# Einstein did not derive E =mc2 first

Origin and escalation of mass-energy equation E=mc^2

Ajay Sharma
Community Science Centre. DOE. Post Box 107 Shimla 171001 HP INDIA
Email physicsajay@lycos.co.uk , physicsajay@yahoo.com

Einstein’s 27 Sep 1905 paper available at http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/E_mc2/www/

Abstract

E=mc^2existed before Einstein’s derivation in Sep. 1905. Isaac Newton, S. Tolver Preston, Poincaré , De Pretto and F. Hasenöhrl are the philosophers and physicists who have given idea of E=mc^2. Einstein derived existing E=mc^2starting with result of relativistic variation of light energy, but finally obtained L =mc^2 under applying classical conditions (v<<c). After Einstein, Max Plank also derived the same independently. Max Born has expressed surprise over non-inclusion of previous references by Einstein in the derivation of E=mc^2.

1.0 Contributors of equation E =mc2

Before Einstein, among other physicists, Isaac Newton [1], English S. T. Preston [2] in 1875, French Poincaré [3,4] in 1900, Italian De Pretto [5] in 1903, German F. Hasenöhrl [6,7] made significant contributions in speculations and derivations of E=mc^2. After Einstein Planck [8] has also derived E=mc^2 independently. J J Thomson in 1888 is also believed to have anticipated E=mc^2from Maxwell’s equations.
(i) Issac Newton (1642-1727)
The Great Sir Isaac Newton [1] has quoted "Gross bodies and light are convertible into one another...", 1704). In 1704 Newton wrote the book “Optiks”. Newton also put forth Corpuscular Theory of Light
(ii) S. Tolver Preston
S. Tolver Preston [2], who made predictions which are based essentially upon E=mc^2. Preston in his book Physics of the Ether proposed in 1875 that vast amount of energy can be produced from matter. Preston determined that one grain could lift a 100,000-ton object up to a height of 1.9 miles. This deduction yields the essence of equation E=mc^2.
(iii) Jules Henri Poincaré (1854-1912)
Poincaré in 1900 [3,4] put forth an expression for what he called the "momentum of radiation" M_R. It is M_R = S/c^2, where S represents the flux of radiation and c is the usual velocity of light. Poincaré applied the calculation in a recoil process and reached at the conclusion in the form mv = (E/c^2)c. From the viewpoint of unit analysis, E/c^2 takes on the role of a "mass" number associated with radiation. It yields E=mc^2.

(vi) Olinto De Pretto
An Italian Industrialist Olinto De Pretto [5] suggested E=mc^2, in concrete way. Firstly this article was published on June 16, 1903. Second time on February 27, 1904 the same was published in the Atti of the Reale Instituto Veneto di Scienze. Thus De Pretto published E=mc^2 about one and half year before. In 1921 De Pretto was shot dead by a woman over a business dispute. When De Pretto was killed he was trying to publish the complete book of his scientific ideas. This paper is in Italian; hence it remained away from accessibility of wider scientific community. However Einstein was affluent in Italian language also.
(v) F. Hasenöhrl
In 1904 F. Hasenöhrl [6,7 ], gave first derived expression for mass-energy conversion. He investigated a system composed of a hollow enclosure filled with "heat" radiations and wanted to determine the effect of pressure due to radiations. His calculations lead him to conclude that
"to the mechanical mass of our system must be added an apparent mass which is given by
m = (8/3)E/c^2"
where E is the energy of the radiation. Further in later paper he maintained that improve result for mass exchanged is
m = (4/3)E/ c^2"
Ebenezer Cunningham [9] in 1914 in his book The Principles of Relativity showed that F. Hasenöhrl, has made a slight error in his calculations. F. Hasenöhrl, did not take characteristics of the shell properly. If errors are removed then
m (mass exchanged) = E/c^2
or E = (mass exchanged) c^2
This is the same result as quoted by Einstein. It implies that E=mc^2 is contained in F. Hasenöhrl’s, analysis. Moreover Hasenöhrl’s work was published in the same journal in which Einstein’s method to derive E=mc^2 was published one year later.
(vi) Albert Einstein
In 1905, Einstein [10] derived L = mc^2, and then speculated from here E=mc^2, analogously without actual proof. Einstein derived already existing E=mc^2, strangely did not acknowledge his predecessors like de Pretto and Hasenöhrl. Both have suggested E=mc^2 just one and half year before Einstein’s derivation. However two years after i.e. 1907 when Max Plank [8] derived E=mc^2 independently, Planck acknowledged derivation of Einstein. Planck even pointed out the conceptual and mathematical limitations of Einstein’s method of derivation..
(a) Although Einstein started to derive E=mc^2 using relativistic variation of light energy as in Eq.(2), yet he derived final results under classical condition. Einstein interpreted the results using Binomial Theorem which is applicable if v<<c.

(b) Einstein never considered the any Relativistic Increase in Mass of body.
ThE equation of Relativistic Increase In Mass was first justified by Kaufman [11] in 1900.
Further Einstein speculated E=mc^2 for all energies from E=mc^2 without justifying that eq.(2) i.e. holds good for sound, heat, chemical , electrical energy etc. If eq.(2) holds good for sound and heat energies, then E=mc^2 will be analogously transformed as
Sound energy = E=mc^2 (3)
or Every type of energy = E=mc^2 (4)

(vii) Max Planck
In 1907, Planck [8] made an in-depth investigation of the energy "confined" within a body, but he did not use Einstein approach at all. Plank presented his findings in
Planck derived an expression
m-M= E/c2
and interpreted that
” The inertia mass of body is altered by absorption or emission of heat energy. The increments of mass of body are equal to heat energy divided by square of speed of light”
Then in a footnote at page 566 Planck writes, "Einstein has already drawn essentially the same conclusions”. Planck maintained Einstein derivation as approximation.
(ix) Recent developments.
In 1907 Planck [8] even pointed out the conceptual and mathematical limitations of Einstein’s derivation. In 1952, H E Ives [12] stressed that Einstein’s derivation of the formula E=mc^2 is fatally flawed because Einstein set out to prove what he assumed.
Sharma [13] in 2003 extended E=mc^2 to E =Ac^2m, where A is conversion co-efficient and can be equal, less or more than one, depending upon inherent characteristics of conversions process in nature. The value of A is consistent with concept of proportionality factor existing since centuries. Energy emitted in celestial events Gamma Ray Bursts (most energetic events after Big Bang) is 10^ 45 Joule/s. It can be explained with value of A equal to 2.57x10^18. Similar is the case of Quasars. Like wise kinetic energy of the fission Fragments of U^235 or Pu^239 is found 20-60 MeV less than Q-value ( 200MeV), Bakhoum [14] The similar deviations in experimental results are also quoted by Hambsch [15], Thiereus [16] etc. It can be explained with value of A less than one. Till date E=mc^2 is not confirmed in chemical reaction due to technical reasons, but regarded as true.
Also a particle Ds (2317) discovered at SLAC [17] has been found to have mass lower than current estimates based upon E=mc^2. Incidentally, there are proposals for both theoretical and experimental variations (increase or decrease) in value of c [18-19]; as fine structure constant is reported to be increasing over cosmological timescales, implying slowing down of speed of light, c. The proposals for variations of speed of light definitely affect status of E =mc2, indirectly.
2.0 Einstein and priority of E=mc^2
Einstein did not mention Hasenöhrl’s work (who gave first derived expression for mass-energy equation) in any of his paper on this subject from 1900 - 1909. However Hasenöhrl has published in 1904 the paper in the same very journal in which Einstein later published his derivation of E=mc^2 in 1905.
Einstein [20] applied his E=mc^2 derivation in 1906. In this paper he gave reference of Poincaré' s work [3, 4]. Einstein gave credit to Poincaré for mass energy equivalence at least for electromagnetic radiations.
But, even with Planck's complete derivation and this Poincaré acknowledgement, Einstein later refused to accept any other priority for this notion. Stark [21] stated that Planck gave first derivation of E=mc^2, in fact Planck and Stark were convinced that Einstein derivation of E=mc^2 is inconsistent. Then Einstein [22] wrote Stark on 17 Feb 1908, “I was rather disturbed that you do not acknowledge my priority with regard to the connection between inertial mass and energy.” Max Born [23], co-originator of Quantum Mechanics stated, "The striking point is that it contains not a single reference to previous literature”.
Einstein [24] in 1907 spelled out his views on plagiarism: "It appears to me that it is the nature of the business that what follows has already been partly solved by other authors. Despite that fact, since the issues of concern are here addressed from a new point of view, I am entitled to leave out a thoroughly pedantic survey of the literature..."

## Answers and Replies

$$E=mc^2$$ can actually be derived from Maxwell equations (of course,if you're skillful in manipulating them).Believe it or not,SR is not a must for reaching the formula.But,the derivation from SR principles is shorter and more elegant one.

Its a variable and "manipulatable" theory, anyway...

Energy Absolution...

$$E = Aymc^2$$

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Nommos Prime (Dogon) said:
Its a variable and "manipulatable" theory, anyway...

Meaning what? SR is a deduction from the two postulates, and has only the one parameter, c. Where is the manipulability?

ajay, you raised an interesting question on the genesis of probably the most famous formula of all time.But,why on earth in "Stellar astrophysics" subforum(is it becouse you mentioned Quasars)?This thread should be removed to SR@GR subforum.
Firstly,as concerns Poincare's and Planck's contribution to the discovery ,as well as of the unlucky De Pretto's one,it was real.I have heard of that already.
Secondly,as concerns J.J.Thomson's "anticipation" of the formula from the Maxwell's set ,it was possible to do that in 1888.IMO,I think it is just believed by some people (who usually like to dispute Einstein's role ) and incorrect rumour that well-known discoverer of electron had the formula.I have got Thomson's collected works.He was a great experimental physicist,but my impression he wasn't that strong in pure math and theoretical models to derive the formula.Even less to interprete it's meaning (like Einstein did).
Lastly, Newton, the great one.Eh..,surely he must have knew of the formula in 1700. ,only with one "little" difference:multiplying factor 1/2 always on the right side of the equation..
cheers
P.S.Orion,how about multiplying *factors* on the left side of the famous formula.
Like this: $$Einstein=mc^2$$ ?

ahrkron
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Why is so many people obsessed with this? even to the point of writing things like this:

In 1905, Einstein [10] derived L = mc^2, and then speculated from here E=mc^2, analogously without actual proof.

Did this guy actually read Einstein's paper? It certainly does not seem like it, since the 1905 paper clearly states:

A. Einstein said:
Let this body send out, in a direction making an angle with the axis of x, plane waves of light, of energy ½L measured relatively to (x, y, z), and simultaneously an equal quantity of light in the opposite direction.

The use of a different letter (L instead of E) does not affect the interpretation.

"C" IS MANIPULATABLE!

Light is.
The speed of light IS NOT a constant (and NEVER has been).

ahrkron
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Nommos Prime (Dogon) said:
Light is.
The speed of light IS NOT a constant (and NEVER has been).

Then how do you explain:
a. That all experiments that measure it directly or indirectly (starting from the Michaelson-Morley interferometer and including communication with space probes and GPS satelites) give the same result, and
b. That all consequences of SR (in whic c is assumed to be a constant) have been confirmed by experiment?

Phobos
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
TeV said:
ajay, you raised an interesting question on the genesis of probably the most famous formula of all time.But,why on earth in "Stellar astrophysics" subforum(is it becouse you mentioned Quasars)?This thread should be removed to SR@GR subforum.

Agree. But did you derive that conclusion yourself?
--moving topic--

DrChinese
Gold Member
And the French think Poincare discovered Relativity nearly 10 years before Einstein. Amazingly, though, it was Einstein alone who explained it to the rest of the physics community AND took the heat over his revolutionary theories. AFTER they were generally accepted, some others claimed credit. Hmmm.

Anyway, who really thinks Einstein developed those areas without being aware of the state of the art in physics? All scientists depend on the work of predecessors.

Phobos said:
Agree. But did you derive that conclusion yourself?
--moving topic--
Well no...It was extreeemly difficult to reach that conclusion alone ...without meeting and consultation with experts..

DrChinese,fair enough said.Nothing before Maxwell's times could suggest SR.
Hence,suggestion that Newton had something to do with mass-energy equivalence formula got me in stitches.

OneEye
ahrkron said:
Then how do you explain:
a. That all experiments that measure it directly or indirectly (starting from the Michaelson-Morley interferometer and including communication with space probes and GPS satelites) give the same result, and
b. That all consequences of SR (in whic c is assumed to be a constant) have been confirmed by experiment?

I'm not starting a fight here, nor am I trying to bolster or assault anyone, but here are a few thoughts:

1) c is variable under general relativity.

2) All measurements of c have been made under relatively low-speed and limited local conditions.

3) c is, of course, not constant in any medium other than a vaccuum.

4) I'm quite murky on this, but I am also quite sure that some recent measurements of distant stars have shown that either c or alpha has probably been different in the past.

I am not poking at SR here. I am just pointing out some cases in which the statement The speed of light IS NOT a constant (and NEVER has been). can be said to be true.

Though this may not be what "Nommos Prime (Dogon)" means...

Anyway... I'm butting out now.

Sorry to inform you but such observations on the origin on E = mc2 have been mentioned before. Most notably by Herbert Ives in 1953 and more recently in

Did Einstein really discover "E = mc2", W.L. Fadner, Am. J. Phys. 56(2) Feb 1988

Also by me at

http://www.geocities.com/physics_world/

See On the concept of mass in relativity in that page

DrChinese
Gold Member
TeV said:
Hence,suggestion that Newton had something to do with mass-energy equivalence formula got me in stitches.

I agree. A few days ago, someone on the forum suggested Newton had invented the Big Bang too. Newton's accomplishments are large enough that he doesn't need any "exaggerated extras" to bolster his reputation.

Ditto Einstein, regardless of the specifics of how much he was aware of the work of others.

Every Nobel winner stands on the backs of many other scientists. That is one of the difficulties of such prizes, trying to draw a line as to who did what. There aren't enough prizes to go around for all the great contributions made by so many dedicated people.

TeV said:
Hence,suggestion that Newton had something to do with mass-energy equivalence formula got me in stitches.
DrChinese said:
I agree. A few days ago, someone on the forum suggested Newton had invented the Big Bang too. Newton's accomplishments are large enough that he doesn't need any "exaggerated extras" to bolster his reputation.

Hmmm ...
Are not gross Bodies and Light convertible into one another, and may not Bodies receive much of their Activity from the Particles of Light which enter their Composition? - Newton, Opticks (4th ed., 1730)

Pete

fathomed factoring...

$$E = Aymc^2$$

P.S.Orion,how about multiplying *factors* on the left side of the famous formula.
Like this: $$Einstein=mc^2$$?

It is certainly plausible:

$$\frac{E}{A} \sqrt{1 - \left( \frac{v}{c} \right)^2} = mc^2$$

Orion1 said:
$$E = Aymc^2$$

It is certainly plausible:

$$\frac{E}{A} \sqrt{1 - \left( \frac{v}{c} \right)^2} = mc^2$$
"Inevitable"$$A$$ would be now the prime suspect for further criticism ,but never mind

Chronos
Gold Member
Nommos Prime (Dogon) said:
The speed of light IS NOT a constant (and NEVER has been).

Only knowledge is finite, ignorance is infinite.

Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1) c is variable under general relativity.

Only in the same way that you can vary c by measuring it with a watch that ticks too fast.

2) All measurements of c have been made under relatively low-speed and limited local conditions.

What do you mean? c isn't "low-speed". And what about measurements of the speed of light involving particle accelerators? (I imagine there are cosmological measurements too)

3) c is, of course, not constant in any medium other than a vaccuum.

Only because you're measuring a different kind of speed.

4) I'm quite murky on this, but I am also quite sure that some recent measurements of distant stars have shown that either c or alpha has probably been different in the past.

It's certainly a popular theory, but I haven't heard anything that has shown it to be true.

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On the constancy of c, there are some concerns to be brought up:

1) Constant with respect to what? Relativity requires c to be constant with respect to observer, but not with respect to space or time. Relativity (Special or General) only says that if you have two observers at the same event, they will measure the same speed for light, regardless of any relative motion. It does not require that they measure the same speed as observers at other events.

This is a point almost entirely ignored (and very seldom even realized). While extensive evidence supports special relativity and the constancy of light with respect to observer, none of this implies that the speed of light is also constant with respect to spacetime event. The speed in other galaxies or around other stars may differ significantly from what it is here. The speed may have been different in earth's past than it is now. Our best evidence for constancy with respect to event is simply that the error intervals for all measurements made so far overlap. (Some have suggested that early measurements show a different value - but those measurement were so inaccurate that the difference is more readily explanable as simple error). By Fermat, changes in the value of c along a light ray's path should produce bending, so presumably, if the value of c varies in space, we should see lensing affects. Might some of the "gravitational" lensing seen actually be caused by variation in "c"?

2) The meter is now defined in terms of c, so in one sense, c cannot help but be constant anymore. This merely shifts the change to other physical constants (the fine structure constant in particular). The effect would be that an iron bar (for example) here, if moved to another location without undergoing significant stress and with not temperature variation, may still change in size. While the underlying physics works out the same, if this sort of variation is going on, our definitions of length will make it more difficult to discuss.

russ_watters
Mentor
Icarus2 said:
The meter is now defined in terms of c, so in one sense, c cannot help but be constant anymore.
That is a consequence of light quite literally making a better meter than the actual meter bar itself, not the other way around.

OneEye
Icarus said:
Relativity requires c to be constant with respect to observer, but not with respect to space or time. ...so in one sense, c cannot help but be constant anymore...

...and the constancy of c is axiomatic in relativity - hence, the variability of space and time are also axiomatic. All of the experiments and observations which are assembled to substantiate relativity are actually aimed at proving this axiom as a general, universal axiom, rather than just as a phenomenon of local measurements.

Question: Would it be possible for c to appear constant with respect to all reference frames, but for space and time measurements to also be ontologically unvarying? That is, would it be possible for the iron bar to actually always be the same length, but for it to appear to contract according to the Lorentz transformation? If this were the case, then relativity would still obtain as far as our ability to measure things using light, but this would mean that relativity would then be properly classed as phenomenological rather than ontological.

Just a question.

(I am now ducking. Why isn't there a "duck" icon on this board? Fooey! :yuck: )

russ_watters said:
That is a consequence of light quite literally making a better meter than the actual meter bar itself, not the other way around.

I was not complaining, merely pointing out that now c is constant by definition. And that by the change in definition, any variation that c would have had, now must be taken up by other "constants".

OneEye said:
...and the constancy of c is axiomatic in relativity - hence, the variability of space and time are also axiomatic. All of the experiments and observations which are assembled to substantiate relativity are actually aimed at proving this axiom as a general, universal axiom, rather than just as a phenomenon of local measurements.

Not so. The constancy of c with respect to all observers at individual spacetime events is axiomatic. There is nothing about either special or general relativity that requires constancy of c with respect to the events themselves. Minkowski spacetime posits that c is constant everywhere, but this goes beyond the needs of even special relativity itself. And by general relativity this requirement goes away. All observations on Earth fundamentally cannot support (don't get me started on the use of the word "proof" in science - science is not about proof - good science never accepts anything as "proved" - only very well supported) - anyway, Earth observations cannot support any theory as being global instead of local. Since such observations are themselves local, they cannot tell what is going on elsewhere in spacetime. The only way to find out what conditions are like elsewhere is to observe the influence those conditions have here: mostly by observing the light that has traveled from there to here. Unfortunately, astronomy cannot help much, because for the most part such effects are not discernable here. The best possibility is that variations in c should result in a lensing effect (Fermat's principle). How to differentiate this from gravitational lensing not caused by variations in c is the question then.

Other than Astronomical observations, and the rather unreliable history of measurement of c (unreliable until something over 100 years ago, that is), are all the evidence I am aware of that addresses the issue. The vast majority of the experiments you mention do not concern themselves at all with the constancy of c in spacetime.

(By the way - I am not saying that I believe c does vary - only that proof it does not is rather thin).

Question: Would it be possible for c to appear constant with respect to all reference frames, but for space and time measurements to also be ontologically unvarying? That is, would it be possible for the iron bar to actually always be the same length, but for it to appear to contract according to the Lorentz transformation? If this were the case, then relativity would still obtain as far as our ability to measure things using light, but this would mean that relativity would then be properly classed as phenomenological rather than ontological.

I am not at all sure what it is you mean by this, but here is my answer to my best guess: Frankly, I do not believe in "ghost measurements" that cannot be measured in any way by any theoretical observer but somehow exist anyway. As long as it has no effect on actual measurable physics, though, you can believe whaterver you want. Since it has no effect, I see no point is wasting time with it.

OneEye
Icarus said:
I am not at all sure what it is you mean by this, but here is my answer to my best guess: Frankly, I do not believe in "ghost measurements" that cannot be measured in any way by any theoretical observer but somehow exist anyway. As long as it has no effect on actual measurable physics, though, you can believe whaterver you want. Since it has no effect, I see no point is wasting time with it.

Yes, but this is exactly the line of thought I am suggesting:

How might one prove or disprove the ontological view of relativity vs. the phenomenological view? Surely some means must exist. Perhaps it's just a matter of being clever enough to discern those means.

It seems to me that the view of what constitutes a "ghost measurement" might well be merely a matter of prejudice. Without a scalpel, which view is to be taken as correct? And, if we frankly admit of no known razor, and either view might have equal simplicty and elegance, then on what grounds can we promote one view over the other?
Obviously, we hold to one view today for historical reasons, probably having more to do with emotional and political reasons than strictly rational ones.

In any case, unless anyone is willing to propose some experiments, we are probably lapsing into merely philosophical grounds.

Icarus said:
On the constancy of c, there are some concerns to be brought up:

1) Constant with respect to what? Relativity requires c to be constant with respect to observer, but not with respect to space or time. Relativity (Special or General) only says that if you have two observers at the same event, they will measure the same speed for light, regardless of any relative motion. It does not require that they measure the same speed as observers at other events.

This is a point almost entirely ignored (and very seldom even realized). While extensive evidence supports special relativity and the constancy of light with respect to observer, none of this implies that the speed of light is also constant with respect to spacetime event. The speed in other galaxies or around other stars may differ significantly from what it is here. The speed may have been different in earth's past than it is now. Our best evidence for constancy with respect to event is simply that the error intervals for all measurements made so far overlap. (Some have suggested that early measurements show a different value - but those measurement were so inaccurate that the difference is more readily explanable as simple error). By Fermat, changes in the value of c along a light ray's path should produce bending, so presumably, if the value of c varies in space, we should see lensing affects. Might some of the "gravitational" lensing seen actually be caused by variation in "c"?

Observation is a spacetime event.

Show me that conjecture of Fermat's(i think i might have heard something simliar but i ahve not read it, and will not be able to reply to it accurately until having done so) and its support.

You can only to that conclusion about gravitational lensing through a gross misunderstanding and misuse of the relevant equations. If you maintain your frame of reference you will get no such possible interpretation, because you cannot get a variational speed of light in the same equation if you do. Gravitational lensing is the result of a curved geometry and the lgiht ray following the path of least action, the solution to the Euler-Lagrange equation, namely, a geodesic.

Nereid
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
OneEye said:
4) I'm quite murky on this, but I am also quite sure that some recent measurements of distant stars have shown that either c or alpha has probably been different in the past.
I think you may be referring to alpha, the fine structure constant.

There've been a number of papers reporting some small variation over cosmological time, but also several reporting none. Needless to say, the observations required are extensive, and not that easy to do, even with the VLT or Keck.

Among the best astronomical observations is http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/pr-2004/pr-05-04.html [Broken] on this, as well as some older discussion. This reports new limits on any time variation of alpha (i.e. it doesn't seem to vary by more than ~0.6 parts per million, over ~10 billion years).

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The main point is that Einstein derived general relativity over a period of years - other people had the chance to do it in this time but did not. Einstein even changed the way maths was done ( his summation convention for example - try getting by without it).Einstein made a very abstract and difficult piece of mathematics represent the
real world and no doubt made it easier for people to accept the schrodinger equation which is also quite an abstract idea.

OneEye said:
It seems to me that the view of what constitutes a "ghost measurement" might well be merely a matter of prejudice. Without a scalpel, which view is to be taken as correct?

No prejudice - simple scalpel: A "ghost measurement" is any quantity that cannot be actually measured - not just because no one is available to measure it, or the right equipment is unavailable, but because it is fundamentally unmeasurable. My best guess at what your comments meant suggested you were refering to such quantities - I see no point in speculating about them because even if they do have some existance that can NEVER be confirmed experimentally and have no effect on us anyway. Likely, I am wrong about what your comments meant. Would you please explain what you mean by "the ontological view" & "the phenomenological view" of relativity? I've tried to decipher it from the meanings of the these two words, but am at a loss.

franznietzsche said:
Observation is a spacetime event.

No - observation takes place at spacetime events. The word "event" in relativity simple refers to a point of spacetime - "point" itself being too much associated with space alone.

franznietzsche said:
Show me that conjecture of Fermat's(i think i might have heard something simliar but i ahve not read it, and will not be able to reply to it accurately until having done so) and its support.

You can only to that conclusion about gravitational lensing through a gross misunderstanding and misuse of the relevant equations. If you maintain your frame of reference you will get no such possiblinterpretation, because you cannot get a variational speed of light in the same equation if you do. Gravitational lensing is the result of a curved geometry and the lgiht ray following the path of least action, the solution to the Euler-Lagrange equation, namely, a geodesic.

Fermat's Principle, which I refered to, is: The path light follows between two points is the one that takes the least time. It was this principle that inspired Lagrange to invent the concept of "action" and state the more general principle (the heart of his formulation of mechanics) that the path of any system between two states will be the one with least action. So if you are unfamiliar with the idea, I would suggest not refering to it in your own arguments!

As for the rest, please reread my post, and note that I made NO conclusions about gravitational lensing - other than to say that gravitational lensing does not involve variations in c! As for that, you could consider variations in c as being a gravitational effect (as c comes from the spacetime metric), but for this discussion it makes sense to separate it from the more common idea of gravitational lensing (caused by mass-distortion of spacetime).

Speed Of Light Fallacies...

OneEye makes some brilliant observations regarding light-speed (Constancy) fallacies.

The KEY is that C is only constant in a VACUUM.

Real Vacuums (in the Universe are extremely Rare). Space is not a vacuum (it is littered with matter). Earth is certainly not a vacuum.

I would contend that Vacuums ONLY EXIST at the heart of ALL matter, and in 4-11 dimensions (My "Vacuum Heart" Theory, again). Light-speed can be manipulated by gravitational effects...