Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reality Is Infinite, measurement is finite

I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. . . . Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view. - Nikola Tesla
Tesla tells us that space can have no properties, since it is a “nothing”. Only matter can have properties, not space. I agree with him completely. And, although I accept the numerical findings of General Relativity, I do not accept curved space any more than Tesla. - Miles Mathis-
I first stumbled onto Miles Mathis’s website when I googled the words [ “variable acceleration” newton leibniz ]. I found an essay proposing that Newton’s use of infinitesimal length intervals is improper for describing kinematic situations. How would you measure an “infinitesimal interval”? It seems that Newton realized that the concept of an “instantaneous velocity” leads to obvious questions, so he just pushed the problem up to a higher level abstraction! Thus “infinitesimal intervals.” This idea had never occurred to me before, but made sense. In particular, I thought the following paragraph in his paper on “time” demonstrated a broad base knowledge and thoughtfulness:

Whenever we measure time, we measure movement. ... Every clock measures movement: the vibration of a cesium atom, the swing of pendulum, the movement of a second hand.
Time is just a second, comparative, measurement of distance... When we measure distance, we measure movement.  We measure the change in position.  When we measure time, we measure the same thing, but give it another name.   Why would we do this?  Why give two names and two concepts to the same thing?  Distance and Time.  I say, in order to compare one to the other.

Over the last few months, I’ve slowly become convinced that there is something to Miles Mathis’s alternative to the Lorentz equations. I went through periods of doubt and denial, but all my misgivings were covered in one of Mathis’s papers, found by a simple google search of his website.

Mathis’s basic claim is that there is an alternative approach to describing the motion of light than the Lorentz equations, used by Einstein. I realize there are plenty of "Einstein was wrong" / conspiracy theorist websites where the author is clearly on a big ego trip looking for more attention -- see -- so you may wonder “why would I think Miles Mathis is any different?”

For a few of reasons:
1. He's not saying Einstein was wrong. Mathis agrees with relativistic effects, and the necessary implications of relativity, as is correctly explained in this youtube video: . Mathis just disagrees over the precise rules that relativity follows.
2. He's interdisciplinary. Most "crank" websites love targeting the "big names" of the field like Einstein, Bohr, Lorentz, Newton, but they will seldom give credit for what the big names got correct and NEVER look to philosophy for help. The "crank" author is on an ego trip, not trying to uncover the truth, and so is not interested in the reasons why obviously intelligent theorist would allow mistakes. Mathis, on the other hand, explores the philosophy of science, citing George Berkeley's and Karl Popper's perspectives of Newton and Einstein, respectively.
3. He offers alternatives that are fully developed and consistent. The presentation of Mathis's theory needs help, but it's all there.

Within technical fields such as mathematics and physics, every generation has a Newton or an Einstein; they just happened to be their generations’ best at the time when human history started caring about motion and light. Without the inventions of the telescope, itself a product of the increasing availability of tools due to mining, and the proliferation of newletters made possible by the printing press, Isaac Newton would have been forgotten long ago.

Isaac Newton beat out his contemporaries, and the same is true for Einstein. However, it was History that chose Newton’s generation to be the discoverers of the laws of motion, and Einstein’s generation to discover the laws for the motion of light. Had Newton never published or never lived, it is quite likely Leibniz and perhaps a few others would have filled in all of Newton’s discoveries within a couple of decades at most. The same is true regarding Einstein. The “Great Man” theory of history applies more to art than to science. Inspiration can be involved in both art and science, but science is objective and can be altered, taken apart, and added to in a way that a work of art currently cannot be (although I believe open-source and public copyright licenses will get art to that point eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later!). The mythicization of a Newton and Einstein promotes a false view of science as requiring the type of genius that before was correctly reserved for artists and spiritual leaders.

As a quick summary:
What I’ve learned:
The Lorentz factor (used by Einstein) is the only way to preserve a constant speed of light as a constant for all observers
Mathis’s system preserves c also, by hypothesizing that all matter generates an electric field, in much the same way that all matter generates a gravitational field.
The Lorentz equations have been verified experimentally many times over the past few decades.
The purpose of mass media is to prop up existing power structures. Funding for a department increases when positive media coverage is generated. The media likes articles with keywords that consumers recognize. Thus in the 20th century, the fastest way to academic credentials is to latch into the existing models and accepted theories. Original theoretical work of science departments was largely abandoned, and the game became to get the “right” numbers in your experiments--that is, ones that agreed with the accepted theory’s predictions.

The following quote gets to the heart of the issue. Einstein, following the general trend of his time, prioritizes measurement over reality. “If we can’t measure it, it does not exist.” This summarizes the dogma of the Western university system as it is today.
[T]he distinction between finite and infinite appears to me to be an ultimate distinction between measurement and reality. Reality is infinite. Measurement is finite. ... Although we live at infinity we cannot calculate at infinity. What this means is that real bodies do in fact converge to the limit. They reach the limit. Achilles passes the tortoise, etc. ... A mathematical term that expresses the motion of a body is logically a different sort of entity than the body itself. The body reaches the limit. The term, however, does not. -

What does this have to do with relativity? It has to do with the idea of velocity. Specifically, whether or not velocity is a measurement or is inherent. The mainstream treats velocity as being inherent, so that an observer would measure the velocity of an object the same as the object would measure its velocity itself. Mathis points out there is an alternative that is just as consistent.
Motion does not require a medium, it only requires a background. That background is automatically created relative to previous positions. You don’t need a medium to describe the motion of quanta. You only need a mathematical or diagrammed background, and previous positions give you that. -

I’ve come to realize that my thoughts on the topic are still not organized enough to lay out his whole theory in a straightforward manner yet, but I feel I’ve developed a good grasp for Mathis’s arguments going through Mathis’s papers and connecting the dots with google searches of Mathis’s website. So instead of trying to include all the relevant derivations, what I’d like to do is give a general outline of the concepts, and open the comments up for questions that anyone has.

Sound Waves
Old Ether Theory of Light
Einstein’s Theory of Light
Mathis’s Theory of Light
What creates the wave?
vibration of air molecules
The structure of the ether
The motion of many photons travelling together
Each individual messenger “B-photon” creates its own wave
What is the medium?
Air molecules
Ether as the medium of all motion (in the same way that air is the medium for sound.)
Curvature (of space-time), which changes with velocity. This preserves the constancy of the speed of light for all observers, no matter how fast they may be moving relative to one another.
no physical medium. Light moves in a wave pattern without the need of any medium. ... Light is made up of many photons, but each photon moves as a wave. This is not true of air or water waves, where each molecule moves up and down.

Mathis and Einstein both agree that light waves are not analogous to sound waves--there is no “ether” through which light moves. They just disagree on the mechanics of how. Einstein bends space-time in order to preserve the constancy of c. Mathis adopts an electric field generated by all matter, in much the same way that all matter generates a gravitational field. Both systems are consistent. Both systems preserve the constancy of “c” for all observers. It is just a question of which system best fits our observed data.

I don’t expect to fully convince anyone of Mathis’s theories in this entry.. I had to check and recheck the math many times myself before gaining enough confidence that I’m not wasting everyone’s time. Now, I am confident that his work deserves consideration.

A quick google of “evidence for time dilation” or “evidence for length contraction” will show that experiments to confirm the precise values of the Lorentz equations. are (unsurprisingly) quite hard to set up! So while relativity is certainly experimentally confirmed to exist, the exact values of relativistic have a far less solid footing. The following chart compares Mathis’s equations to the Lorentz equations.

So even at 10% of c, Mathis predicts a far greater distortion of the image. However, 10% of c is still an incredibly fast speed (30,000 km / s) and so these measurements are incredibly hard to confirm to the necessary degree of accuracy.

I won’t go through all of the proposed confirmations of einstein’s equations, because Mathis has already done some of this, and my own prejudice is that 20th century physics abandoned the project of scientific objectivity, and became co-opted by the market for academic credentials. Ask me and I’ll post the links to Mathis’s responses to the common claims of confirmations of Einstein’s relativity equations in the comments. Also, please ask for further clarifications in the comments, and I will try to answer promptly.
Thanks, Tom


  1. Isn't Miles Mathis the guy who thinks pi=4? If he can't even get that right, then why should we pay attention to any of his silly nonsense?

    1. I could care less of what other theories one has, as long AS at least one is correct...

  2. Yeah it's an awkward way of defining that concept, but he's talking about kinematic situations only.

    Isaac Newton spent the last 20 years of his life reading alchemy, totally ignored the fact that light has a finite speed except for a casual acknowledgment in one of his books on optics, and never even considered how the finite speed of light affected his Mechanics.

    Mathis may have a few awkward passages, which predictably everyone on the internet relentlessly bashes him for, but if you read the actual papers, they are quite well researched and above all there is a deep consistency to their logic, which I find lacking in most of the other readings I've done on physics and mathematics (which I doubled majored in as an undergraduate).

  3. If you majored in physics and mathematics, then you got robbed. I would demand a refund. If you are swallowing the nonsense that Mathis is spouting, then you didn't learn anything in school. Stacked spins are impossible. And Pi doesn't equal 4 in kinematic situations. Mathis is full of crap.

    1. Even if stacked spins were impossible (which Mathis shows they're not - - this does nothing to address all the problems that Mathis brings up about the Lorentz equations and Newton's attributing physical properties to "infinitesimal intervals" in his instantaneous velocities.

    2. If stacked spins were possible, then a baseball could be thrown so that the batter is swinging at a wave. You don't see that very often, do you?

  4. If you honestly believe that pi equals 4, then it should be a trivial matter to propose an experiment to prove it. Christiaan Huygens used a pendulum to study circular motion back in the 1600’s. With today’s technology, it should be breeze to come up with an experiment that will prove, beyond all doubt, that pi equals 4. Mathis can’t propose such an experiment, can you?

    1. I never even mentioned pi on this post. I have no idea why you are bringing it up.

  5. In every equation that includes pi, Mathis has substituted the value of 4. This permeates his entire website, and can be found in dozens of his articles. He uses pi=4 everywhere.

    If he is wrong about pi (and I believe he is), then the bulk of his equations (and their explanations) must also wrong.

    This one error alone is going to sink a major portion of his work. All of the equations will need to be redone, and re-explained.

    That’s why I continue to bring it up. It’s a concept that is critical to all of his theories and equations. Mathis is using pi=4 all throughout his website; in one article after another.

  6. "In every equation that includes pi, Mathis has substituted the value of 4. This permeates his entire website, and can be found in dozens of his articles. He uses pi=4 everywhere."

    Please cite references to this. I've been reading his work on relativity, see here and pi=4 has never come up. Like I said earlier, I've checked, rechecked, doubted and rechecked again, and his analysis does check out in my book.

  7. I don’t have the time or desire to search his entire website. So here is just a partial list of articles that use pi=4. I am sure there are many more, but I don’t want to expend the effort to find them all.

    How do photons travel?

    Redefining the Photon

    The Wavelength and Frequency of Light are Reversed

    Unifying the Electron and the Proton

    The Fine Structure Constant and Planck’s Constant

    The Nuclear Shell Model of Wigner

    The Radius of the Electron is e^2

  8. Gotcha, thanks for the links. What's interested me in Mathis up to this point is his deconstruction of the Lorentz equations, which I find convincing. I have not yet gone over the mathematics of the theory that Mathis uses in place of Lorentz. However, the basic premise that space-time is not bent, and that photons travel through a field generated by both object and observer makes intuitive sense to me. I will try to study up on the moath that Mathis develops and write another blog entry once I've done so.