AbeBooks Seller Since May 21, 2012Quantity Available: 20
AbeBooks Seller Since May 21, 2012Quantity Available: 20
About this Item
Title: Relativity Revisited
Publisher: Calkins Publishing, LLC
Illustrator: Richard O. Calkins
Book Type: Paperback
About this title
A theory is only as good as its underlying assumptions. Relativity Revisited examines the assumptions that underlie Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. It also examines the scientific observations and their interpretations that led to these assumptions. And, it clearly demonstrates where and why they are fatally flawed. In the process, it also shows that the concepts of the photon and of quantized energy rest on a doubtful foundation.From the Author:
Some might consider it unusual that this book was written by someone from outside the profession of physics. However, I believe there are sound reasons for that.
Science is one of mankind's most successful enterprises. The pace at which it progresses reasonably can be characterized as breathtaking. Scientists have achieved this success by a unique and powerful form of information management.
Science is the study of the unknown universe guided by the entire body of what is known. Maximum progress occurs when everything that is discovered is made readily available to all. However, the acceptance of any new information that is incorrect jeopardizes everything that might be built upon it. This requires a method of distributing information in a manner that also validates it beyond reasonable doubt. The process of publication and peer review has proven to be remarkably effective at meeting this goal. Once new information has passed this rigorous review, it can be used with confidence to guide further exploration. It rarely is necessary to expend resources reexamining it unless a new discovery brings it back into question.
On rare occasion, some new information experiences such overwhelming proof as to become effectively canonized. A prime example is when Sir Arthur Eddington observed starlight bending near the sun during a full solar eclipse in 1919. One of Dr. Einstein's several controversial predictions associated with his theories of relativity was that light would bend when it passes through a strong gravitational field. Eddington had traveled to view the eclipse for the sole purpose of determining if that prediction was correct. His remarkable observation elevated Einstein and his theories to universal acceptance and worldwide acclaim. It would be unreasonable to expect any scientist of repute to waste resources reexamining their conceptual foundation.
Following retirement, I decided to renew my study of physics. Over the years, I have learned that there are basically two different mind-sets for how to study and evaluate complex structures, whether they be physical mechanisms or conceptual theories. One is to observe and assess the results of how they work and the other is to take them apart, see what they are made of and assess the role each piece plays in the whole. It seems to me that science typically is oriented more toward the former and engineers are oriented more toward the latter. As it happens, my experience in engineering makes me particularly favor the disassembly and autopsy approach to studying complex structures and theories.
During my career, I spent several years as an Engineering Manager responsible for long range network planning at Pacific Northwest Bell. Long range planning also is an exercise in divining the unknown (in this case, future conditions and likely outcomes) guided by what is known (in this case, experience and current conditions). One of the things I learned from this experience is how critically the outcome of such a study depends on the validity of whatever assumptions may be harbored by the analyst making it. Indeed, it was common practice to begin each study by documenting every assumption that might influence its outcome. This necessarily involved some soul searching since everything we know is based on assumptions, some explicit and some implicit. And it is the assumptions that are allowed to remain implicit, and therefore unexamined, that are most likely to turn a great looking plan into an unforeseen disaster.
As the manager of a long range planning group, I never allowed a study to begin until after I approved the documentation of its underlying assumptions. It was this focus on assumptions that guided my examination of Einstein's theories of relativity and of related theories that influenced them.
You will find that parts of this book read more like a detective story than a scientific analysis. That is because digging out hidden assumptions has much in common with detective work. One must start with the clues that are there and reconstruct the underlying beliefs that were necessary for their existence. Each of these then can be tested for validity on its own merits. Any failures necessarily are an indictment of the structure built upon them and create the need for further review. As presented in this book, that includes providing alternative hypotheses that correct for the invalid assumptions. I believe you will find the results of this process of more than passing interest.
Throughout, I have tried to present my thought process clearly enough to make it accessible and understandable to any reader with a good high school foundation in science and mathematics. At the same time, I have tried to be rigorous enough to entice professional physicists into actually reexamining the founda-tions of what they know.
I leave it to you to determine whether or not I have succeeded.
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