Theory of Relativity?

  1. Okay, now I know something like this may seem improbable.
    But what would happen if Einstein's theory of E=mc2 was wrong?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Fredrik

    Fredrik 10,526
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    Theories aren't classified as "right" or "wrong". They're all wrong, but some are less wrong than others, in the sense that they make better predictions about results of experiments. We already know that this particular theory makes fantastically accurate predictions, so I don't see how to make sense of the question.
     
  4. Okay, Lets say we could accelerate towards c without our mass becoming infinite. Would this have implications on the lawsof physics as we know it?
     
  5. Yes, **** would break, badly.
     
  6. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
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    To be more accurate, you would want to talk about accelerating beyond c such that the energy wouldn't have to become infinite. If you were able to smoothly cross the barrier from slower than the speed of light to greater, it would be pretty bad. One problem is that you can derive the implications of special relativity using such unbelievably basic starting points, violating it would mean those basic ideas are wrong. The homogeneity and isotropy of space-time would be out the window or require modifications.... but if there were such things as preferred directions, what does that mean?
     
  7. So basically, Pretty much everything we know about the laws of physics would be compromised and have to be re-thought?

    Also one question still remains, What would happen to the concept of time if one could pass light speed? Would time dilation still happen at speeds greater than c or is it limited to below light speeds?
     
  8. Fredrik

    Fredrik 10,526
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    This is like asking what would happen if we discover that we've been wrong all this time to think that stuff we drop fall towards the ground, and that they actually just float at a constant distance from the ground.

    OK, it makes sense to ask what would it would mean if special relativity makes bad predictions about massive objects that have been accelerated to speeds extremely close to c. It would mean that both special and general relativity would have to be replaced by more accurate theories (but we already know that they need to be replaced, because SR can't handle gravity and GR can't handle quantum effects).


    If relativity didn't say what it says, it wouldn't be relativity, would it? Are you asking us to use another theory to answer the question? Which theory would you like us to use?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  9. That the speed of light is some immutable barrier seems intuitively ridiculous.
    c is very SLOW.

    I think that the potential of "instantaneous" should be considered as a viable concept.

    "Frame-dragging" anyone? c changes in that warped space-time local environment.
     
  10. But is it true? For photons, for instance, m=0, but E>0.
     
  11. energy of light is due to its frequency
    E= h*f

    E= h*c/L
    h=plancks constant, c=speed of light
    f = frequency = c/L, L=wavelength
    E= h*(C/L)
    Equating it to eeinsteins mass
    mc^2= h*(c/L)
    m= h/(c*L)
    Hence it is like apparent mass. Yes photon has mass and it depends upon wavelength.
     
  12. A mass moving with the velocity of light?
     
  13. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,257
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    OK, let's not change this thread into issues about photon mass. This has been sufficiently addressed in many threads, and in our FAQ in the General Physics forum (read it!). So cease this line of discussion right now.

    Zz.
     
  14. Wasn't E=mc^2 sufficiently addressed in many threads?
     
  15. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,257
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    Yes, but at least, that is relevant to the OP's question. Discussing about photon mass isn't, especially when it is getting into the validity of the idea of "relativistic" mass. Read the OP's question again.

    And taking about the OP's question, I think this thread is rather moot. We can do an infinite amount of speculation on what if such-and-such is wrong. I see very little informational or educational value out of something like this. I can see research-front scientists asking such questions due to plausible reasons, but I don't see how someone who are just looking into such a thing would gain anything of any value.

    Zz.
     
  16. I agree, but I thought wouldn't it be better to replace the potentially misleading, unless taken in a proper context, E=mc^2 formula with a rigorous and clear

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,257
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    Don't confuse what the OP asked with the mistake that Hyperspace2 made. We don't know yet if the OP either knows about the full equation, or if the question is really specific that to the mass-energy relation. Often, threads like this are made worse by responses that assume way too much and cover too broad of an area.

    Zz.
     
  18. Often they get worse, but sometimes they get better. If we do not know what the OP knows, why not to point him out in a good direction? It will not make any harm, will it?
     
  19. Evidences

    eeinstein says mass and energy are equivalent.
    Light is deflected by gravity. etc etc
     
  20. I'm not asking for you to create a new theory all together. I'm just curious as to what would happen to pretty much everything we know about relitivistic physics? Assuming that E=mc^2 was wrong?
     
  21. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,257
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    You really need to read the FAQ. You are making a horrible misinterpretation. That's like saying a tomato has dirt, just because it grew out of the ground.

    Zz.
     
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