Crisis at the Foundations of Physics. The Only Way Out

Feb 9, 2023
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Crisis at the Foundations of Physics. Steve Giddings: "We face a crisis within the deepest foundations of physics. The only way out seems to involve profound revision of fundamental physical principles." https://www.edge.org/response-detail/23857

What scientific idea is ready for retirement? Steve Giddings: "Spacetime. Physics has always been regarded as playing out on an underlying stage of space and time. Special relativity joined these into spacetime...The apparent need to retire classical spacetime as a fundamental concept is profound." https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25477

"Special relativity is based on the observation that the speed of light is always the same, independently of who measures it, or how fast the source of the light is moving with respect to the observer. Einstein demonstrated that as an immediate consequence, space and time can no longer be independent, but should rather be considered a new joint entity called "spacetime." https://www.bowdoin.edu/news/2015/04/physics-professor-baumgarte-describes-100-years-of-gravity.html

The only way out is to "retire" Einstein's 1905 constant-speed-of-light falsehood, no?

"He opened by explaining how Einstein's theory of relativity is the foundation of every other theory in modern physics and that the assumption that the speed of light is constant is the foundation of that theory." http://www.thegreatdebate.org.uk/VSLRevPrnt.html
 
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The speed of light VARIES with the speed of the emitter, as posited by Newton's theory

main-qimg-f10f1c25528a4e5edc9bae200640f31c-pjlq


and unequivocally proved by the Michelson-Morley experiment:

"Emission theory, also called emitter theory or ballistic theory of light, was a competing theory for the special theory of relativity, explaining the results of the Michelson–Morley experiment of 1887...The name most often associated with emission theory is Isaac Newton. In his corpuscular theory Newton visualized light "corpuscles" being thrown off from hot bodies at a nominal speed of c with respect to the emitting object, and obeying the usual laws of Newtonian mechanics, and we then expect light to be moving towards us with a speed that is offset by the speed of the distant emitter (c ± v)." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emission_theory

Banesh Hoffmann, Einstein's co-author, admits that, originally ("without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations"), the Michelson-Morley experiment was compatible with Newton's variable speed of light, c'=c±v, and incompatible with the constant speed of light, c'=c:

"Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it. And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether." Banesh Hoffmann, Relativity and Its Roots, p.92 https://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its-Roots-Banesh-Hoffmann/dp/0486406768

It is easy to see that, given the formula

(speed of light) = (wavelength)(frequency)

variable speed of light as per Newton implies constant wavelength. If the death of physics is not irreversible, the fundamental axiom of future, Einstein-free physics will be

The wavelength of light is constant (depends only on the nature of the emitting substance and is constant otherwise).

Corollaries of "The wavelength of light is constant":

Corollary 1: Any frequency shift entails (is caused by) a proportional speed-of-light shift.

Corollary 2: If the emitter and the observer travel towards each other with relative speed v, the speed of light relative to the observer is c' = c+v, as posited by Newton's theory.

Corollary 3: Spacetime and gravitational waves (ripples in spacetime) don't exist. LIGO's "discoveries" are fakes.

Corollary 4: Light falls in a gravitational field with the same acceleration as ordinary falling bodies - near Earth's surface the accelerations of falling photons is g = 9.8 m/s^2. Accordingly, there is no gravitational time dilation.

Corollary 5: The so-called cosmological (Hubble) redshift is due to the speed of light gradually slowing down as light travels through vacuum, in a non-expanding universe.

Corollary 6: The dark sky in the Olbers' paradox can be explained by two facts. 1. Low-speed, high-redshifted light (known as CMB), coming from very distant sources, is invisible. 2. Beyond a certain distance, the star light does not reach us at all (its speed relative to us is reduced to zero).
 
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Sometimes it appears that establishment physicists are willing to resurrect physics but this is illusory (they have just discovered that shouting "Einstein is wrong" from time to time is profitable and converts their books into bestsellers):

"Was Einstein wrong? The idea of a variable speed of light, championed by an angry young scientist, could one day topple Einstein's theory of relativity...The speed of light might not be constant at all. Shock, horror! Does this mean the next Great Revolution in Science is just around the corner?" http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/waseinsteinwrong/

"Was Einstein wrong? Do we have to kill off the theory of space and time to make sense of the universe?" https://space.com/end-of-einstein-space-time

"Lee [Smolin] and I discussed these paradoxes at great length for many months, starting in January 2001. We would meet in cafés in South Kensington or Holland Park to mull over the problem. THE ROOT OF ALL THE EVIL WAS CLEARLY SPECIAL RELATIVITY. All these paradoxes resulted from well known effects such as length contraction, time dilation, or E=mc^2, all basic predictions of special relativity." Joao Magueijo, Faster Than the Speed of Light, p. 250 http://www.amazon.com/Faster-Than-Speed-Light-Speculation/dp/0738205257

"You want to go back to a notion of space-time that preceded the 20th century, and it wants to ignore the essential lessons about space-time that the 20th century has taught us." Joao Magueijo: "Yes, that's right. So it's nouveau-Newtonian." https://pirsa.org/16060116?t=3211

"...Dr. Magueijo said. "We need to drop a postulate, perhaps the constancy of the speed of light." http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/31/science/e-and-mc2-equality-it-seems-is-relative.html

Joao Magueijo, Niayesh Afshordi, Stephon Alexander: "So we have broken fundamentally this Lorentz invariance which equates space and time...It is the other postulate of relativity, that of constancy of c, that has to give way."
View: https://youtu.be/kbHBBtsrU1g?t=1431


"Einstein introduced a new notion of time, more radical than even he at first realized. In fact, the view of time that Einstein adopted was first articulated by his onetime math teacher in a famous lecture delivered one century ago. That lecture, by the German mathematician Hermann Minkowski, established a new arena for the presentation of physics, a new vision of the nature of reality redefining the mathematics of existence. The lecture was titled Space and Time, and it introduced to the world the marriage of the two, now known as spacetime. It was a good marriage, but lately physicists passion for spacetime has begun to diminish. And some are starting to whisper about possible grounds for divorce." https://www.sciencenews.org/article/its-likely-times-are-changing

"Was Einstein wrong? At least in his understanding of time, [Lee] Smolin argues, the great theorist of relativity was dead wrong. What is worse, by firmly enshrining his error in scientific orthodoxy, Einstein trapped his successors in insoluble dilemmas." https://www.amazon.com/Time-Reborn-Crisis-Physics-Universe-ebook/dp/B009JWCQMK

Nima Arkani-Hamed: "Almost all of us believe that spacetime doesn't really exist, spacetime is doomed and has to be replaced..."
View: https://youtu.be/U47kyV4TMnE?t=369


Philip Ball: "And by making the clock's tick relative - what happens simultaneously for one observer might seem sequential to another - Einstein's theory of special relativity not only destroyed any notion of absolute time but made time equivalent to a dimension in space: the future is already out there waiting for us; we just can't see it until we get there. This view is a logical and metaphysical dead end, says [Lee] Smolin." http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jun/10/time-reborn-farewell-reality-review

"Bye bye space-time: is it time to free physics from Einstein's legacy?" https://www.newscientist.com/articl...t-time-to-free-physics-from-einsteins-legacy/

"Rethinking Einstein: The end of space-time...Horava, who is at the University of California, Berkeley, wants to rip this fabric apart and set time and space free from one another..." https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727721-200-rethinking-einstein-the-end-of-space-time/

"...says John Norton, a philosopher based at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Norton is hesitant to express it, but his instinct - and the consensus in physics - seems to be that space and time exist on their own. The trouble with this idea, though, is that it doesn't sit well with relativity, which describes space-time as a malleable fabric whose geometry can be changed by the gravity of stars, planets and matter." https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026831.500-what-makes-the-universe-tick

Nobel Laureate David Gross observed, "Everyone in string theory is convinced...that spacetime is doomed. But we don't know what it's replaced by." https://www.edge.org/response-detail/26563

Here is the crucial confession that explains everything:

"The whole of physics is predicated on the constancy of the speed of light," Joao Magueijo, a cosmologist at Imperial College London and pioneer of the theory of variable light speed, told Motherboard. "So we had to find ways to change the speed of light without wrecking the whole thing too much." https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8q87gk/light-speed-slowed
 
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Peter Woit regularly announces the death of fundamental physics but hates incompetent (in his view) outsiders who want to resurrect his science:

"Fundamental physical theory may now be over, replaced with a pseudo-science, but at least that means that things in this subject can't get any worse." https://math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=12604

"As seems increasingly all too possible, we're now at an endpoint of fundamental physics." http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9444

"There's a very real danger...that we will in our lifetimes see the end of fundamental physics as a human endeavor." http://math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=8392

"As far as this stuff goes, we're now not only at John Horgan's "End of Science", but gone past it already and deep into something different." http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=7266

If you are inside the rotten corpse, Peter Woit, how do you know that people outside it are incompetent?