Frequently Asked Questions about
Dimensions of Einstein's Space and Time
( Last checked 2017/01/15 - The estate of Paul Marmet )
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Series #16 - Space and Time
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Question - (1-A)
Is Time a "Physical" Dimension?
A. - No. In a description of the physical nature of matter, everything in physics can be described in a space having a width, a depth, and a height. Nothing more is necessary. Of course, such a description can be different later. A new three-dimensional description might be necessary after a given time interval. That description can also vary as a function of temperature and various other parameters. It exists no physical description in a mathematical equation being able to transform "one second" into "meters" (or vice versa) (called space-time transformation). Mathematics is a tool to predict numerical parameters. Mathematics does not give a physical description of phenomena. Mathematics is not physics. Just try to explain to a friend how to proceed to make a physical transformation of a "space" into "time" (space-time transformation). Mathematically it is easy. You simply write "Space" = "Time". Physically, it is non-sense. It is not because you can write a mathematical formula relating numbers of units that a physical reality exists. A mathematical relationship between numbers is NOT a physical process. A mathematical relationship between numbers is not the "Cause" of any phenomenon. It is a tool giving predictions. Do not confuse a tool making predictions (mathematics) with the physical mechanism itself.
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Question - (1-B)
How many physical dimensions are necessary to give a complete description of all matter in the universe?
A. - Three dimensions.
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Question - (1-C)
In physics, we saw that an important condition requires using Proper Values. What is the meaning of Proper Values?
A - When an observer moves from one frame to another, the Proper Value of Time is the number of units of time (using local clock) the local standard unit (of time) is needed by this local observer to measure the local time. In the case of length, the Proper Value of length is the number of times the Local Standard Meter must be used to represent the length measured.
The need of using proper values is explained in the book: "Einstein's Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics." In the paper: "A Detailed Classical Description of the Advance of the Perihelion of Mercury", we see that using proper values with Newton's physics, we find the correct value of the advance of the perihelion of Mercury without any need of Einstein's principles of relativity.
The proper value is always the number (of units) measured at the location where the physical interaction takes place. Inside atoms, the proper value is therefore the number of units which exists at the particular location where the element of the particle is located.
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Question - (1-D)
Why does the local observer (in a moving frame) not use the same universal standard meter (and standard clock) as defined everywhere else (instead of his local meter and local clock)?
A - Because he is unable to do it. The only standard meter (or standard clock) available to him in his local frame is necessarily different from the one in the initial frame because it has been moved (accelerated). In order to make a measurement, the observer must carry the universal meter (and the universal standard clock) from the original frame to his local frame. When he does this moving, the universal standard meter (and the universal standard clock) changes its velocity when carried from the universal frame to the local frame. Therefore ENERGY is given to the atoms (and electrons) of his universal standard meter (and universal clock). This change of energy given to the atoms of his standard meter (during the change of frame) changes the Bohr radius of the atoms, which changes the real physical length of the universal standard meter (and the rate of the standard clock). Therefore, when the local observer makes a measurement, the local meter and the local clock are different from what it was before the moving. This is what we take into account in our book (Einstein's Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics). There are neither space contraction nor time dilation, however the units of time and length on the moving frame are necessarily different as explained above.An important application of this principle is used in the paper: "A Detailed Classical Description of the Advance of the Perihelion of Mercury".
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Question - (1-E)
Using local units, will an observer measuring the Proper Values of his own height, find a different value, after moving to another frame?
A. - No. He finds the same number of units. Of course, his own height has changed. However, the number of units are the same because the length to be measured (the moving observer) has moved as well as the meter used for the measurement. When moving to a different frame, the standard meter changes by the same amount as the height of the human body, since they both (the body and the standard meter) are submitted to the same change of velocity and the same change of gravitational potential. The Bohr radius changes by the same ratio for both the observer and the standard meter.
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Question - (1-F)
If we move from Earth to the orbit of Mercury (always neglecting the mass of Mercury), will we find that the number of units giving the size (of an external body) of the Sun (using Mercury proper values) is the same as measured from Earth (using Earth proper values)?
A. - No. Because now, the size of the meter carried out with the observer from Earth to Mercury's orbit, does change. Of course, the actual size of the Sun does not change because an observer moved from Earth's orbit to Mercury's orbit.
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Question - (1-G)
We read in many books that Newton's physics does not lead to the so-called "Relativistic Corrections". What is wrong about Newton's Physics (as applied usually)?
A. - The principle of mass-energy conservation has not been fully applied in the past when using Newton's physics. This is explained in more details in "chapter one" of the Book: Einstein's Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics".
Here is an example. Let us give a kinetic energy "Ek" to a mass having an initial mass Mo. The initial mass Mo becomes slightly larger, due to that increase of kinetic energy (which possesses mass). From the relationship Ek=Mkc2, the mass increase is: Mk=Ek/c2. The final moving mass Mf is then:
Mf= Mo + Mk = Mo+ Ek/c2
It is that small increase of mass (Ek/c2) which has been neglected in the past and which renders Newton's physics compatible with all observations without using Einstein's hypotheses of relativity.
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Question - (1-H)
If we now take into account the increase of mass due to kinetic energy, can we then use Newton's equations to predict all observations?
A. - Something else is still missing. Potential energy, which is energy, must also be taken into account. For example, when we give (potential) energy to raise a mass against the gravitational potential, we also have given energy to that mass. This is explained in chapter one of the book Einstein's Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics, chapter one.
Due to potential energy Ep, there is an increase of mass "Mp" given by:
Mp = Ep/c2
The final mass including "Kinetic Energy" Mk and "Potential Energy" Mp is then:
Mf = Mo+ Ek/c2 + Ep/c2
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Question - (1-I)
Is there any other kind of energy (other than kinetic and gravitational potential) that also contributes to increase the mass of bodies?
A. - Yes, ALL forms of energy contribute to an increase of mass. The principle of mass-energy conservation is "always" valid. No exception, ever. We can have gravitational energy, kinetic energy, electrostatic energy, magnetic energy, nuclear energy, and any other form of energy. In fact, after considering gravitational energy and kinetic energy, electrostatic energy has also been considered in chapters three and eleven of the Book: "Einstein's Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics" when calculating the change of Bohr radius and clock rates. However, in some problems, the change of other energies (electrostatic, magnetic, nuclear, etc.) is not always directly relevant, so that we can solve more easily many problems considering only kinetic and gravitational energies. However, one must keep in mind that, not using all forms of energy is an approximation, which is not necessarily valid.
One must also understand that this change of mass must be carefully taken into account everywhere in physics. This strict application of mass-energy conservation will solve the problems usually attributed to relativity even when applied to atomic, molecular, and nuclear and particle physics. There is an interesting challenge to apply this physical and logical solution of strict mass-energy conservation to the problem of internal structure of matter.
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Question - (1-J)
We know that Einstein's definition of time is what clocks are showing. Do we use the same definition of time? If not, why not?
A - We have seen that due to the change of electron mass, the rate shown by clocks changes when they are carried to another frame having a different energy. It is not acceptable to believe, as Einstein, that time runs faster just because clocks run at a faster rate. The clock rate depends on a physical mechanism and "Time" does not change because the clock rate is different. In our work, the change of clock rate is taken into account and is considered to be due to the change of electron mass (which changes its motion rate). For practical reasons, inside a moving frame, the "clock rate" can be called: "Local time" or "Apparent time". However, it is not real "Time" at all. It just means "clock rate". Then we see that the variables "t" or "T" do not represent time. These variables represent "local clock rates".
Real "Time" is an arbitrary defined reference rate, which is defined as the particular "clock rate" of a clock in which the physical parameters have been carefully defined. All clocks rates, in any frame, can be compared with this absolute standard. These main physical parameters requested are its gravitational potential and its absolute velocity. The absolute definition of that standard is given in the Book: Einstein's Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics.
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Question - (1-K)
In this work, within any individual frame, using proper values, we must substitute the "clock rate" instead of the variable, which was previously called time "t". What physical phenomena lead us to do that?
A - There are at least two direct reasons that led us to consider that Newton's laws of physics are not really directly related with "time", but evolves only as a function of local "clock rate".
1 - For Newton as for Einstein, they did not know that the clock rate was changing when energy was given to atoms and electrons inside matter. However, Einstein used the "clock rate" even if he did not specify it directly, since he was using a "time" that he defined as being the local clock rate. The information about the change of clock rate requires a level of knowledge of atomic structure of matter that did not exist in 1905. The crucial information needed came from de Broglie discovery on the wavelength of matter-waves. Consequently, without the relevant knowledge of atomic structure, there was no alternative available, and the only variable available at that time was "Time".
2 - At the beginning of the century, more precise experiments with light, have shown that physical laws were invariant within any frame of reference. However, without knowing that clock rates were changing due to mass-energy conservation, it was assumed that time itself was changing. At that time, there was then no possibility to see that "Time" was not the correct concept represented by "t" in classical mechanics. Einstein had to make new hypotheses while the same correction (of clock rate) can be obtained without any hypotheses using de Broglie description on the wavelength of particles. Einstein did not have the correct tools (e.g. wavelength of matter) at his time to get the realistic solution to that problem. It appears unsuitable that Einstein defined "Time" as the observed "clock rate".
Furthermore, since that clock rate is changing with energy, it is abnormal to believe that real "time" is changing just because clocks are changing their rate. Something must be wrong. It is more logical to assume that the clock rate is changing because the phenomenon that is responsible for the change of clock rate, is the same as the one that changes the interaction between particles and bodies. More explanations are given in the book: Einstein Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics.
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Question - (1-L)   (IMPORTANT)
When an observer moves to a different frame, we have seen that the number of proper units is different. Therefore, the physics seems to be the same but expressed with different numbers. How can results of Newton's equations REALLY BE PHYSICALLY DIFFERENT because of these transformations of units! Give a typical example to illustrate that the local observer will get a different realistic physical answer although he uses the same Newton's physics all the time?
A - It is obvious that the simple transformation of physical quantities from one system to another, followed by the inverse transformation leads to the same original parameters and exactly the same physics. Absolutely no physics is involved in the simple transformation of units. This is just a mathematical transformation of physical quantities. This can be illustrated in some examples. For example, let us transform all the parameters (from a rest frame), to the proper values of a body moving around a central force like the Sun. After these parameters have been transformed, giving the proper values of the system in motion, you can verify that the centrifugal force, still equals the gravitational force (using now the moving frame units). This particular physical relationship (mv2/r=Gmm'/r2) is still valid in this moving frame after the transformation giving the new proper values. However, this simple transformation (into the proper units in motion) is quite insufficient to predict the exact shape of the orbit. This is just a simple mathematical transformation of units (into the moving frame units). The interesting point is elsewhere as we will see now.
Let us illustrate the case of an orbiting mass around the Sun. In physics, it is known that the gravitational field around the Sun decreases exactly as the inverse square of the distance. This is certainly correct. This quadratic decreases of the field , leads to Kepler's laws, which predicts that the planetary orbits around the Sun must have an elliptical shape, having axes in a fixed direction in space. It is well known mathematically (see H. Goldstein, Classical Physics, Addison Wesley, Reading Mass, second edition, page 123, 1980) that when the force (and not the field ) is not quadratic, the axis of the ellipse rotates slowly around the Sun. This is called; a precession of the elliptical orbit around the Sun. It is well known mathematically that an orbit with axes having a fixed direction in space is possible only, when the change of force around the central field varies as the inverse of a quadratic function.
Let us note that around the Sun, the "exactly quadratic" decreasing gravitationalfieldis a well-accepted physical fact. However, we have seen that due to the principle of mass-energy conservation, the mass of an orbiting body is different at different distances from the Sun. The mass of a physical body, at the Earth distance, is different from the mass of the same body at Mercury distance. Therefore, even if the field around the Sun is quadratic, the force acting on a mass is not quadratic.
For example, let us consider an observer orbiting the Sun at the Earth distance. Then, he moves to half that distance. He finds that the Sun's gravitational field is increased by exactly four times. However, since the mass of the body has changed due to mass-energy conservation, he will find that the gravitational forces acting on that same body are not quite increased four times because the mass has changed due to mass-energy conservation. Consequently, the force on that body as a function of distance is not quite quadratic. This is one of the phenomena that is responsible for the advance of the perihelion of Mercury.  Furthermore, as explained in the book Einstein's Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics, not only the change of mass, but also the change of proper values of "length" and "clock rate" adds a further contribution to the advance of the perihelion of Mercury as demonstrated in the paper: "A Detailed Classical Description of the Advance of the Perihelion of Mercury".  The change of the proper values of "length" and "clock rate" must also be taken into account. Their physical representation is more subtle but their contributions make a further increase to the advance of the perihelion of Mercury.
Let us note that the relevant parameters must use the variable "t" (or "T") which can be called "local time". However, the variable which must be put in Newton's equations is not "time". It is the local "clock rate" that changes with the energy (where the clock is located).
Unfortunately, it does not seem to exist any physical instrument being able to measure "absolute time" in all frames, (not more than absolute meter or absolute mass) because all clocks change their rate when they are moved to a new frame. The absolute values must be found by calculation.  This is the way Nature is made. However, everything is quite logical (and compatible with common sense).
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space-16.html              Updated Sept.  1999