The Gross National Debt

Monday, September 2, 2013

Relativity is all relative

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A chief reason I am such a devoted fan of Science Fiction is because it makes me look at the world in a new way. Presently am reading The Legend That Was Earth by James Hogan.

In this book, humanity is met on earth by an alien civilization which explains our notions of reality, the cosmos and etc are fundamentally flawed. He says human scientists have two chief failings, one of which is an irrational belief that theory is correct and observed facts are error.

Too true. When scientists stand up and hurl invectives at each other and resort to insults instead of logic when debating pet theories, well yeah. The only difference between them and religious extremists who shoot at each other is the guns.

The second theory Hogan puts forth through the aliens is that our earthly observations of the universe is like flying through the sky and all our instruments for measuring what's going on outside the plane are locked tightly to the interior of the plane.

In other words, we're trying to explain the universe without being able to see, react to, interact with or even study the universe.

I've read a couple of SF novels recently which track the same idea. Our understanding of the universe is absolutely (and I mean that term as I state it) flawed because our observations are limited by the solar system. All the fundamental forces in the universe coming into the solar system are distorted by the solar system's effects.

This could be totally true. One of our long range probes is just now at the edge of what we think is the solar system. The astro-physics folks say they have no idea how long it will take for the probe to actually leave our solar system.

So. What we know may not be reality elsewhere.

Which leads me to an observation of my own, which is a bit more grounded.

The famous equation E=MC2 has yet to explain everything, despite being hailed at one time as the ultimate answer.

Among other things, extrapolations of this theory state the speed of light is a barrier across which nothing can pass. Tachyons can move faster than the speed of light. Light itself, that is the photons which make up light, can be slowed.

Hrm.

Now I bring you to black holes, something science has yet to understand and will not understand in my lifetime. Among the things believed is the gravitation force of a black hole is so great not even light can escape.

If that is so, then I suggest to you the speed of light is not an absolute barrier. Science has already slowed a photon. I submit to you that gravity from a black hole can take a photon past the light speed barrier, else the photon would be able to escape the gravitation pull.

Imagine a photon almost headed directly at a black hole. As it approaches the black hole, gravity increases. The photon bends toward the black hole. Gravity increases.

The photon has to speed up. At least it has to speed up according to my limited understanding of astrophysics.

The speed of light is not a barrier, it's just a number.

1 comment:

  1. Actually per my admittedly limited understanding, things actually do escape from the pull of a Black Hole. Thats why we couldn't find them for the longest time because scientists were looking for areas of space where there were Nothing and well even deep space is filled with energy, radiation etc. Hawkings said, "No no, some forms of energy can escape the pull of a black hole so if you look for this kind of thing here, you'll find them. Scientists did and now we have found loads of them. SOL is not even a constant in the normal universe since it is affected (effected? ALways get those mixed up) by gravity. FTL travel is coming and it is prolly going to be the same kind of incident as black holes. Some bright kid (Waves at MacT and Susan) is going to go, "no no sorry but you are wrong" and off we go.

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