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 Theories and Theories

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Series #5 -   Theories and Theories
Question - (5-A)
        In order to calculate phenomena involving relativity we use Einstein's equations. For example, let us consider the advance of the perihelion of Mercury. Einstein's equation leads to the observed result. However, even before Einstein, Gerber in 1898 (1) gave an equation giving also the correct prediction. After Gerber and Einstein, several scientists used other mathematical transformations that lead to the same prediction. Some of those scientists are: Von Laue M 1917, Oppenheim S 1917, Seeliger H 1917, Morgan H R 1930, Idelstrom Alex 1948, Brown G B 1958, Nedved R 1994, Renshaw R & Kallefitz W 1996.
Does that mean that we understand relativity?

    A. - In order to understand the physics of relativity, we must understand the main physical mechanism that is responsible for "length contraction" and "time dilation". Do you know which physical mechanism intervene in the atoms of matter (or elsewhere) so that lengths are contracted and time is dilated? Nobody knows. That is the reason for which Einstein said that nobody understands relativity (even if we can make numerical predictions). Including Gerber and Einstein, absolutely none of the eleven authors above give a clue. However, I heard this question repeated so many times by hundreds of people. Anyhow, length contraction and time dilation are considered as the basic phenomena in relativity even if we do not know what happens.
        We can calculate predictions of relativistic phenomena as suggested by the authors above, but no author ever really explained what happens to the atoms. We must conclude that we do not know what is going on.

-------------  Search for an Explanation.--------------
      This question about what is going on inside the atoms of matter, (so that we could find a logical and satisfactory explanation to length contraction and time dilation) is answered in the book: Einstein's Theory of Relativity versus Classical Mechanics".
        In this book, we see that no new hypotheses are needed and that the phenomenon can be explained using Newton's mechanics. We also use the fundamental principle of quantum mechanics, in which matter is formed of matter-waves, as discovered by de Broglie around 1916. This physical description shows how the interatomic distance changes between atoms and also how atomic clocks run at a different rate when we apply correctly the principle of mass-energy conservation.
        Therefore, this book provides the first (and only known) physical description explaining the physics of length contraction and time dilation. This description does not need any of the Einstein's relativity principles, but leads to a realistic explanation of all the phenomena usually explained by relativity.
        This book does not present "another" mathematical theory of relativity as done sometimes in the past. This book gives a realistic physical explanation compatible with Newton's physics.

1-    Die Räumliche und zeitliche Ausbreitung der Gravitation.  Von Paul Gerber.  Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik Vol. 43,  Pages 93-104 (1898).
Also: Paul Gerber, Die Fortplfanzungsgeschwindigkeit der Gravitation, Annalem der Physik, Vol 52, p. 415-444, 1917


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