Clock Dilation: a better explanation of Einstein's Relativity Theories
(for Neil deGrasse Tyson, who knows what he knows)
Copyright 2015, John Manimas Medeiros
The essential elements of my version of the relativity theories are as follows:
A) Time is a fiction of consciousness.
Time is the counting of regular intervals between the repetition of cyclical events. We create time. Time does not exist independently in any way that is distinguished or separate from the operation of the human mind. Nature does not need time measurements or time records in order to be or accomplish all that it does. Nature is only process, not records. Minds, or detectors, or sensors, which exist as part of Nature, can create and maintain records, which are invariably measurements of time because the word "record" means the same thing as "memory" or "history" or description of an event that can and will occur more than once. We cannot and have not ever made a record of an event that occurred only once because we have no idea what an event that occurred only once would be. Possibly the beginning of the universe occurred only once, but we cannot detect a record or memory of that event. We can only infer what the beginning of the universe may have been. We cannot make a record of the end of the universe, because we will not exist after that end event is completed. There will be no one or no place to create or maintain a record if everything no longer exists. Therefore, all events that we might detect and create a record of are those events that occur after the beginning and before the end of the universe. Within these two extreme limits, everything that we observe occurs cyclically, that is, all events that we observe repeat, and a significant percentage of the events that we see (detect by our vision) occur through a process of regular intervals of time, such as the movements of celestial bodies and the tides of the oceans. No scientist can measure time or define time as something other than the counting of cyclical events. To argue that time exists of itself, independently of matter or force or space, is a form of magical thinking. And, when one looks for intelligible and accessible summaries of physics, the explanations offered do in fact appear to support magical thinking, because they propose that time behaves weirdly simply because that is the way the universe is. Such explanations of physics propose that time varies in human experience and the variations are determined by the effects of gravitational force or by the effects of changes in velocity -- traveling near or at or greater than the velocity of light. I have a better explanation. Time, being only the counting of intervals, does not change, but the clock changes because our vision or detection of the clock changes. The clock itself, the intervals between repeated cyclical events does not change, but our vision of the clock changes and therefore our perception of the clock changes. Thus, a person traveling at the velocity of light detects different intervals, and thereby creates a different memory or record of the time elapsed, BUT THE TIME THAT HAS REALLY ELAPSED IS THE SAME THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE.
B) Space-time is the same thing as Space with time being a fiction of consciousness.
The conforming physicists and science writers state that time does really dilate and therefore as a result of this REAL PHENONMENON a person traveling at the velocity of light will age only a few years while a person traveling at a much slower velocity will have aged many years. This is in fact "magical" in the pure sense that these two people will each experience a similar duration of time, but one will age much more than the other, as though time has unfolded faster for them. In other words, the person traveling at the high velocity will age ten years, and the other person traveling at the slow velocity will age one-hundred years, or be deceased, and these two events will both occur simultaneously, which means AT THE SAME TIME. So, the person who traveled at the veclocity of light returns from their trip, ten years older, and the friend or spouse that they left waiting for their return has aged one-hundred years, and is either maintained by some very powerful cosmetic technology or is deceased. There they are, together, the astronaut and the friend or spouse left behind. They are there, the living astronaut standing at the gravesite, AT THE SAME TIME. But how can it be the same time when each of them has experienced time differently. This is magical thinking proposed by mainstream physicists. They really do insist that this is the way the real, physical universe works.
What the conforming physicists say (Wikipedia):
"Time dilation explains why two working clocks will report different times after different accelerations. For example, International Space Station astronauts return from missions having aged slightly less than they would have been if they had remained on Earth, and GPS satellites work because they adjust for similar bending of spacetime to coordinate with systems on Earth.
An accurate clock at rest with respect to one observer may be measured to tick at a different rate when compared to a second observer's own equally accurate clocks. This effect arises neither from technical aspects of the clocks nor from the fact that signals need time to propagate, but from the nature of spacetime itself."
C) What I say: (J Manimas explanation): Notice that the first paragraph says "two working clocks will report different times … ." But no clock "reports" time. I insist with equal force that no time identified by any physicists is something other than the counting of a cyclical event. The second paragraph says something very different from a clock "reporting" time. It says the clock of one observer may be "measured to tick at a different rate" when compared to a "second observer's own equally accurate clock." The key here is that every clock, including all clocks that are equally accurate, are "measured" and no clock is a measurement of "ticks." A mechanical clock creates the sound that we call a "tick" for each second because it is manufactured of mechanical parts to approximate 1/84,600th part of a solar day. Our counting of time began with the Sun and the Moon, not with any event that occurs within the interval of one second or one minute or one hour. Again, the conforming physicists insist that the different measurements experienced by the two different travelers is not due to either "technical aspects of the clocks" nor because "signals need time to propagate" but because of the nature of spacetime itself. So then, according to the conforming physicists, the nature of spacetime is magical. And I am here to tell you that the reason the conforming physicists are forced into this position is because they have not dealt effectively with the meaning of time. They have not overtly acknowledged that "time" is a clock and only a clock. If time is, as I say it is, a fiction of consciousness and nothing more than the counting of cyclical intervals, then there is only space, matter and process. And, the time that fascinates and hypnotizes us is only something that a calculating, learning observer needs in order to make and maintain records of events that have occurred. This recording and record keeping is necessary in order for a living organism to be able to learn and remember and function as a technological animal, which is what we are.
The key to understanding Einstein's description of time relativity is in the re-examination of the two clocks and formulating a logical and accessible calculation of the perception of time dilation. When the space traveler is designated as a light-speed traveler, we have set up the "experiment" where one person is traveling at a measurable percentage of the velocity of light COMPARED to another person. The other person is designated as the STILL person because the still person is remaining stationary relative to the space traveler, or each of the two persons relative to a third object. So then, we have the still person, with a specified clock, and we have the space traveler also with the same kind of specified clock that is traveling with the space traveler at the same velocity as the space traveler. THEREFORE, we have four elements in the experiment, not two. We have 1) a still person; and 2) a still clock; and 3) a space traveling person; and 4) a space traveling clock. THEN, add the condition of time, or the definition of time that I perceive and propose: time is inseparable from a clock, and a clock is a means to count regular intervals of a cyclical event. There is no independent entity that is time. Time is an artifact of intelligent or conscious thought, and exists in thought only because it is necessary in order to learn, in order to create and maintain records or memories of events that occur within the processes of Nature. Now then, when the still person and the space traveler each perform the similar function, in the experiment, of each using their own clock that accompanies them, they each observe or measure the same span of time. Person #1 observes clock #2, and person #3 observes clock #4. Each records a measurement of ten (10) years. BUT, precisely because of the propagation of the visible medium of perception, light, IF the space traveler #3 observes instead the still clock #2, the span of each repeated interval will dilate by a specified but precise percentage and therefore yield (a "report") of a different span of total time elapsed over the full course of the experiment. At a particular percentage of the velocity of light, the span of each repeated interval (of the cyclical event) will dilate or expand by 10 times, to one hundred years. At a multiple of 7.3 times, the repeated intervals will expand to 73 years, or at a multiple of 6.15 the repeated intervals will expand to 61.5 years, and so forth, over the full course of the experiment. This explanation is rational, and calculable, and not magical. There is an accessible and logical reason for the two distinct measurements of time, and the reason is precisely because of the fact that signals need time to propagate. I do not know why scientists persist in ignoring this inescapable reality. It is an immovable fact of physics that we do not detect a signal until it reaches our sensory detector, regardless of whether the detector is organic (a human eye), or a manufactured artifice (radar).
D) Clock "dilation" is the reality of relativity.
I say that the mainstream physicists' explanation is bad science and destructive science because it leads us away from understanding reality as it really is. I say that I understand Einstein better than they do, because I see that the "space-time" of Einstein is actually the same thing as my view of time as a fiction of consciousness. Time is in reality properly explained above in "A" and "B" as measurement of the process of Nature. Our organic brains and any artificial sensor that can create and maintain records, or memories, such as a computer, does just that, creates a record of an event that occurred and invariably includes a specified time for when that event occurred. How could we or any intelligence possess a record of something that occurred with no time specified. Not possible. An event that occurred at no time did not occur and therefore it is not a record or a memory. Further, ask yourself a very important question. If it is true that all time is only a clock and all clocks are simply measurements of intervals between cyclical events, then WHAT KINDS OF CYCLICAL EVENTS DO WE USE TO SERVE AS OUR MEASUREMENTS OF TIME? Do we use regular cyclical events that we SEE, or regular cyclical events that we HEAR? It will be difficult or impossible to identify a traditional clock that is comprised of the counting of cyclical sounds. The clocks we have used up until very recently have all been comprised of the counting of cyclical events that we SEE, that is, events that we detect with our vision and that means of course events that we detect by means of the propagation of LIGHT. This is why our brains are stuck on there being an intimate or fixed relationship between time and light. The conforming physicists insist that this phenomenon is AN ACTUAL DIFFERENCE IN THE DURATION OF TIME FOR THE TWO PERSONS and NOT a difference that is due to the time it takes for us to detect moving objects or because of changes in the clocks. They are wrong and my offer of proof is simple. All the physicists have to do is define time as an independent entity that has a real, physical existence in and of itself. Describe how time can be measured by some means other than counting intervals. Describe how time can be sliced and diced and sautéed with onions. Describe how you can walk on a long piece of time or cut out a small square of time and use it to patch a hole in your shoe. All the physicists have to do is identify a person who has traveled from the past, or the future, and is here with us now for some political, technical or spiritual purpose. My other works here include entertaining descriptions of why traveling into the past to change the present and future is ridiculous as well as impossible. There is no phenomenon that changes the memories of all humans instantaneously. Time is not magical. Einstein knew he was misunderstood, but he had grown accustomed to being misunderstood.
E) A simpler universe is consistent with Occam's Razor.
The universe is substantially simpler than the obscure and magical descriptions offered by the conforming physicists. I think they have that old human motivation of wanting to be seen as important, even indispensable. If ordinary people can understand how the universe works, then we do not need physicists. Could that be their motivation? And, can we use the science of psychology to examine the minds of physicists, or is that a violation of their protected institutional status? Is science separate from or above politics? Never. That's the human condition and human problem. For further understanding, study Jesus' parables, in particular what he says about authority and how people with authority behave (Matthew 23).
F) Aging is not a process of time alone:
The conforming physicists' statements about aging at different rates is defective also because of a defective use of the meaning of "aging." To age, or grow old, is not simply a measurement of the passage of time, or a time span, but is more accurately a measure of changes in a living organism, or even in a non-living object, that occur because of specified experience and not simply an elapse of time. People often hear a report that someone, having experienced a particular form of disease or stressful experience has "aged" rapidly, rather than at a "normal" or expected rate. We do not age only by way of time, but by way of stresses, challenges to our immune systems, exposure to toxins, even exposure to sunlight that causes aging of the skin. Doctors sometimes examine an elder and state that they have "the heart of a thirty-year-old." A space traveler might age substantially faster than a "still" person because of greater exposure to radiation and the effects of prolonged isolation and weightlessness even with access to exercise or a mechanically produced substitute for the gravity of mass. A 2010 car that has 200,000 miles on the odometer is older than a 2010 car that has 100,000 miles. These facts mean that a comparison of the "age" of the two persons in our experiment, the still person and the space traveler, would be more accurate and more scientific when we measure not only the time intervals but also the entire array of physical experiences of each person. In any case of age comparisons, both will have measured the same interval of time. If the space traveler has been gone for ten years on the still person's clock (#2), both the still person and space traveler will have experienced an equal span of ten years of time as measured on clock #2 and clock #4, each clock that accompanied each person. If the space traveler counted the ten years of repeated cyclical events on clock #2, the clock of the still person, the space traveler would still have counted out ten years of "seconds", or "ticks" or regular intervals of the repeated event used by the #2 clock (315,360,000 "ticks"or intervals). Note that in a traditional mechanical clock the repeated cyclical interval is a spring driven mechanical escapement that lengthens gradually due to microscopic wear of the gears and bearings and depletion of the force exerted by the spring. However, the span of each regular interval on the #2 clock would not be perceived or measured or "reported" as the same elapsed time as the span of the #4 clock for the space traveler. Precisely because of the time required for the propagation of visible light, the time elapsed for each detection of each interval on clock #2 by the space traveler, would be expanded by the actual velocity of the space traveler relative to clock #2 (a percentage of the velocity of light). It is only that particular measurement that changes and can be calculated. Both persons in the experiment have experienced the same total span of time or "age" as measured by the same count of clock intervals. It is only the span of each repeated interval counted on still clock #2 by space traveler #4, or if the space traveler #4 uses the still clock #2, that causes a dissonance or distinction in the perception of time measured by person #4 when observing clock #2. In this way, logic and the meaning of calculation are preserved, and there is no magical difference in the aging of each person, precisely because time is the counting of regular cyclical intervals and is not something more or something else or something that exists of itself. IF ANY CLOCK OF ANY KIND REQUIRES THE SEEING OR DETECTING OF AN EVENT THAT IS DETECTED BY MEANS OF LIGHT, THE DETECTION OF THE SPAN OF EACH REPEATED REGULAR INTERVAL WILL EXPAND AS THE VELOCITY OF THE VIEWER OR DETECTOR RELATES TO THE VELOCITY OF LIGHT WITH RESPECT TO THAT CLOCK. That is really a logical and simple conclusion, consistent with Occam's Razor, while the conforming physicist's insistence that each person in the experiment will really be a different age because of "the nature of spacetime itself" is magical science fiction.
G) The reverse or space clock "shrinking" is the same.
If we reverse the comparison, and state that the clock #4 that is traveling with the space traveler at a percentage of the velocity of light SLOWS DOWN or "reports" a time that is shrunken and therefore a shorter span than the still clock #2, there is no meaningful change in the result. If clock #4 slows down, then it produces fewer intervals to count over the same total span of elapsed time. There may be fewer intervals counted out on clock #4 over the full span that clock #2 counts out ten years (315,360,000 intervals), but the length (time span) of each interval in clock #4 will be longer, and the larger count of shorter intervals in clock #2 will equal the same total time span as the lesser count of longer intervals in clock #4. Another way of stating my understanding of the light travel relativity theories, is that if each person in the experiment carries the same clock, then each person "ages" or experiences 315,360,000 intervals, or in any case with any clock the same count of intervals. Perceptions and detections must change for each person in the experiment because sensory detection of an event or signal requires an elapsed time, and that elapsed time is inescapably changed by a person's velocity. Just go back to view the film or read the novel The Hunt for Red October. A submarine navigator infers the distance of an object from the submarine, such as another submarine, by the time it takes for the sonar signal to travel to that other object and back. Logical, says Mr. Spock, perfectly logical. The time span for the sound to travel out and back would be dilated if the detecting submarine were traveling at the velocity of light, or even if it were traveling at the velocity of sound. The overwhelming problem with the conforming version of "the nature of spacetime itself" is that it is not consistent with the physical requirements of detection and measurement. Nothing can be measured or detected except by a medium of perception or a medium of detection. We still have not determined how a star that is five light-years away might be able to communicate with us in some way that takes less than five years. An exchange of "Hello there" followed by "Hello back at ya" would take ten years. The same institutional body of scientists that promotes the magical "nature of spacetime itself" continues to teach the contradictory concept of the moving train whistle. We have the common concrete experience of a train whistle sounding different when it is moving toward the detector (our human ears) than when it is moving away from the detector. Science teachers use this experience to teach science in our schools. But no scientist says that the train whistle experience occurs because of "the nature of spacetime itself." The changes detected in the train whistle are clearly due to the calculable lengths in the travel distances of the sound waves, sound being the MEDIUM OF DETECTION or medium of perception. The fundamental principle of science is that Nature is consistent and therefore comprehensible. Good science must reveal the consistency of Nature. The manner in which our detections of light vary when a person is traveling at the velocity of light must be similar in mathematical form to the manner in which a person would hear (detect) a train whistle if that person were traveling away from the train at the velocity of sound. The inconsistency of scientists is the primary cause of the public rejection of science. You, philosopher of science, are responsible for the social, economic and political results. Do not teach us that the world is awesomely wonderful and fantastic, because we already know that. Your job is to explain the wonder with consistent logic. Extraordinary power requires extraordinary responsibility.
There is still time…
The new "Centauri" clock:
Here is one more try to convince the conforming scientists. This time, let me be the scientist of time and clocks. Imagine we have made great technological progress and can now travel at the velocity of light. The Alpha Centauri star group is about 4.5 light years from Earth, just as we had previously measured. Since we are now in a new age, and we are measuring greater distances in a new way, we decided to create a new measure of time, or a NEW CLOCK. For space travelers, the new clock is designed to use the approximate time it takes to travel to Alpha Centauri and back as the new single unit of distance, and time, used for the calculation of space traveling distances. Just like we used to say from Boston to New York takes three days (riding in a horse-drawn carriage) we now say that Earth to Alpha Centauri and back is "one Centauri" which we designate as the equivalent of 9 years on a traditional Earth clock. So then, one group of space travelers goes to star M (at light speed) and that trip takes 5 Centauris, and another group travels to Star T and that trip takes 8 Centauris. Another group of people just lives an old-fashioned life on Earth for that period of 8 Centauris, the equivalent of 72 Earth years. So, please explain, in clear, logical language, why the group on Earth has aged more than 72 years or more than 8 Centauris. Or, the space travelers took the latest model of space ship and travelled at twice the velocity of light. Then why did the group on Earth age more than the 36 years of the voyage? The best explanation of the relativity theories is that time is a fiction of consciousness. Time is a clock and only a clock. Spacetime is only an internally measured record and spactime does not exist externally in the real, physical universe. The real, physical universe has only space and process. Nature does not make records of the past, only brains or intelligent machines make records, and the reason they make records is so that they can learn how the processes of nature operate, which is a very powerful trait to have for the enhancement of survival in the real space of the real universe, where the same things occur over and over again, in cycles, and some of the cyclical intervals are exactly the same between each occurrence of the cyclical event. That is the clock measurement that we make. But Nature does not make any time measurements because time measurements serve no useful purpose, unless you are keeping a record of an event that you observed and you plan to use that record in order to survive the next time that same event occurs. Or, you might want to make that event occur where and when you want it to occur, which is what we call "manufacturing" or "technology."
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