Sunday, July 24, 2005

FTL part 2

Ok, last time I mentioned that the main problem with FTL, Faster Than Light travel, is that, according to Special Relativity, all frames of reference are equivalent, none are preferred. That means that there is no way to define what is simultaneous in SR.. This means that every place defines its own past, which means that if you go faster than the speed of light in one reference frame, it may be seen as time travel in another.

So, we have two possibilities. Either (1) FTL inherently means time travel and there is no such thing as simultaneity OR (2) there is a preferred frame of reference, which means we can define simultaneity and time travel is not required. But #2 is not generally considered an option. After all, aren’t simple basic things like that already proven? You would think so....

What is considered to be the first proof, were a series of experiments involving precision interferometers, preformed by scientists Michelson and Morley. This was about a hundred years ago and it was thought that we understood everything. The last experiment that needed to be preformed was measuring the speed of the luminiferious aether. Well, any old text on relativity will tell you that his experiment was a bust. He didn’t measure the speed he was looking for and that paved the way for Einstein and his theory.

Only, that isn’t the whole story. What is not commonly known, and certainly not in the textbooks, is that Michelson did not have a null result – that is to say, he did measure something, only it wasn’t as big as it should have been.

However, that experiment has been performed many times and the latest and greatest have been vacuum sealed and they have most definitely been null. That settles it then, doesn’t it? There must be no aether, and no preferred reference frame..... if the experiments were done correctly. It seems that there have been a number of them done.

Dr. Reginald T Cahill made a fascinating analysis in one of the latest issues of Infinite Energy, he shows that the fringe shifts (that is actually what is measured in a Michelson Morley Interferometers) were related to the density. Proportional to the third power of the index of refraction, actually, but I will leave the technical details to those who wish to read the paper- well worth it. His own page is at here, and a lengthy list of papers and interferometer experiments may be found here.

Appearently, most of the new experiments all used vacuum sealed apparatuses. Normally, you would expect that to make it more accurate, but in this case, the signal strength is related to the amount of material you go through.

What his work suggests to me, is that rather than space-time being a fabric of sorts, it is closer to a fluid. And while the speed of light may be finite in any given space, that space it self may flow much faster than light’s limit.

I wish to walk a fine line here. While I would like to point out all the evidences against Relativity, I don’t want anyone to think Einstein is a waste. He is no more of a waste than Newton. We all know Newton is not technically correct, but that does not mean he is not useful.

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