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Special Relativity Clocks

by JM
Tags: clocks, relativity, special
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ghwellsjr
#91
Apr22-12, 01:38 AM
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Quote Quote by JM View Post
Well finally! The usual statement that 'moving clocks run slow' says nothing about proper clocks, and it has taken 5 pages to get to it here. The description in section 4 is of a proper clock.
JM, can you please help me understand why post #28 on page 2 didn't communicate this to you?
Quote Quote by ghwellsjr View Post
Einstein's derivation of the Proper Time on a clock moving at speed v as a function of t, Coordinate Time, in a frame comes from section 4 of his 1905 paper.
Quote Quote by JM View Post
So why isn't the phrase ' proper clocks run slow' used? It certainly seems to clear things up a lot. That I can accept.
Even though Einstein didn't call the time τ (tau) on a moving clock "Proper Time", that is what it has come to mean and that's what I called it in post #28. He also didn't call his theory "Special Relativity" in his paper but that doesn't detract from the fact that his paper is the origin of Special Relativity.
JM
#92
Apr29-12, 07:25 PM
P: 231
Quote Quote by ghwellsjr View Post
JM, can you please help me understand why post #28 on page 2 didn't communicate this to you?
George- At the time the discussion made no connection between the phrase " moving clocks run slow" and the idea of a proper clock. To me the phrase means that any value of the coordinates x,t of an event, when entered into the LT, produces a value of t' such that t'≤t. Such is not the case, as my example shows and as some replies agreed. So it took some time to see that your meaning is " moving proper clocks run slow".
JM
DaleSpam
#93
Apr29-12, 07:34 PM
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Again, there is no such thing as a "proper clock". All clocks measure proper time. There is not some subset of clocks which are called "proper clocks".

Therefore, the meaning is "moving clocks run slow", not "moving proper clocks run slow" since there is no such thing.
gopolks
#94
Apr29-12, 07:38 PM
P: 11
Thought digitial watches were more accurate than clocks? or have I been watching the wrong channel.
JM
#95
Apr29-12, 07:42 PM
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Quote Quote by DaleSpam View Post
Your v=.5c clock is not at rest in either frame so it does not measure coordinate time in either frame.
DaleSpam- I dont have a clock moving at v=.5c. I have a set of events that lie along the line x= 0.5ct with respect to the stationary frame. Are you just pulling my chain?

Could you tell me of references where I could read about the theory that allows linking of frames moving in different directions, and clocks moving in various directions, and all moving clocks being proper clocks , ie each clock is present at two or more events?
JM
DaleSpam
#96
Apr29-12, 09:57 PM
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Quote Quote by JM View Post
DaleSpam- I dont have a clock moving at v=.5c. I have a set of events that lie along the line x= 0.5ct with respect to the stationary frame.
If there was no clock then how would you even think that you were showing anything about a moving clock? Your intentions and your words seem utterly divorced from any relationship whatsoever to your math.

Quote Quote by JM View Post
Could you tell me of references where I could read about the theory that allows linking of frames moving in different directions, and clocks moving in various directions, and all moving clocks being proper clocks , ie each clock is present at two or more events?
The theory is SR. The Wikipedia page I linked to on proper time is a good place to start, which is why I linked to it. If you want to know the time displayed on any arbitrarily moving clock in any inertial frame then you use the simple proper time formula. If you want to convert the scenario to any other inertial frame then you use the Lorentz transform.

And for the third time now, there is no such thing as proper clocks. All clocks measure proper time and all clocks are present at an infinite number of events (as is any material object).
ghwellsjr
#97
Apr30-12, 12:44 AM
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Quote Quote by JM View Post
Quote Quote by ghwellsjr View Post
JM, can you please help me understand why post #28 on page 2 didn't communicate this to you?
George- At the time the discussion made no connection between the phrase " moving clocks run slow" and the idea of a proper clock. To me the phrase means that any value of the coordinates x,t of an event, when entered into the LT, produces a value of t' such that t'≤t. Such is not the case, as my example shows and as some replies agreed. So it took some time to see that your meaning is " moving proper clocks run slow".
JM
I'm afraid I still don't understand why there was a lack of communication. Maybe it would help for you to explain what you mean by "the idea of a proper clock" and why "moving proper clocks run slow" communicates something that "moving clocks run slow" doesn't.
yuiop
#98
Apr30-12, 01:36 AM
P: 3,967
Hi JM, perhaps some of confusion is due to me, because I have never been that good at the formal semantics of this stuff, which is a sin because the using the correct language of science is critical to its understanding and application. Anyway, when Dalespam said ...
Quote Quote by DaleSpam View Post
... there is no such thing as proper clocks. All clocks measure proper time and all clocks are present at an infinite number of events (as is any material object).
... he is technically correct (as always ). All individual clocks measure proper time with the emphasis on "individual". The statements "moving proper clocks run slow" and "moving clocks run slow" might be better expressed as "all (individual) moving clocks run slow". We have to contrast this idea against coordinate time intervals which deduces the time interval from calculations involving multiple synchronised clocks. When two events are spatially separated the coordinate time is always longer than the time measured by a single clock that is present at both events. Dalespam is also correct when he says "all clocks are present at an infinite number of events" but in this context we are interested in clocks that are present at the events on the worldline under consideration. The statement "moving proper clocks run slow" is awkward at best because as Dalespam points out all clocks (individually) measure proper time. When you specified x = 0.5 ct you are defining a set of events or effectively the wordline of an object moving at 0.5c and you asked about the time intervals measured in two frames moving at 0.8c relative to each other. Since this hypothetical object is not at rest in either of those frames, the time interval measured in those frames are both coordinate time intervals and there is no requirement that a coordinate time interval measured in a given frame is greater than the coordinate time interval measured in another frame with relative motion to the first or vice versa. I have probably muddied the waters again, but I will try and clarify things (maybe for both of us) if there is still some confusion.
JM
#99
May3-12, 07:18 AM
P: 231
George- As a general explanation, I note the great variety of responses to my posts. Some hostile, most ignore my post and talk about something else, some suggest ideas that may or may not be related, and some outright misquote me, and some reply from some higher dimension of advanced theory. And from these I must make some reply. So there is ample room for mis-communication. Perhaps I'm not as perceptive as I wish I was. The 'rules' people advise, under these conditions, to proceed with the main objective and not try to answer all respnoses. That is what I've tried to do. (Another difficulty is the rarity of a responder agreeing with what I say or even agreeing with my reasoning. This only makes me try again to state my case, instead of pursueing his idea.)

Quote Quote by ghwellsjr View Post
I'm afraid I still don't understand why there was a lack of communication. Maybe it would help for you to explain what you mean by "the idea of a proper clock" and why "moving proper clocks run slow" communicates something that "moving clocks run slow" doesn't.
By Taylor and Wheeler a proper clock is present at the place and time of two events. This places a restriction on the clock to be considered, compared to the many clocks envisioned to be in the moving frame. For a particular set of events there may not be any proper clocks. ( Leaving DaleSpams ideas to later) With this restriction the standard result makes sense.
As I mentioned above, the phrase 'moving clocks run slow' implies that all the moiving clocks have t' < t for any arrangement of the events given by x,t. The phrase 'proper clocks run slow' acknowledges the restriction to a single clock moving between two events.
JM
Mentz114
#100
May3-12, 07:26 AM
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Quote Quote by JM
The phrase 'proper clocks run slow' acknowledges the restriction to a single clock moving between two events.
Surely every clock is a single clock, moving along its worldline between events ?
JM
#101
May3-12, 07:43 AM
P: 231
Quote Quote by yuiop View Post
Hi JM, perhaps some of confusion is due to me,
I think your contributions have been helpful, keep them coming.
The statements "moving proper clocks run slow" and "moving clocks run slow" might be better expressed as "all (individual) moving clocks run slow".
However expressed a better statement could have helped me, and maybe others.
Dalespam is also correct when he says "all clocks are present at an infinite number of events"
I sense that DaleSpam is operating in a higher theory. If I get a handle on the elementary theory, 1905, and some texts I hope to learn what that theory is.
When you specified x = 0.5 ct you are defining a set of events or effectively the wordline of an object moving at 0.5c
I view x = .5 ct as only a set of events, with no associated moving object. In 1905 section 4 did Einstein associate x = vt with a moving object?
JM
ghwellsjr
#102
May3-12, 11:13 AM
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Quote Quote by JM View Post
Quote Quote by ghwellsjr View Post
I'm afraid I still don't understand why there was a lack of communication. Maybe it would help for you to explain what you mean by "the idea of a proper clock" and why "moving proper clocks run slow" communicates something that "moving clocks run slow" doesn't.
By Taylor and Wheeler a proper clock is present at the place and time of two events.
Can you provide a reference to where Taylor and Wheeler made this statement? If you can't find an online reference, please quote from the book you are looking at and provide the name and page number. Please don't modify the quote--make it exact--and make sure you provide adequate context.
Quote Quote by JM View Post
This places a restriction on the clock to be considered, compared to the many clocks envisioned to be in the moving frame. For a particular set of events there may not be any proper clocks. ( Leaving DaleSpams ideas to later) With this restriction the standard result makes sense.
As I mentioned above, the phrase 'moving clocks run slow' implies that all the moiving clocks have t' < t for any arrangement of the events given by x,t. The phrase 'proper clocks run slow' acknowledges the restriction to a single clock moving between two events.
JM
You are confusing the times displayed on two clocks (t' < t) with the tick rates those two clocks run at (Δt' < Δt). In order to compare how fast two clocks are running, you cannot just look at the times displayed on those two clocks unless the start times were both zero. This is the condition that Einstein was talking about in his 1905 paper. If you want to look at other situations, you have to take a difference between pairs of times on the two clocks. Please reread previous posts where I have discussed this.
DaleSpam
#103
May3-12, 11:32 PM
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Quote Quote by JM View Post
I sense that DaleSpam is operating in a higher theory. If I get a handle on the elementary theory, 1905, and some texts I hope to learn what that theory is
It is the same theory as everyone else uses. The Lorentz transform for transforming coordinates between different reference frames, and the proper time formula for calculating the time measured by a clock.
ghwellsjr
#104
May4-12, 02:50 AM
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Quote Quote by JM View Post
By Taylor and Wheeler a proper clock is present at the place and time of two events.
OK, now I see what's going on. I did a search and found this reference to Taylor and Wheeler's Spacetime Physics where they mention a proper clock on page 160:

http://books.google.com/books?id=PDA...page&q&f=false

However, they define a proper clock on page 10 which is not available online [at least it wasn't yesterday, today it is???] so I checked the book out of the library and what they mean by a proper clock is one that travels between two events at a constant speed (without regard to any frame). In other words, it is measuring the frame invariant spacetime interval but this can only work for timelike intervals.
Quote Quote by JM View Post
This places a restriction on the clock to be considered, compared to the many clocks envisioned to be in the moving frame. For a particular set of events there may not be any proper clocks. ( Leaving DaleSpams ideas to later) With this restriction the standard result makes sense.
The restriction they are talking about is when the spacetime interval for the two events are spacelike, meaning that a clock would have to travel at faster than the speed of light to get from one event to the other. Instead, this interval is measured with a rigid ruler between the two events in a frame in which the events occur at the same time. They don't, however, call this a proper ruler.
Quote Quote by JM View Post
As I mentioned above, the phrase 'moving clocks run slow' implies that all the moiving clocks have t' < t for any arrangement of the events given by x,t. The phrase 'proper clocks run slow' acknowledges the restriction to a single clock moving between two events.
JM
Actually, although that single clock moving between two events at a constant speed is measuring the invariant spacetime interval, it can also be measured in a frame in which the clock is at rest and then it becomes identical to a co-ordinate clock. Look at page 160 of the link to the book above. There you will see "the frame clock is the proper clock". They use the term "frame clock" to mean "co-ordinate clock". So in this case, when the velocity is zero (clock is at rest, the events occur at the same place), gamma is one and so the "proper clock" never runs slow in the frame in which it is at rest. But in other frames it can have a speed other than zero and so can run slower than a co-ordinate clock in that other frame.

But this unique definition of a "proper clock" is not what we normally mean by proper time because we may want to have a clock that accelerates between the two events. If you look up the wikipedia article on "proper time", you will see that it makes the point:
An accelerated clock will measure a smaller elapsed time between two events than that measured by a non-accelerated (inertial) clock between the same two events.
Now since Taylor and Wheeler's "proper clock" can never accelerate, it will measure a greater time and therefore run faster than any other clock that accelerates between the two events.

I hope this clears up the confusion.
Mentz114
#105
May4-12, 06:52 AM
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Quote Quote by ghwellsjr View Post
OK, now I see what's going on. I did a search and found this reference to Taylor and Wheeler's Spacetime Physics where they mention a proper clock on page 160:
....
I hope this clears up the confusion.
It does. Thanks for taking the trouble. It's a good idea but calling it a 'proper' clock is a bit non-standard since all clocks measure proper time.
ghwellsjr
#106
May4-12, 09:32 AM
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By the way, JM, I just noticed that Taylor and Wheeler have a similar explanation to the one in wikipedia if you back up to page 156. There in Figure 5-12, they show two worldlines going between two events labeled O and B. The straight vertical worldline is the one for what they call a "proper clock" because it is constant velocity--no acceleration--and it has the "maximal lapse of proper time", 10, in this case. By contrast, they say a clock carried along the kinked worldline OQB has a proper time of 6, and then they say of the proper clock, "the direct worldline displays maximum proper time".

Then in the next paragraph, they contrast two different comparisons of time between two events. The first is what they call map time, frame time, latticework time, but what everyone else calls co-ordinate time and they make the point that different frames will generate different times but the least amount of time is the frame in which the two events are at the same location. This would be the case in which a "proper clock" is not moving. In other frames the "proper clock" is moving and runs slower than the co-ordinate time difference for the two events. So it is in this sense that "moving proper clocks run slow". They then proceed to the second contrast and repeat the statement that the "proper clock" with the straight worldline "registers maximal passage of proper time" meaning it runs the fastest not slower like a clock that accelerates, meaning that it is not a "proper clock".
JM
#107
May5-12, 07:44 AM
P: 231
Quote Quote by ghwellsjr View Post
He's not concerned about the actual time displayed on the clock but how its rate of ticking compares to the rate of ticking of the clocks in the stationary system. You are looking at the actual times on the clocks. What you need to do is what I showed you in my previous post which is to compare two events in both frames where the the clock is stationary in the moving frame and moving in the stationary frame.
George- I see what you are doing in Post 80, you are following a clock as it moves wrt the stationary frame by specifying its two values of time t' for the same value of x', and working backwards to find the corresponding values of x and t. The only quibble I might make is that transforming from x',t' to x,t usually uses the + sign instead of the -sign. The transformed values are different but the 'deltas' are the same and the 'slow clock' formula is confirmed. Also, the two points in the stationary frame follow the relation Δx = 0.8 Δt, as Einstein assumed.
I'm fine with 'slow clocks' now.
JM
JM
#108
May5-12, 08:10 AM
P: 231
Quote Quote by Mentz114 View Post
Surely every clock is a single clock, moving along its worldline between events ?
If one takes the moving clocks to be moving in a straight line parallel to the stationary x axis, and the coordinates x,t to represent (perhaps isolated) events of interest (such as two lightning bolts hitting a train track), then there seems to be the possibility that no clock will be present at any two events. This is the picture that Einsteins 1905 paper suggests to me.
I gather from the discussion that there are additional ideas for clocks moving in arbitrary directions, accelerating , etc . Can you suggest a reference describing such theories?
JM


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