# Can someone explain?

1. Jun 12, 2003

### Jack

In this weeks new scientist there was an advert for the following site- www.thefinaltheory.com

Is what they are saying true because it sounds a bit suspicious to me?

For example it states that;

And I know the answer to this and it is not 'impossible according to today's science'.

Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2003
2. Jun 12, 2003

### LURCH

I couldn't get the link to work, but based on the example you've provided I'd say you've been very generous in your description (vis: "a bit suspicious"). Anyone who makes the unqualified statement that "...science has no explanation for this...occurance" in regard to the speed of light propogation through verying mediums is less scientifically literate than the average layman, or flat-out lying. Sounds to me as though the makers of this site have an agenda, could you discern what it might be?

3. Jun 12, 2003

### enigma

Staff Emeritus
The link is not working for me.

IIRC, these folks sent out emails a few months back advertising a "Brand Spankin' New Scientific Theory"TM, and it will only cost you $39.99 to find out what it is. Yeh. I realized that tallying up their crackpot index wouldn't even be worth the effort. It's easily over 300. Last edited: Jun 12, 2003 4. Jun 12, 2003 ### Janus Staff Emeritus Great, yet another electrical engineer out to rewrite physics. Off to TD it goes. 5. Jun 12, 2003 ### Greg Bernhardt ### Staff: Admin 6. Jun 13, 2003 ### quartodeciman After viewing the beginning and first 25 pages, I think McCutcheon's book is worth considerably less than the asking price of$30 minus a nickel. Wait a while and you can probably get it for pennies.
it has a nice cover photo.

7. Jun 13, 2003

### Jack

So did the link work for any of you because I tested it and it worked fine for me.

8. Jun 14, 2003

### Jack

So what are the simple explainations for these?

9. Jun 14, 2003

### Janus

Staff Emeritus
As to how light "speeds back up" after leaving a substance, here is the easiest way of looking at it.

Photons always travel at c. When they enter a transparent substance, however, they encounter molecules/atoms. As they do so, the molecules absorb the photons. When that happens the photons cease to exist.

Then after a short delay, the molecule , re-emits a photon traveling in nearly the same direction as the first. This new photon, upon creation, begins to travel at c until it encounters another molecule.

These slight delays between absorption and emission, increases the time it take from the time a photon enters a substance to the time one emerges form the other side.

This give the impression that light slowed down while traveling through the subtance.
(If you knew that some friends had left their home, which was 60 miles distant from you, at a given time, and they arived at your house 1 1/2 hrs later, It would seem to you that they drove the distancea 40 mph. Even if, while on the road, they drove at 60 mph, but stopped for gas along the way, got a quick bite to eat somewhere, had to fix a flat , etc. )

Light travels though a substance in similar fits and starts.

As to why a substance heats while light travels through it, that is simply because there is no such thing as a perfectly transparent material. Not all the photons are re-emitted after being absorbed.
And that's just for the frequencies that the substance is normally transparent to, there are many frequencies for which the substance isn't transparent.

These absorbed photons are what contribute to the heating of the substance.

10. Jun 14, 2003

### quartodeciman

Janus,

Somewhere an explanation is needed why the re-emitted photons continue along wave fronts just as Young and Fresnel said waves should go, and don't just scatter in all directions. It even works in gases and liquids, not just in crystallized translucent solids.

11. Jun 14, 2003

### Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
Conservation of momentum.

Consider first an atom in the interior of an object. Far more likely than not, this atom is in some sort of stable equilibrium state with respect to other nearby atoms.

When this atom absorbs the photon, it absorbs the momentum contained in that photon, which changes its state of motion. The atom is no longer in equilibrium! The most likely eventuality is that the other nearby atoms will push it back into equilibrium causing it to emit another photon. Since the net effect is that the atom we were observing has returned to its equilibrium state, it retained none of the momentum of the original photon, and thus the emitted photon must have exactly the same momentum as the original photon (i.e. it travels in the original direction).

For atoms near the surface of an object, it isn't surrounded by other atoms so it doesn't experience quite the same restoring force, which causes the re-emitted photon to either be a reflection of the original, or bent from the original.

12. Jun 14, 2003

### Jack

Thanks Janus but as I said in my first post I knew the answer to that one. It's the others that I don't have a rational explaination for.

13. Jun 14, 2003

### Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
Gravitational perpetual motion

A key statement in his argument is:

It should be no surprise that he concludes perpetual motion because he neglects the very thing that would prevent perpetual motion! The reason perpetual motion is "impossible" is precisely because of irreversible effects like friction or wind resistence.

The work function

He has a very narrow idea of what pushing is. He is imagining we walk up to a boulder, put our hands and/or shoulder against it, and tense our muscles in a way that would apply a force to the boulder and the ground. Those actions do require energy... however none of that energy does any work whatsoever on the boulder; it only does work in our bodies.

Still not convinced? Imagine if you simply leaned up against the boulder. Again you're pushing it, but it requires you to spend no more energy than leaning against a wall, and probably requires you to expend less energy than simply standing up.

The most clever and concise explanation I've heard of this is:

"Of course the moon is falling towards the earth; it's just moving fast enough so that it misses the earth every time!"

The main question is why he would think energy would be required. If the moon is moving in a perfectly circular orbit, it's speed remains constant (so that its kinetic energy remains unchanged) and it is maintaining a constant height (so its gravitational potential energy remains unchanged), so the energy of the moon is unchanging. There is no change of energy, so why would he think there should be work done?

Fridge magnet

Again, the energy of the system is remaining unchanged, so there is no work being done. (This will be a common theme to answer most of his questions)

The more interesting question to ask is why magnetism and glue should be expected to behave any differently. Or more interestingly, why doesn't the refrigerator simply collapse under its own weight? After all, it must take energy to keep the top of the fridge up there, right?

The physical principle is easy; the force of gravity acting on the magnet is less than the maximum static frictional force possible between the fridge and the magnet.

The magnetic force essentially creates a tiny indentation in the refrigerator in which the magnet holds itself. In order for gravity to drag the magnet down, it would have to further deform the surface of the refrigerator to create a path through which the magnet travels. However, if the magnet is strong enough, the indentation will be deep enough so that gravity cannot deform the surface sufficiently.

Freezing water

The molecular bonds between H2O molecules in ice are peculiar; they like to arrange them in hexagons. This is pecular because hexagons have a lot of empty space between them, so this isn't a particularly efficient space-packing scheme.

When H2O is in liquid form, the molecules are moving around fast enough that they can't settle into the hexagonal pattern. However, at around four degrees celsius, the intermolecular forces between H2O molecules begin to get strong enough to start arranging themselves into hexagons despite the random motion fo the molecules, and as water cools from four degrees celsius to zero degrees celsius, the water will expand as its molecules arrange themselves into these hexagonal shapes.

It is precisely because water molecules have energy that they shuffle around resisting their urge to arrange themselves into hexagons. If you drain the energy out of the molecules, they start arranging themselves into that space-inefficient hexagonal packing and thus the water wants to expand in volume.

Water, incidentally, is a highly incompressible substance, which is why hydraulic systems work. Thus, when the water wants to expand, it is extraordinarily difficult to stop it; in other words, brittle metal piping doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hades; the only way piping could survive is to expand with the water.

Heavy objects on a tabletop

Again, there is no reason to suppose the energy levels are changing.

However, it does require energy to break molecular bonds. Since there's no energy being input into the system, the bonds don't get broken.

Einstein's Special Relativity Theory is all a mistake

Seeing how I can't find any reason why his example should be considered a mistake, any appearance in the SR derivation of his example, nor does he point his finger directly at any flaw in the derivation, there isn't really anything to which I can respond in this section.

Mistakes, logical errors, and coincidence explain experimental evidence.

That title should speak for itself.

Spoken like someone oblivious to the fact that the formulae of SR hold only in inertial reference frames! The asymmetry is clear; one twin has to accelerate and the other does not. The time dilation equations work in one frame (the earthbound frame), and not in the other (the spacebound frame).

If you analyzed the picture in any inertial reference frame, it is clear that the earthbound twin would be older than the spacebound twin when they meet again. This paradox only occurs when you insist on fallaciously applying special relativistic formulae in a non-inertial frame (that of the spacebound twin).

light speed limit

His "explanation" brings up more questions than the question he's trying to answer. Why should a method of acceleration have a limit as to what maximum speed they can impart?

Flying atomic clocks

His argument is based on the same flaw as that of the twin paradox.

Other evidence for Special Relativity

It would be amusing to see his explanations, but I'm certainly not gonna pay \$30 to do so.

Gak, Im over the post length limit; I didn't know there was one!

14. Jun 14, 2003

### Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
Big bang

Yes; that space is expanding. And the further a galaxy is from us, the more space between us and it to expand, thus if we interpret the expansion as causing distant galaxies to move away, then a further galaxy would be receeding faster.

Except General Relativity... (Not sure if LQG or ST predict it yet, though I'd presume LQG does so by default since it's based on GR)

Except that the Doppler Effect is a trivial consequence of any event occuring with a regular frequency be it sound waves, light waves, or even an eccentric man rolling a bowling ball at you every second.

But the whole point is moot because it is known that the redshifting is not due to the doppler effect, but is believed to be caused by the expansion of space. (Which, again, would shift frequencies downward for any frequency based event)
E=mc^2

I think that's the first thing he's said that was correct.

This one would actually take some equations to prove, so I'll skip covering it to keep in spirit with the (comparatively) simple explanations I've been giving thus far.

Protons in the atomic nucleus

He gives the answer himself; the strong nuclear force, the triumph of Quantum Chromodynamics, and he gives no plausible reason to disbeleive in it.

15. Jun 14, 2003

### quartodeciman

The key to most of this is the universalisation of a muscle version of work and a concomitant necessity for expenditures of energy, which is supposed to just disappear like fuel from a tank.

McCutcheon is just repeating the same kinds of complaints that were issued time and time again against relativity theory and quantum theory during the twentieth century.

Nice job, Hurkyl!

16. Jun 15, 2003

### Jack

As quartodeciman said-
Thanks.

17. Jul 4, 2003

### grounded

Jack...Think of it as a car driving on a long flat road with the accelerator in a specific position. If a large wind starts blowing in the opposite direction the car is moving, it will slow down. When the wind stops the car will speed up without using more energy.

Last edited: Jul 5, 2003
18. Jul 23, 2003

### NeutronStar

Actually grounded, that would be an incorrect analogy. Your analogy implies that the photo is being driven by some sort of force. I think Hurkyl's atom-jumping conservation-obeying photon-matter-interaction is a much better picture of what's actually going on. The photons themselves never actually slow down at all, they simply experience multiple rest stops along the way.

At first I was going to question the momentum conversation since this would seem to violate quantum mechanics (and it most certainly would) if it wasn't for the surrounding environment of the other atoms in the material. The effect of the neighboring atoms is to change the probability densities of where a photo is most likely to be emitted. I should have thought of that myself, but I must confess to be a bit slow at times. I think it has something to do with the neurons in my brain taking too many rest-stops during their meanderings. Stuff like that happens when a person approaches the age of the universe. But that's a whole other theory.

19. Jul 31, 2003

### elas

Re-A: This is impossible according to today's science. No object in nature can speed up of its own accord after being slowed down

The speed of a photon is dependant on the density of the field it is passing through. Therefore a photon exiting a lens is moving from a dense field into a less dense field and will acelerate, only the force of momentum is constant. Photons, like all massless bosons are not subject to drag or friction.
A photon approaching a Black Hole slows down it does not take 'rest stops'

Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2003
20. Jul 31, 2003

### Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
Recall that in general relativity, measurements are only required to be locally like special relativity.

In particular this means that an observer next to the photon will necessarily see it moving at c, even if the photon is near a black hole.

21. Aug 1, 2003

### elas

Hurkl
No doubt you are right, but not only do you need to be next to the photon but also on the same concentric in order to observe the speed as C. This seems a bit of a cop out as relativity only works if the observer is on the same plane.

22. Aug 1, 2003

### jammieg

That makes good sense Janus, never thought about it before although I would differ on light being generally emitted in the same direction only that is the direction we generally detect the overall statistical light particles arriving from point a(emitter) to b(detector) of which most have dodged any interaction and a few have interacted and by chance flown off in the same direction as the majority of uninteracted light and would be slower but when I shine my pocket laser through a glass water light deflects in all directions so I would guess that it is random stop and go trajectories and guess that even our best light speed detectors are working on a statistical average of many particles.

23. Aug 1, 2003

### Nacho

Heh, I'm no Janus for sure, but I know where you could get a partial answer: in Richard Feynman's book, "QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter". He talks a little at the back of the book about the photon/electron interactions that cause reflection, partial reflection, and refraction, not in terms of Snel's Law though. I can't do his explanation any justice .. only to tell you that he says the photons are scattered throughout the substance, but that all the scattering cancels out except where the reflection/refraction occurs. And what does and doesn't cancel, he doesn't give so much of a reason other than amplitudes. I kinda liken it to somewhat like a feedback loop. You'd have to read it yourself (I wouldn't recommend buying the book .. it's somewhat of a horrible little book all-in-all .. might be able to check it out of a library).

24. Nov 19, 2003

### FinalTheory

Just discovered this discussion group while investigating what impact my ads and book have had so far. I'd like to respond, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak:

I'll make several posts to address all the issues in this thread, since there is a posting limit.

==============

Light in Glass Block

I see two basic trouble spots here:

Firstly, I do agree that a portion (perhaps even a very large portion) of the heat generated within a glass block would be due to light that is lost to the material and does not emerge at the other end. However, if the conservation-of-momentum argument stated above is to stand, it relies on the assertion that atoms must be jostled back and forth by the photon and neighboring rebounding atoms -- the apparently central argument for how the re-created/re-emitted photon is to be flung off again in its original direction. But the jostling of atoms is known as conductive heat energy. How can this photon (and countless others) jostle atom after atom as it travels through the glass block, and yet either cause no heating or lose no energy in the process of heating the glass molecules?

And secondly, how do atoms "absorb" photons? Today's science often states that a photon somehow gets "absorbed" or "used up" to promote an electron to a higher orbit, then the electron moves back to its original orbit sometime later, again somehow re-creating a photon of light. Precisely how and why an "absorbed" photon of light gets physically transformed into increased kinetic/orbital energy of an electron, and precisely how and why this photon would be re-created from same is never explained. Interesting conjectures or models for consideration, but not unquestionable, established fact no matter how many people repeat it without explanation and no matter how authoritative the source may be. Yes, this is what I was taught too, and what my teachers were taught, and probably even what their teachers were taught, but this doesn't necessarily make it truly sensible and correct. Remaining trapped in this chain is precisely what has left our scientists scratching their heads over mysteries daily and inventing ever more bizarre theories. We are trapped within passable abstract models from a much simpler time that don't truly offer understanding, given credibility by the numerous authoritative sources we have all heard them from. But this has only occurred because these stories have been repeated and repeated over and over until these simple abstract models have become the the defacto "truth", as if they truly offer sensible physical explanations. We are trapped in an entirely wrong paradigm, and will remain so as long as this continues.

===================

Perpetual Motion Machines

Not quite. This issue is often a stumbling point because it actually entails two rather different concepts. Firstly, yes, continual unpowered coasting against friction or wind resistance is impossible without a power source -- that is a given, and is embodied in the Second Law of Theromodynamics. But the concept of a perpetual motion machine is that of a mechanism that requires energy to operate, and is somehow driven endlessly by its own internal processes -- producing all the energy it needs to perpetuate itself from within. Clearly an object that is accelerated by a force toward the center of the planet, then decelerated by that same force over and over again endlessly and with no drain on the power source that must exist to drive such a process is indeed an impossible perpetual motion machine. Removal of the atmosphere simply allows this unexplainable mystery in today's theories of gravity to lie wide open to observation without clouding the issue. This issue would be just as much of a mystery if it were perfomed on the airless moon.

=================

The Work Function

Can't agree here either. Even Newton gave us the (3rd) law of equal and opposite reaction -- you can't push on a solid object without it somehow forcefully pushing back on you from within (there's that nagging "somehow" again). Both objects push back equally on each other. But regardless, the point is that analysis does not stop simply because the abstract concept of "Work" calculated from the Work Function is zero. When a zero result from this purely abstract Work calculation occurs it simply means that a force did not result in the motion of an object in this case [i.e. Work = Force x (zero)Distance]. It does not mean zero effort or energy was expended by the applied force. Yet today's justification for all sorts of energy expended by Newton's gravitational force tries to get by on precisely that thin, flawed argument -- that no movement means no energy regardless of the powerful ongoing effects of gravity all around us daily. And, as for leaning against a boulder, even if you're just lazily sitting on the ground leaning comfortably back on a boulder, this is the force of gravity pulling you down while you tilt back against the boulder. Where is the power source for this endless force? In fact, how do you even explain being able to sit firmly on the ground rather than your natural state of drifting slowly off into space? Today's science clearly states that an endless force somehow holds you to the ground -- there's that word again .. "somehow". Starting to wonder yet?

25. Nov 19, 2003

### FinalTheory

=================

The Orbiting Moon

This explanation overlooks the concept of centripetal acceleration as well as Newton's 1st Law -- "All objects in motion continue in a straight line unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force". In this case, the external force is, again, Newton's mysterious gravitational force constraining the moon forcefully and continually into a circle -- a very unnatural event for any object in the absence of a force, which, of course, must have a (draining) power source if is to be considered anything other than magic. Saying that the object is simply falling -- end of story -- overlooks the fact that "falling" (i.e. accelerating toward the planet) is not a natural state of objects requiring no further explanation.

As to why I would expect energy to be required to restrain an enormous hunk of rock (the moon) that weighs millions of tons from traveling off in its otherwise natural straight line path past the planet .. well .. seems like a very reasonable expectation to me!

======================

Fridge magnet

Yes, again the Work Function abstraction as explanation (or rather, dismissal of the mystery in question). This is simply an abstract equation invented to quantify the amount of energy expended exclusively in the limited scenario where a force clearly does move an object through a distance. The understandable but unfortunate choice to call this result "the Work done" is often then taken to imply that this is the final word on whether any actual energy-driven effort has occured. Of course it takes effort to strain to lift a heavy piano even if it doesn't budge, and it takes effort to hang on to the side of a cliff (or refrigerator) against gravity. Put a block of wood up to your fridge and see how long it stays put when you let it go. What's the difference between that and a magnet? Endless unexplained magnetic energy from within, according to today's science paradigm. Dismissing this with an abstract, invented equation just because the result of this equation has been named "work done" is a huge mistake that dismisses the mysteries right under our noses that point to a greater truth, leaving us trapped in our flawed science paradigm.

Correct, and precisely my point when I mention the heavy object sitting on the solid tabletop. Imagine the scenario where the atoms of the table simply crumble into the finest imaginable atomic powder on the ground under the weight of the object. What would it take to keep this from happening? Atomic "glue"? It takes the electromagnetic energy of atomic bonds (very similar to the fridge magnet issue), which fight endlessly to hold all those atoms together under this enormous strain. Endless gravitational energy pulling down, endless atomic bonds fighting to hold together .. and no power sources in sight for any of this. The entire scenario is an utter mystery in today's science paradigm. In fact, it is such an enormous mystery in such fundamental, everyday events that our science has no alternative than to ignore, ridicule or dismiss anyone who even points it out, rather than admitting its total and complete failure to truly explain. I'm not making fun, but someone has to do the difficult task of yelling above the crowd to point out that the Emperor has no clothes.

=====================

Freezing Water

Yes, my point precisely. Water molecules arrange themselves and it is extraordinarily difficult to stop them, and all the while energy is drained from the system -- not added to account for this enormous, spontaneous output of energy. Need I say more?

===============

Einstein's Special Relativity Theory is all a mistake

Have another look at my website .. I do indeed point out both the form of the error (in simplified math as an overview of the type of flaw for clarity) and even the specific lines in a link to Einstein's own derivation where this erroneous mathematical trick must be performed and then hidden from view in the large gap in the flow. You have to look for the missing, improper logic that was deliberately left out, but without which Einstein's derivation could not continue. Take a good look if you're mathematically inclined and you'll see. But there are also numerous other fatal flaws in the derivation that I mention, and that can be seen by anyone who is willing to look beyond Einstein's enormously runaway reputation for a moment and take an honest look at a clearly flawed mathematical derivation at the heart of one of our most bizarre theories of our world. This is not "Einstein bashing", this is honest investigation into an extremely important issue in plain view that has robbed us of a true understanding of our unvierse for a century, and threatens to continue to do so if we ignore it. This is our universe, not Einstein's universe unless his work justifies such hommage. I am clearly pointing out serious fatal flaws in his work that have robbed us of our rightful birthright of understanding. I am merely trying to set the record straight for all of us and return this birthright to each of us. Have a look for yourself at the link to Einstein's own derivation on my website (or see the more detailed expose in the book if you wish) -- either way there can be no trickery on my part in this objective evidence in plain view and there is nothing stopping anyone from taking a good, honest look for themseves to verify my claims.

=====================

Evidence for SR

Yes, that's right. Taken out of context my statement (first quote) can easily be made to sound like a weak, unsupported claim if that's what one wants to achieve sight-unseen, but in context in the book are pages of solid logic to back it up. Presumably we're here to seriously discuss science, not ridicule or dismiss protentially important new ideas sight-unseen.

====================

Nope, I'm very aware of this, as a closer look at the website will show. The fact is that the Twin Paradox is touted throughout our science as evidence for Special Relativity (SR), not evidence for General Relativity (GR). GR is only ever brought into the issue when people quite rightly point out the clear flaw at the very heart of SR theory that states that no absolute time difference can exist between the twins after the experiment if it is completely relative and arbitrary who is moving and who is stationary (which is, of course, the case during the majority of the thought experiment where the engines are turned off). It is only then that physicists pull out GR in relation to the initial acceleration up to speed and again at the half-way turnaround point, hoping to distract people from the obvious fatal flaw in SR theory, and indeed in this entire thought experiment.

Again, nope. This thought experiment is widely touted as evidence for SR, not GR. The spacebound twin coasts at tremendous speed through most of the thought experiment except when engines must be fired to accelerate/decelerate. GR is only brought into it as a fudge factor or distraction when people point out the logical flaw at the heart of the thought experiment, as mentioned above. Check this out for yourself. You can't create an SR thought experiment (the speeding, coasting spacebound twin) then claim SR equations don't apply when the clear logical flaw underlying the very experiment is pointed out.