that space is all so fluent.

 

Dogma: A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true

 

It's hard to take any argument seriously that claims dogma, as it explicitly ignores falsifiability and all of the experimental testing that has taken place. Science produces conclusions, not pronouncements, which are always available to be further challenged and tested. Pretty much the antithesis of dogma.

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not a clue

 

I don't understand your meaning here?

I know.

You don't know how to measure the drag of weakly interactive particles?

You don't know how to find out which way massive particles might fall to earth?

You don't know how best to wield Maxwell's silver hammer?

 

def: aether

the fifth elemental state of matter

syn: wimpy

 

meet me here

 

in the spirit of truth

rw

 

you do not know what I know

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not a clue .....................................I know.

You don't know how to measure the drag of weakly interactive particles?

I think you are talking about aether drag? If so many such proposals were made in the 18th and 19th century. Today such a proposal might go under the name dark matter drag, Higg's drag, graviton drag, etc. etc. If there are particulates in the Zero Point Field (ZPF), even if they are weakly interacting there still could be some drag. Such a weakly interacting example might be neutrino drag over great distances. Observational evidence could be conceivably something like the Pioneer anomaly.

 

You don't know how to find out which way massive particles might fall to earth?

Massive particles move downward under the influence of a gravitational field. But atomic particles, for example, also can be bounced around by the ZPF on there trip downward in a vacuum.

 

You don't know how best to wield Maxwell's silver hammer?

Maxwell conceived of his equations based upon his concept of the aether. His equations therefore cannot preclude an aether.

 

def: aether

the fifth elemental state of matter

syn: wimpy

Maybe the fifth state or even the sixth state. Some have also have thought of including black holes as an additional state of matter more dense than neutron stars. I see nothing wrong with such proposals but this is not the proper place in the forum for such hypothesis or discussions :)

 

meet me here

 

in the spirit of truth

rw

you do not know what I know

You are correct. I do not have info regarding what you know, or what you don't know. But I do believe it is wise to have a full understanding of accepted knowledge first, whether you believe it or not, before you venture forth into alternative ideas or formulating your own.

 

When formulating your own ideas, remember that both the lack-of-confidence and over-confidence are two paths first moving in opposite directions but generally leading to the same destiny, regret. It is wise to be neither, hence hedging your your bets from time to time might be appropriate :)

 

//

Edited by pantheory
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  • 1 month later...

drag is drag by any other name

 

def: drag

the retarding force acting on matter moving through a fluent

 

How do you measure drag?

 

please answer the question

ItS

peace

r~

 

that you only know what Authority tells you so

does not mean I am speculating

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drag is drag by any other name

 

def: drag

the retarding force acting on matter moving through a fluent

 

How do you measure drag?

 

please answer the question

ItS

peace

 

that you only know what Authority tells you so does not mean I am speculating

 

Don't know who you are addressing your comments and question to but I will answer since I will assume you are still talking to me.

 

How do you measure drag?

Drag is not just a retarding/ slowing-down force when moving through a fluid, drag also occurs when moving through any physical medium such as a gas, a liquid, a particulate solid, or any medium that might cause friction or resistance including so-far undiscovered theoretical entities or mediums.

 

To measure drag you use a coefficient(s) of friction concerning the medium(s) involved, the relative velocity, subtracting other known forces, and then estimating drag. If by doing so you can't account for all of the drag you observe then you might speculate as to possible additional frictions, contrary or drag forces.

 

Like I said before, aether of the many possible types has not been disproved, but fast moving tangent-to-the-Earth aether has pretty well been thought to have been discredited in most scientists minds, regarding the numerous attempts to find a luminiferous tangential aether.

 

//

Edited by pantheory
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