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Topic: EINSTEIN'S LEGACY - WHERE ARE THE EINSTEINIANS?
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Pentcho Valev

Posts: 3,439
Registered: 12/13/04
EINSTEIN'S LEGACY - WHERE ARE THE EINSTEINIANS?
Posted: Jul 6, 2013 3:06 AM
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http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_4.3/smolin.htm
Einstein's Legacy - Where are the Einsteinians? Lee Smolin: "Special relativity was the result of 10 years of intellectual struggle, yet Einstein had convinced himself it was wrong within two years of publishing it."

So where are the Einsteinians? Most of them left the sinking ship:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_45GnkHLOfyA/TClEb8j-yAI/AAAAAAAAA48/Sz82Y_ZwGvs/s1600/Ratosdenavio.png

http://www.edge.org/q2008/q08_5.html
John Baez: "I also realized that there were other questions to work on: questions where I could actually tell when I was on the right track, questions where researchers cooperate more and fight less. So, I eventually decided to quit working on quantum gravity."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026831.500-what-makes-the-universe-tick.html
"It is still not clear who is right, says John Norton, a philosopher based at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Norton is hesitant to express it, but his instinct - and the consensus in physics - seems to be that space and time exist on their own. The trouble with this idea, though, is that it doesn't sit well with relativity, which describes space-time as a malleable fabric whose geometry can be changed by the gravity of stars, planets and matter."

Lee Smolin also left the sinking ship for a while:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jun/10/time-reborn-farewell-reality-review
"Einstein's theory of special relativity not only destroyed any notion of absolute time but made time equivalent to a dimension in space: the future is already out there waiting for us; we just can't see it until we get there. This view is a logical and metaphysical dead end, says Smolin."

http://www.fqxi.org/community/articles/display/148
"Many physicists argue that time is an illusion. Lee Smolin begs to differ. (...) Smolin wishes to hold on to the reality of time. But to do so, he must overcome a major hurdle: General and special relativity seem to imply the opposite. In the classical Newtonian view, physics operated according to the ticking of an invisible universal clock. But Einstein threw out that master clock when, in his theory of special relativity, he argued that no two events are truly simultaneous unless they are causally related. If simultaneity - the notion of "now" - is relative, the universal clock must be a fiction, and time itself a proxy for the movement and change of objects in the universe. Time is literally written out of the equation. Although he has spent much of his career exploring the facets of a "timeless" universe, Smolin has become convinced that this is "deeply wrong," he says. He now believes that time is more than just a useful approximation, that it is as real as our guts tell us it is - more real, in fact, than space itself. The notion of a "real and global time" is the starting hypothesis for Smolin's new work, which he will undertake this year with two graduate students supported by a $47,500 grant from FQXi."

http://www.amazon.com/Time-Reborn-Crisis-Physics-Universe/dp/0547511728
"Was Einstein wrong? At least in his understanding of time, Smolin argues, the great theorist of relativity was dead wrong. What is worse, by firmly enshrining his error in scientific orthodoxy, Einstein trapped his successors in insoluble dilemmas..."

Then Smolin realized Einsteiniana's ship will never fully sink so it is quite profitable to return to it from time to time:

http://www.independent.com/news/2013/apr/17/time-reborn/
QUESTION: Setting aside any other debates about relativity theory for the moment, why would the speed of light be absolute? No other speeds are absolute, that is, all other speeds do indeed change in relation to the speed of the observer, so it's always seemed a rather strange notion to me.
LEE SMOLIN: Special relativity works extremely well and the postulate of the invariance or universality of the speed of light is extremely well-tested. It might be wrong in the end but it is an extremely good approximation to reality.
QUESTION: So let me pick a bit more on Einstein and ask you this: You write (p. 56) that Einstein showed that simultaneity is relative. But the conclusion of the relativity of simultaneity flows necessarily from Einstein's postulates (that the speed of light is absolute and that the laws of nature are relative). So he didn't really show that simultaneity was relative - he assumed it. What do I have wrong here?
LEE SMOLIN: The relativity of simultaneity is a consequence of the two postulates that Einstein proposed and so it is deduced from the postulates. The postulates and their consequences are then checked experimentally and, so far, they hold remarkably well.

http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/videos/time-reborn
71:04 : QUESTION: What you did not talk about was time dilation, the myth of time dilation, I think that needs to be blown as well. What do you think of that? LEE SMOLIN: I disagree. This is an important point. Special relativity may be superseded but it is holding up enormously well under experiment. Giovanni Amelino-Camelia is here... and he and various friends of ours have been trying to transcend special relativity for years and we are keeping knocked back by experiment... and the experiments have shown that special relativity is true to tremendous precision... Do you agree Giovanni? Yea!

Pentcho Valev




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