## CHAPTER 4## Speed LimitsAt this point it will again be advisable to emphasize the purely ,factual nature of the development in this work. Perhaps this may seem to be unnecessary repetition, but many of the conclusions reached in the preceding pages are in conflict with currently accepted theories and concepts – products of human thought – and the general tendency will no doubt be to take it for granted that the new conclusions are similar products. On this basis, the issue presented to the reader would be the relative merits of the two lines of thought. But this is not the situation. This volume deals exclusively with factual material. It describes a type of motion that is known to exist, but has not heretofore been examined in detail. With the benefit of this more complete information it then identifies some known phenomena, the true nature of which has heretofore been unknown, as aspects of this scalar type of motion. All this is purely a matter of recognizing existing features of the physical world. No theories or assumptions are involved. Once the fact that scalar motion exists is recognized, the determination of its properties is a straightforward operation, and the results thereof are equally factual. They do not depend, in any way, on any physical theory, or point of view. As brought out in Chapter 2, one of the significant properties of this type of motion is that, unlike vectorial motion, it is not restricted to one dimension. In a threedimensional universe, scalar motion can take place coincidentally in all three dimensions. The relevance of the foregoing comments in the present
connection is a consequence of the nature of our next objective. We are
now ready to take another step in the development of the properties of
scalar motion, and the results of this extension of knowledge will again
conflict with conclusions that have been reached from current theories.
Scientists are understandably reluctant to abandon theories of long standing
if this can possibly be avoided. It is important, therefore, to realize
that we are not confronting the accepted theories with other theories,
we are confronting these current theories with some newly established
Of course, it is always painful to find that some idea or theory to which we have long been committed is wrong, and it is particularly distressing when the idea or theory is one that has been successfully defended against strong attacks in the past. The situation that will be discussed in this chapter is one of this nature, but the blow will be cushioned to some extent, as the rejection of the prevailing ideas is not total. We do not find that the theory currently accepted is wrong; we merely find that it claims too much. It has its field of applicability, but that field is considerably narrower than has heretofore been believed. The question that we will now address is what, if any, limitations exist on speed magnitudes. The prevailing opinion is that the speed of light is an absolute maximum that cannot be exceeded. This opinion is based (1) on experiments, (2) on a theoretical analysis by Einstein, and (3) on the absence of any observation accepted as evidence of greater speeds. The experiments, originally carried out by Bücherer and Kaufmann, and repeated by many other investigators, involved accelerating electrons and other particles to high speeds by electrical means. It was found that where the applied electric charge is held constant, the acceleration does not remain constant, as Newton’s Second Law of Motion, a = F/m, seems to require. Instead it is found to decrease as a funetion of the speed at a rate indicating that it would reach zero at the speed of light. The conclusion that was drawn from this experiment is that it is impossible to accelerate a physical object to a speed greater than that of light. On first consideration, this conclusion appears to bejustified,
and it has not hitherto been successfully challenged, but thejump from
the particular case to the general principle has been too precipitous.
The electrons and other particles employed in the experiments can probably
be taken as representative of matter in general, but there is certainly
no adequate justification for assuming that the limitations applying to
electrical processes are eclually applicable to physical processes in
general. What the experiments demonstrate, therefore, is not that it is
impossible to accelerate physical objects to speeds in excess of that
of light, but that it is impossible to do so Turning now to the current theoretical view of the situation,
Newton’s Second Law of Motion, The circumstances surrounding scientific developments
tend to be forgotten in the course of time, and it is quite generally
accepted these days that Einstein must have had some reliable basis for
sélecting mass as the variable quantity. An examination of the older textbooks
will show that this was not the understanding closer to Einstein’s
own time. The word “if” figures prominently in the explanations
given in these older texts, as in this quotation from one of them: “If
this decrease is interpreted as an increase of mass with speed, charge
being constant . . .” The reason for this quite cautious attitude toward the assumption was a general realization at the time that too little was known about the nature of electric charges to justify a firm decision in favor of the variable mass alternative. The findings reported in this work now show that this caution was amply justified. We can now see that it is not the charge that enters into the acceleration equation; it is the force aspect of that charge (motion). A constant charge is a constant motion, not a constant force. The existence of the motion results in the existence of a force, a property of the motion, but there is no legitimate basis for assuming that the force aspect of a constant motion is necessarily constant. On the contrary, it seems rather evident that the ability of a motion to cause another motion is limited by its own magnitude. The mathematical expression of Einstein’s theory,
stated in terms of the variable mass concept, has been thoroughly tested,
and is undoubtedly correct. Unfortunately, this validation of the It is much more difficult to validate the interpretation
than to validate the mathematics. As soon as it is shown that the mathematics
are in full agreement with the observed facts, the mathematical task is
complete. Any other mathematical statement that is also in full agreement
with the facts is necessarily eduivalent to the first, and in mathematics
eyuivalent statements are merely alternate ways of saying the same thing.
On the other hand, two different interpretations of the same mathematics
are
The situation that we are now examining is a good example of the kind of thing that Jeans was talking about. Einstein’s theory of high speed motion (that is, his mathematical expression ancl his interpretation thereof) is accepted as having been “confirmed by a large number of experiments,” and it is currently part of the dogma of conventional physics. The truth is, however, that those experiments, no matter how great their number may have been, or how conclusive their results, have confirmed only the mathematical aspects of the theory. The point that now needs to be recognized is that the speed limitation does not come from these confirmed mathematics; it comes from the untested interpretation. If Einstein’s The findings of the scalar motion investigation agree
with the mathematical expression of this theory of Einstein’s, as
they must do, since physical facts do not disagree with other physical
facts, but they indicate that he made the wrong guess when he chose mass
as the variable quantity in the acceleration equation. It is a decrease
in the effective force that accounts for the decrease in acceleration
at high speeds, not an increase in the mass. An interesting point in this
connection is that there is a universal law that bars the mass alternative,
and would have prevented this wrong choice, but unfortunately it has not
been accepted to any significant degree by science, even though it plays
an important role in many other branches of knowledge. This law, the In practical applications, such as the design of particle accelerators, for example, Einstein’s theory is used in the form of a mathematical equation, and his interpretation of the mathematics does not enter into the result. Consequently, those who use the theory are not particularly concerned as to whether the interpretation is correct or not, and it tends to be accepted without any critical consideration. This casual acceptance of the interpretation by the physicists has placed a roadblock in the way of gaining an understanding of phenomena in which speeds greater than that of light are involved. Since, as we have found, the decrease in acceleration is due to a reduction in the effective force of the electric charge, there is nothing in the mathematical relations that would prevent acceleration to higher speeds where means of applying greater forces are available. This conclusion, reached by correcting the interpretation of Einstein’s equation, without affecting the equation itself, is the same conclusion that we reached when we subjected the experimental results to a critical consideration. The mathematics of Einstein’s theory describe the process of acceleration by means of a one–dimensional (electric) force. They do not apply to the maximum possible acceleration by other means. Now let us see how the information about scalar motion
presented in the preceding pages fits in with these revised conclusions
drawn from the acceleration experiments and Einstein’s mathematical
development. There is nothing in the scalar motion development thus far
that requires a speed limit, but neither is there anything that precludes
the existence of such a limit. (The reason for its existence will be derived
from some further properties of scalar motion that will be examined in
the next chapter.) The previous findings are therefore consistent with
the experimental evidence indicating a limit at the speed of light. It
is evident, however, from what has been learned about scalar motion that
this limit applies to the speed represented in the spatial reference system;
that is, it is a one–dimensional spatial limit. Einstein’s theoretical
conclusion that the speed of light cannot be exceeded will therefore have
to be modified Here is a conclusion that agrees with all of the positive
evidence. To complete the picture we will also want to take a look at
what is offered as negative evidence. The third line of argument currently
offered in support of an absolute limit at the speed of light is the asserted
absence of any evidence of greater speeds. As applied, however, this argument
is meaningless, because anything that might appear to be evidence of speeds
beyond that of light is immediately dismissed as unacceptable Aside from these controversial measurements, the significance of which will be considered later, after some further relevant information has been developed, most of the evidence of speeds in the higher ranges is in the form of effects that are not recognizable as products of greaterthan–light speeds without the benefit of an understanding of the properties of scalar motion. Recognition of this evidence by adherents of conventional physical theory therefore could not be expected. But there is one type of actual measurement of speeds greater than the speed of light that should have been recognized in its true light. This is the Doppler shift of the radiation from the quasars. From the manner in which this shift in the frequency of the incoming radiation is produced, it follows that the relative speed of the emitting object, in terms of the speed of light as unity, is simply the ratio of the shift in wavelength to the laboratory wavelength. There was no suggestion, prior to the discovery of the quasars that there might be any kind of a modification of this relation at high speeds. But when quasar redshifts above 1.00 were measured, indicating speeds in excess of the speed of light, the astronomers were unwilling to accept the fact that they were measuring speeds that Einstein called impossible, so they applied a mathematical factor to keep these speeds below the 1.00 level. In two other cases, particle acceleration and the composition of velocities, it had been possible to bring the pre–Einstein physical relations into conformity with the values derived by direct measurement at high speeds by applying Einstein’s reduction factor (1–v2/c2) The success of this mathematical expression in the earlier
applications, together with the preeminent status accorded to Einstein’s
limitation on speed evidently conspired to prevent any critical consideration
of the justification for applying the same mathematics to the Doppler
shift, as it can easily be seen that the Doppler situation is altogether
different from the other two. ln both of these other cases, the direct
measurement is accepted as correct, and the adjustment factor is applied
to the results computed by means of certain relations that hold good at
low speeds to bring these calculated results into agreement with the direct
measurements. In the Doppler situation there is nothing that needs to
be adjusted to agree with the direct measurement. The only magnitude involved
is the shift itself, and it There is no valid reason for assuming that the Doppler
shifts above 1.00 are anything other than direct measurements of speeds
greater than the speed of light. It should be noted, however, that on
the basis of the points brought out in the preceding discussion, the speed
that can be represented in the spatial reference system, the speed that
causes change af spatial position, is limited to the speed of light. The
inerement above this speed, corresponding to the inerement of the Doppler
shift above 1.00, is a The difference between this and the gravitational situation
is significant. The gravitational motion that is measured (as a force)
takes place This capability of addition of magnitudes in different speed ranges, independently of the limitations of the spatial reference system, is a general property of scalar magnitudes that has an important bearing on many physical phenomena. As noted earlier, scalar magnitudes cannot be combined in any way analogous to the addition of vectors, but any two scalar quantities in the same dimension are additive. hhus the Doppler shift due to motion in one dimension above unit speed (a scalar quantity) adds to the shift due to motion of the same object in the range below unity (another scalar quantity), which is in the same dimension because the motion in the higher speed range is an extension of the motion in the lower speed range. Summarizing the foregoing discussion of the question
as to the limitations on speed, the evidence shows that it is not possible
to accelerate material obiects to speeds in excess of that of light by
means of electrical forces. We have found that the electric charge is
a onedimensional distributed scalar motion. The meaning of the experimental
results therefore is that the speed of light is the limiting speed in
one scalar dimension. The three scalar dimensions are independent, and
there is nothing to distinguish one from another. It follows that the
limiting speed in The concept of an absolute limit at the speed of light,
as laid down by Einstein, is thus erroneous. His mathematics are correct,
but they apply only to motion in one dimension, the dimension of the conventional
spatial reference system. The new information derived from the investigation
of scalar motion makes it evident that the general acceptance of Einstein’s
conclusion as to the impossibility of speeds greater than that of light
has been a monumental roadblock in the way of scientific progress, probably
second only to Aristotle’s conception of the nature of motion, characterized
by Alfred N. Whitehead as “a belief which had blocked the progress
of physics for two thousand years.” There is, indeed, a rather close parallelism between the two cases. Both of these serious errors were products of the outstanding scientists of their day: men with many notable achievements to their credit, who had attained such a standing in the scientific community that disagreement with their conclusions was, in effect, prohibited. Both of the conclusions now seen to be erroneous were supported by what originally seemed to be adequate empirical evidence. But both encountered increasing difficulties as physical understanding improved, and both ultimately reached the point where they were maintained as orthodox scientific doctrine on the strength of the authority of their originators, rather than on their own merits. This is generally recognized so far as Aristotle’s theory is concerned, where we have the benefit of the historical perspective. It is not so generally appreciated in Einstein’s case, but a critical examination of current scientific literature will reveal the remarkable degree to which his pronouncements are treated as incontestable dogma, with a standing superior to the empirical facts. The gravitational situation has already been discussed. As von Laue admits in the statement that was quoted in Chapter 2, the repudiation of the results of observation “is a result solely of the theory of relativity.” The situation with respect to the Doppler shifts of the quasars, mentioned earlier in this chapter, is another instance where the experimental evidence has been reconstructed to agree with Einstein’s dictum. The true state of affairs in most other physical areas is obscured by the ad hoc assumptions that are made to “save” the theory, but the prevailing tendency to elevate Einstein’s conclusions to an unchallengeable status is clearly illustrated by the general readiness to throw logic and other basic philosophical considerations to the wolves whenever they stand in the way of his pronouncements. Hans Reichenbach, for example, tells us,
Kurt Güdel similarly sees far–reaching consequences
following from Einstein’s interpretation of special relativity, even
though it is well known that this is merely the current choice from among
a number of equally possible explanations of the mathematical results.
M. B. Hesse points this out in the following statement: “There are
some other logical questions raised by the theory of relativity . . .
because there are a number of alternative theories which all appear observationally
equivalent.”
Warren Weaver is ready to jettison logic to accommodate
Einstein. He tells us that the close observer “finds that logic,
so generally supposed to be infallible and unassailable, is, in fact,
shaky and incomplete. He finds that the whole concept of objective truth
is a will–o’–the–wisp.” The revolutionary character of the apotheosis of the relativity theory in modern science cannot be fully appreciated unless it is realized that this logic that Weaver and his colleagues propose to sacrifice on the Einsteinian altar, along with the objective facts of gravitation, Doppler shifts, and other physical phenomena, is one of the basic pillars of the scientific structure. As expressed by F. S. C. Northrop:
The basic reason for the similarity in the history of
the two theories under consideration is that they are both products of Einstein was definitely a protagonist of the “inventive”
school of science. “The axiomatic basis of theoretical physics cannot
be an inference from experience, but must be free invention,”
Notwithstanding Einstein’s brave words, physical
science, in practice, resorts to invented principles only when and where
inductive results are not available. In Aristotle’s day relatively
few physical relationships of a general character had been definitely
established, and invented principles predominated. By this time, however,
the The reason for this emergence of inventive theory only
when there are gaps in the inductive structure is that the inventive theories
are The gravitational situation is a good example. Newton
derived a mathematical expression for the gravitational effect. Subsequently
it was found that the range of application of this expression was limited,
and Einstein formulated a new expression that presumably has a more general
applicability. Both of these were inductive products; that is, they were
based on the mathematical aspects of the results of observation and measurement.
Neither of the investigators was able to complete his theory by deriving
an interpretation of his mathematics inductively. It can now be seen that
the reason for this failure was the lack of recognition of the existence
of distributed scalar motion. As long as the existence of this Whether or not an inventive theory of this kind serves
any useful purpose during the time before the correct inductively derived
theory becomes available is a debatable issue. So far as the particular
phenomena to which the theory is directly applicable are concerned, the
conceptual interpretation is essentially irrelevant. For practical purposes,
the theory is applied mathematically, and it makes little, if any, difference
whether the user understands the real significance of the mathematical
operations. As Feynman observes, “Mathematicians . . . do not even
need to It would appear that the main purpose served by inventing
a theory is to enable the scientific community to avoid the painful necessity
of admitting that they have no answer to an important problem. What the
inventive scientist is able to do, when his inductive counterpart is stymied,
is to construct a theory that is Inasmuch as the presentation in this work is purely factual, it does not offer any new inductive theories to replace the inventive theories currently in vogue. It merety calls attention to a large number of hitherto undiscovered, unrecognized, or disregarded physical facts, all of which the theories of physics, inventive or inductive, as the case may be, will hereafter have to be prepared to deal with. From now on, the requirements for acceptance of theories will be substantially enlarged. No theory will be viabte unless it incorporates an acceptable explanation of scalar motion and its conseyuences. |