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What is a Space Structure in relativity?

  1. Aug 4, 2011 #1
    What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    I remember reading an article that said essentially that the point of reference and the number of "space structures" affect the speed of light. Is this a popular theory? What is a space structure in physics anyway, I'm pretty well versed in physics and I've never heard the term before. Also, Google doesn't seem to be much help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2011 #2


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    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    The speed of light (measured locally) is always the same, so the statement that something or other affects it doesn't sound right to me. As far as I know, "space structure" isn't a term normally used by physicists.
  4. Aug 4, 2011 #3
    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    I think Ben (bcrowell) is right. I've never seen the term in any text book or physics journal. If I had to guess I would say that this refers to photons traveling through some semi-transparent material in a way that makes it seem like the speed of light through the material is less than c and depends on the physical makeup of the structure, i.e., "space structure" (density and arrangement of atoms or molecules in the material).

    Upon a close analysis it is seen that this has nothing to do with the speed of light. Photons are absorbed and re-emitted (actually, not necesarily considered the "same" photon) as they progress through the material. It's the time delays introduced by the intermediate interactions that result in an overall time delay from the time of entry to the exit from the "space structure."

    The photon travels at c during the actual transit times between interactions.
  5. Aug 5, 2011 #4
    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    The article was in the book "Advanced Theory of Relativity" by Peter Lay. The author used the term to refer to a part of space in one frame of reference from which time dilation decreases or increases the apparent speed of light from the viewpoint of an observer. Not sure if this is just the unsupported ideas of an individual who seems to be devoid of credibility (the book isn't very well written and I can't find much about the author online) or if it is an idea shared by others. Which do you think is the case?
  6. Aug 5, 2011 #5


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    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    I can say the following:

    1) I've never seen the term "space structure" in any other book.
    2) The description you provide, if accurate, is inconsistent with special relativity.
    3) The description of the book on amazon makes the book seem very crankish, ultimately aiming to sell the author's replacements for relativity (extensions, in his words)
    4) So far as I can tell, the author has not published a single paper in in physics.

    I did some 'search in book' on Amazon. I think you have not quoted quite accurately. The actual words are not so wrong. However, the book presents very eccentric terminology. Basically, the author uses space structure for reference frame or coordinate system. While there is a lot of crankish purpose to the book, the basics of relativity and other physics don't look wrong. I recommend you read some other book, as you will not be able to talk to anyone else about relativity using this author's eccentric terminology.
  7. Aug 5, 2011 #6


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    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    Judging from the excerpts I can read on amazon.com, I'd say "Run away, run away!" :yuck:
  8. Aug 5, 2011 #7


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    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    What the hell kind of a book has the title "Advanced Theory of Relativity" and the subtitle "Introduction for Beginners" ????
  9. Aug 5, 2011 #8
    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    Are you certain that it was "space structures"? Erwin Schrodinger has written a slim book titled "Schrodinger: Space-Time Structure." He is referring to Einstein's GRT as being "based on the notion of an intrinsic geometric structure of the space-time continuum."
  10. Aug 5, 2011 #9
    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    "...time dilation decreases or increases the apparent speed of light from the viewpoint of an observer." Are you kidding?

    That idea is as far from special relativity as you can get. That statement alone (assuming it accurately represents his position) automatically puts him in the category of crackpot charlatan.
  11. Aug 6, 2011 #10
    Re: What is a "Space Structure" in relativity?

    I eventually came to the same conclusions about the term space structure referring to a coordinate system. I know I did not quote completely accurately, in fact I didn't quote at all, merely tried my best to summarize the author's unrelativistic and apocryphal views towards the speed of light. I did not believe the author's views one bit from the time I spotted the first grammatical error or read the introduction which stated that the book was "my (the author's) advanced theory of relativity. I did however, wish to know if this term was one that was commonly used, as I have never heard it before. I agree with all the above posts, especially those pertaining to the author's eccentricity and the contradictory title.
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