“I never could figure out how rods got shorter simply by travelling at higher velocities or how time (which doesn’t appear to be a “thing”) could actually dilate. Your Episode #20 was excellent, showing the critical difference between length and rates. So that’s it! Those things don’t really happen.”
Glenn Borchardt, PhD
Odds are that you’ve arrived here because you either 1) are convinced that something is wrong with Einstein’s theory of Relativity and want to explore what that might be or 2) you believe that Special Relativity is right and want to know what people who disagree with his theory are saying.
Regardless of the reason that brought you here, I hope that as you explore the materials on the site you’ll learn something new. We cover a lot of material ranging from the specifics around Einstein’s mistake, to the introduction of an alternative model, to a review of some of the more well known scientific experiments related to Special Relativity.
But since most people arrive here wondering what’s wrong with Einstein’s derivation we’re not going to waste any time in answering that question.
In Einstein’s 1905 paper, he uses the term moving rods to represent wavelength and static rods to represent length. Wavelength and Length are two different things, but are often treated as if there were the same units of measurement. Even today, in 2009, we commonly mis-state wavelength as meters when it should be stated in meters per cycle. This mistreatment of a rate as a measure leads to conceptual problems such as simultaneity, which does not apply to rates. Secondly, he creates 4 transformation equations. These transformation equations are each created using the Tau function, which he also creates in that paper. In order to convert a “function” into an “equation”, the function must be invoked. Einstein invokes Tau 3 times to create his X, Y, and Z transformations. The problem is that he fails to invoke the Tau function a 4th time to create his time transformation equation and instead incorrectly simplifies the function.
While these mistake are extremely subtle, it can be detected using Function Analysis or the rules of Algebraic substitution. You can watch a compairson of Einstein’s informal invocation method and a modern formal invocation method in Episode 17 of the podcast series, which may help illustrate why the problem is easier to detect when using formal notation.
Unfortunately, Einstein’s notational style with respect to the Tau function has misled many to mistreat Tau as an equation, making it nearly impossible to detect the simplification mistake. In fact, the root cause of the problem is hard to understand without a thorough understanding of functions and abstraction. However, we present the finding in a number of different ways so that readers of all mathematical levels can see the problems.
As a result of this finding, I have introduced an alternative model called the Model of Complete and Incomplete Coordinate Systems. Regardless of whether one agrees that Einstein’s derivation is right or wrong, one fact remains: The Model of Complete and Incomplete Coordinate Systems uses equations that produce results that are equal or better than found by using Einstein’s Special Relativity equations for both the Michelson-Morley experiment and the Ives-Stillwell experiment! And this is exciting!
So, Welcome to RelativityChallenge.com!