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Hi Shaun, Special Relativity has been nominated for Featured Article status. An issue has been raised on the Wikipedia:Featured article page, on Talk:Special relativity, and on the WikiEN mailing list, regarding the claim that the second postulate has been verified experimentally. I checked through the history and saw you were the editor who inserted this. Would you mind providing a reference for this? I left a message on the Talk page but received no reply. Many thanks, Slim 02:23, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
- Hello, Shaun and Slim, here are some notes of mine regarding Slim's FYI to me that not only can one delete an unsubstantiated claim, but one can also remove all the implications of such a claim:
What Exactly Are the Implications?
As everyone knows, Einstein said that special relativity (SR) was based on two postulates, known as the first postulate and the second postulate. Since the former (the principle of relativity) does not give or determine any law of physics (but merely says that once a law has been found in one frame, it shall also be found in all others), we see immediately that the latter (the light postulate) is the only definite or specific basis of SR. This, of course, makes the light postulate extremely important as far as SR goes. Indeed, if this postulate were to be experimentally verified, then SR would no longer be a theory, but would instead be a fact. However, it is currently "on the books" as a theory.
The second postulate (aka the light postulate) did not postulate regarding light's round-trip, one-clock speed (as that case was essentially closed in 1887 by experiment); it postulated only in regards to light's one-way speed between two clocks (which must be in the same frame in order to avoid any clock slowing differences).
Therefore, the only way to experimentally test the second postulate is by placing an unstarted clock at each end of a long table, temporally relating them, and then using them to measure light's one-way speed between them.
Despite the fact that the round-trip case was closed decades ago, the just-mentioned one-way case remains open, and any reasonable person would ask Why?
It cannot be due to a lack of the necessary technology because said experiment has not even been done on paper. (I.e., no one has even shown on paper how to measure light's one-way, two-clock speed without first assuming the result. For example, Einstein assumed the result "invariance," and then set the clocks to match his assumed result.)
Just as the round-trip experiment was done sans man's input, so must the one-way experiment be done. Only then can we find the law of nature in the one-way case.
(Man did not manipulate the clock's natural atomic rhythm in the round-trip case; man did not trim or extend the light-path lengths during the round-trip experiment; similarly, man must not dictate the result in the one-way case by presetting the clocks to obtain man's (and not nature's) prechosen one-way light speed "invariance.")
Only if Nature herself can begin with two unstarted clocks and temporally relate them her way can there be a natural value for this speed.
But Nature cannot synchronize clocks because she has no brain to devise a clock synchronization definition, and she has no means of adjusting clock hands in order to implement any such definition.
Therefore, there can be no natural (or Nature-given) value for the one-way speed of light between two clocks. I.e., there can be no one-way light speed experiment. This is the answer to the above-given reasonable question Why has no one even shown on paper how to test the second postulate?
A postulate that cannot be tested is a postulate that cannot be falsified, and a postulate that cannot be falsified is not a scientific postulate.
And since the light postulate is the sole basis of SR, we see that the latter is not a scientific theory.
The Einsteinian transformation equations are the math of SR. These equations cannot exist sans at least two clocks per frame; thus, the equations depend upon Einstein's baseless definition of clock synchronization or his assumption of one-way light speed invariance; therefore, all of the relativistic results of the transformation equations are circular because they were given at the start. For example, if one assumes one-way invariance at the start, and then one sets one's clocks obtain one-way invariance, then one's clock's will obtain one-way invariance. For another example, since Einstein does not have absolute simultaneity, his observers cannot simultaneously pin down or locate the end points of a passing rod, so an incorrect length measurement is made which turns out to be smaller than that of the rod's "rest length." (Similarly, Einstein's "time dilation" and "mass variance" are also merely point-of-view effects caused by Einstein's lack of absolute simultaneity.)
We see that Einstein's "length contraction," "time dilation," and "mass increase" are trivial and of no more importance to space-time physics than is the apparent mutual shrinkage of each of two departing people.
Thus, the full implications of "There are currently no experimental tests of Einstein's second postulate, not even on paper" are "Not only is the second postulate untestable, but special relativity itself is not a scientific theory."
I seriously doubt that Slim envisioned such dire (for SR) ramifications! Cadwgan_Gedrych Dec 13, 2004