Researcher Investigates the Basis of Einstein's First Approximation in the Theory of Relativity

Jul 15, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In his discussion of accelerated motion on page 60 of The Meaning of Relativity, Albert Einstein made an approximation that allowed him to develop the theory of relativity further. Einstein apparently never had the opportunity to check his original approximation. Now, a University of Missouri physicist has uncovered some clues about the basis of Einstein's theories and presented a more general approximation, which may better link quantum physics with classical physics.

"Einstein's assumption agreed beautifully with everything else and allowed him to discover a number of great things so that nobody ever questioned it," said Bahram Mashhoon, professor of physics in the MU College of Arts and Science. "All forces need to be of quantum origin, but Einstein's theory, which is the modern theory of gravitation, has not yet been brought into conformity with . The modern theories of special and general relativity have their origins in the problems associated with the way appear to observers in motion."

In the special theory of relativity, Einstein assumed the principle of locality. The principle of locality is that an object is affected only by its immediate surroundings and not by variables in the past. Yet, this principle is an approximation and is generally limited to motions with sufficiently low accelerations. Nonlocality is introduced if, in addition, the past history of the object also is taken into consideration. Mashhoon examined the implications of nonlocal special relativity by studying how a spinning observer, such as an observer on a merry-go-round, interacts with light. Mashhoon proposes acceleration-induced nonlocality plays a part in relativity theory.

"Some sort of average of variables in its past influences an object as well, making optics of rotating systems nonlocal," Mashhoon said. "When you take the variables in the past into account, it opens new doors but in most ordinary cases is negligible. The goal of my research is to develop a nonlocal theory that goes beyond general relativity. Hopefully, these considerations of nonlocal theory in the optics of rotating systems will lead to ideas for experiments that could help verify or disprove the nonlocal theory."

In his latest publication, Mashhoon urges experimental physicists to examine the difficulties that exist in modern theories of general and special relativity by considering nonlocality in the optics of rotating systems. The "Optics of Rotating Systems" will be published in Physical Review A.

Source: University of Missouri-Columbia (news : web)

Explore further: Spin-based electronics: New material successfully tested

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The Genesis of Relativity

Feb 22, 2007

New insights into the premises, assumptions and preconditions that underlie Einstein’s Relativity Theory, as well as the intellectual, and cultural contexts that shaped it, are the subject of a comprehensive study published ...

A new way to test general relativity

Apr 16, 2007

"Atom interferometry is an exciting field which has been awarded three Nobel prizes in the last decade," Savas Dimopoulos tells PhysOrg.com. “It is a new precision tool with a variety of applications.” Dimopoulos, a phys ...

Generally Speaking: A Primer on General Relativity

Apr 13, 2006

“The one sentence statement of general relativity is that ‘gravity is the curvature of spacetime,’” explains Dr. Sean Carroll, assistant professor of physics at the University of Chicago. “Really, the differences ...

Researchers Look Beyond the Birth of the Universe

May 12, 2006

According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the Big Bang represents The Beginning, the grand event at which not only matter but space-time itself was born. While classical theories offer no clues ...

Recommended for you

Spin-based electronics: New material successfully tested

23 hours ago

Spintronics is an emerging field of electronics, where devices work by manipulating the spin of electrons rather than the current generated by their motion. This field can offer significant advantages to computer technology. ...

A transistor-like amplifier for single photons

Jul 29, 2014

Data transmission over long distances usually utilizes optical techniques via glass fibres – this ensures high speed transmission combined with low power dissipation of the signal. For quite some years ...

User comments : 41

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

getgoa
1.5 / 5 (17) Jul 15, 2009
Einstein's zodiac sign is in Capricorn (earth element), Michio Kaku is in Capricorn (a physicist that does lots of programming hosting on the science channel). Maybe it makes the most sense to have people on earth to be born only in the earth elements Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo?
frajo
3 / 5 (14) Jul 15, 2009
Maybe it makes the most sense to have people on earth to be born only in the earth elements Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo?

Such utter nonsense is typical for non-Aquarians.
iknow
1.9 / 5 (9) Jul 15, 2009
Einstein was very limited in his scope... Maths and Physics.

Try Nikola Tesla ... a Cancer (water sign)
yOnsa
3 / 5 (6) Jul 15, 2009
At least you don't have crabs
Royale
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 15, 2009
thanks frajo.. you read my mind..
Nik_2213
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 15, 2009
Huh ? What has rank, pre-scientific superstition to do with quantum theory and relativity ??

When asked for my star-sign, I reply 'Sky@Night'...
gmurphy
3.8 / 5 (8) Jul 15, 2009
keep the horoscope mumbo jumbo off the science website, for the record, Einstein was born on the 14th of March, which makes him a Pisces
getgoa
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 15, 2009
I was just reading between the lines in the article?
yyz
4.3 / 5 (8) Jul 15, 2009
Am I in the astronomy section of PhysOrg.com or the astrology section? I must consult my phrenologist :)
MorituriMax
3.8 / 5 (6) Jul 15, 2009
i'd like to give getgoa a few bumps on his phrenoggin, maybe then his nonlocality will become non-negligible.
nkalanaga
3.7 / 5 (6) Jul 15, 2009
My sign was "maternity ward".
marraco
3 / 5 (2) Jul 15, 2009
I never understood something: if in teleportation, some quantum state dissapears from A, and appears in B:

1- The events in A and B are simultaneous?
2- If Yes, then ¿how can be simultaneous to observers moving at different speeds? (In the sense of Einstein relativity)

I only can guess that for most observers -in practical terms, anybody- the events cannot be simultaneous, or it should exist a fundamental limitation on our capability of measuring simultaneity.
MatthiasF
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 15, 2009
Nonlocality does not exist. There goes one more researcher down the wrong path into the wilderness to never be seen again.
out7x
2.8 / 5 (4) Jul 16, 2009
Bell's theorem proved nonlocality in quantum measurements. Einstein was wrong about his local beliefs.
Mercury_01
2.5 / 5 (2) Jul 16, 2009
does anyone agree that all movement is rotation in a closed system?

chelovek
1.5 / 5 (4) Jul 16, 2009
There exists a very interesting study with title "GENERAL RELATIVITY IS DEAD". If you are interested of it, please visit on the site http://works.bepr...zaros/3. Enjoy!
marraco
1 / 5 (1) Jul 16, 2009
There exists a very interesting study with title "GENERAL RELATIVITY IS DEAD". If you are interested of it, please visit on the site http://works.bepr...zaros/3. Enjoy!
link is broken
retro
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 16, 2009
The principle of equivalence needs to be closely examined as well. It only seems to be valid in very tiny reference frames, but in the tiniest reference frames quantum effects, especially non-locality, should ruin the "equivalence"-- it is a very crude approximation.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (4) Jul 16, 2009
does anyone agree that all movement is rotation in a closed system?

Nope.
marraco
1 / 5 (1) Jul 16, 2009
... if in teleportation, some quantum state dissapears from A, and appears in B:

1- The events in A and B are simultaneous?
2- If Yes, then %uFFFDhow can be simultaneous to observers moving at different speeds? (In the sense of Einstein relativity)...
I wish to read about experimental results on teleportation simultaneity for observers in relative movement, but I don't know enough to know what words I need to search on google.
Somebody can tell me what I need to look for?
getgoa
1 / 5 (6) Jul 16, 2009
The read between the lines would be: Seek him that maketh Arcturus, and Orion, and that turneth darkness into morning, and that changeth day into night: that calleth the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name. (Amos Chapter 5 verse 8)
Mercury_01
1 / 5 (2) Jul 16, 2009
does anyone agree that all movement is rotation in a closed system?



Nope.


No? Descartes would disagree. You sound pretty smart though. Please explain to me how "linear" motion is not torsion in the closed universe model where spacetime is curved.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (4) Jul 16, 2009
does anyone agree that all movement is rotation in a closed system?

Nope.

No? Descartes would disagree. You sound pretty smart though. Please explain to me how "linear" motion is not torsion in the closed universe model where spacetime is curved.


First, Decartes would tell you all motion is linear regardless of the medium and independent of rotation.

Secondly, rotation in a closed system is rotation, movement from point a to point b is linear motion independent of rotaion.

So no, in a closed system, all motion is not rotation, but, all rotation is motion, and all revolution is motion in a straight line acted upon by an external force.
Mercury_01
1 / 5 (4) Jul 17, 2009
Wow. I forgot how many people are retarded.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (2) Jul 17, 2009
Wow. I forgot how many people are retarded.

Must've been easy considering your inability to remember basic tenets of closed system interaction.
JIMBO
5 / 5 (1) Jul 17, 2009
In the midst of all the above BS, no one has even read the paper, speaking volumes about these commenters, & another ringing indictment of pathetic scientific journalism. The prime thrust of the article is to use non-locality as a way to account for the EFFECTS of dark matter.
Neither physorg nor commenters even mention.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
1 / 5 (1) Jul 17, 2009

for most observers -in practical terms, anybody- the events cannot be simultaneous


AFAIU relativity shows that you can't speak of simultaneity outside of a localized event.


Bell's theorem proved nonlocality in quantum measurements. Einstein was wrong about his local beliefs.


AFAIU it didn't. It showed that when you have entanglement you have to choose between nonlocality or quantum mechanics. (I.e. the concept of observables, which simply doesn't exist before you measure them.) Most physicists choose QM what I can see (well, no surprise there), and describes this as Einstein was wrong in his views of QM.


no one has even read the paper, speaking volumes about these commenters,


No. As Matthias mentioned, non-locality isn't shown. Extra-ordinary claims needs extra-ordinary evidence, yet reading the press release we can see that there isn't any evidence at all in the paper but a mere proposal. There is then no need to read it. (Unless you think it is a viable option to research, a _very_ unlikely proposition considering all the evidence for locality. Bell test experiments have been mentioned, which was as hard a test of locality that you can wish for - IIRC some loopholes have been tested to 25 sigma or so(!), probably the strongest physics experiment around, yet locality and so relativity survived.)
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
1 / 5 (1) Jul 17, 2009
Sorry, seems my blockquotes failed. But I think my comment can be deciphered anyway.
NeilFarbstein
3 / 5 (2) Jul 17, 2009
At least you don't have crabs

Bedbugs.
NeilFarbstein
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 17, 2009
Bedbugs
KBK
1 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2009
does anyone agree that all movement is rotation in a closed system?




Nope.



No? Descartes would disagree. You sound pretty smart though. Please explain to me how "linear" motion is not torsion in the closed universe model where spacetime is curved.






First, Decartes would tell you all motion is linear regardless of the medium and independent of rotation.

Secondly, rotation in a closed system is rotation, movement from point a to point b is linear motion independent of rotaion.


So no, in a closed system, all motion is not rotation, but, all rotation is motion, and all revolution is motion in a straight line acted upon by an external force.


All static and all motion -IS- rotation. Rotation - as all the math is based on vectoral summing in electromagnetics..which is patently absurd, etc..but Maxwell's original works were based in Quarternion equations..which is rotational vortex calculation. Thus, when Heaviside modified Maxwell's original works down into 4 equations, he threw the baby out with the bathwater..and we lost the proper math to figure out time, space and multi-dimensionality in it's entirety.

And we are still lost today, unless you go back to the original equations.

The missing part is that it is not a vectoral sum to zero as Heaviside and Lorentz would have you think.....but a vortex spin of two opposing dimensional fields..that sum to 'near zero' (which is why Heaviside and Lorentz took it out- they thought the rotation {to the near same point!} was useless...but it is VITAL TO KNOW!!!)...but encompassed a full extreme energy rotation..before coming back to the near same spot.

Thus the truth was buried - but even Maxwell had it exactly right.

--THIS--... is what Tesla knew.
Mercury_01
2 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2009
Thanks KBK, and my apologies for the R bomb. This is my angle, Velanaris. Im stabbing at spin field theory. are you in concurrence? Im just trying to get a feel for how many out there are familiar with it. I have a feeling that KBK is hip to energy transfer in higher dimensions. AM I right?
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2009
Thanks KBK, and my apologies for the R bomb. This is my angle, Velanaris. Im stabbing at spin field theory. are you in concurrence? Im just trying to get a feel for how many out there are familiar with it. I have a feeling that KBK is hip to energy transfer in higher dimensions. AM I right?
I'm aware of spin field theory. But don't say Rene Descartes was any sort of supporter of it. Descartes focused mainly on the mechanics of accelerated motion of the "spinless" point particle. Know as Descartesian mechanics.

It was after contrary observation he began t support the ideas that would evolve into Spin field theory, and even then, he still used point particle mechanics as his basis.



Forget spin field theory, start looking at all things as components of a single wave function under chaotic turbulence.
Mercury_01
not rated yet Jul 18, 2009
Yeah, Descartes was way back in the day, but I think it was some of his work that inspired the russian's work in torsion physics. Guys like Gannady Shipov paved the way for the study of "dynamic torsion", which proved to be much more significant than earlier Einstein- Cartan torsion theory because it allows for energy transfer between bodies across higher dimensional spacetime. It also predicts that even large systems can receive energy as it "leaks in" through the spin field. Check out the work done by Bruce DePalma. True, Its not the highest law in the land, but its something that is verifiable, and something that we can use. Also, it's implications on celestial mechanics are truly amazing.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Jul 19, 2009
Bell's theorem proved nonlocality in quantum measurements.


Only under the assumption of no hidden variables. The notion that state doesn't exist until it is measured, is equivalent to saying that an unobserved tree falling in the forest, never fell and never made a sound. In other words, utterly absurd. But hey, never let absurdity get in the way of quantum mysticism...
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
not rated yet Jul 20, 2009
"Only under the assumption of no hidden variables."

Yes, and it is the correct assumption too. AFAIU it explains why QM minimizes transfered information, or conversely why some algorithms are speed up by a square root factor.

"The notion that state doesn't exist until it is measured, is equivalent to saying that an unobserved tree falling in the forest, never fell and never made a sound. In other words, utterly absurd."

Um, states aren't observables, that is the whole point here as I understand it. The quantum states exist _and can be acted on to get observables at some time_, and decoherence is AFAIU indeed measured, so I go with that.

Btw, that tree is an absurd notion however, since the vacuum is your observer, copenhagen or decoherence.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2009
The quantum states exist _and can be acted on to get observables at some time_, and decoherence is AFAIU indeed measured, so I go with that.


That's not quite the same idea as nonlocality, which basically postulates that quantum states are random until measured, and that therefore any correlation between previously "entangled" particles subsequently measured far apart from each other, would be due to _instantaneous_ (MUCH faster-than-light!) communication between these "entangled" bits of energy. It's what Einstein disparaged as "spooky action at a distance", and I intuitively agree with Einstein. There's something very unphysical and magical about the concept of quantum nonlocality. I tend to view the Universe as fundamentally computational (along the lines of Wolfram's "new kind of science"); and nonlocality quite simply does not compute -- it doesn't look like anything that might have any sort of a mechanism behind it.
smiffy
not rated yet Jul 21, 2009
That's not quite the same idea as nonlocality, which basically postulates that quantum states are random until measured.
My understanding of QM is that quantum states are not random but are determined - for instance by Schroedinger's equation in the case of light. The observation of the state is not 100% predictable, but is not 100% unpredictable (random) either. It's probability can be exactly determined. The universe is still fundamentally computable - it's simply not 100% rigidly determined, like clockwork is.

As far as 'spooky action at a distance' is concerned this too is not only predictable but if it didn't actually happen then QM would be in trouble - QM predicted it!. It may offend your intuitive feel for how the world works, but if you can accept the absurd Second Postulate of the Theory of Special Relativity you should be used to that by now.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2009
My understanding of QM is that quantum states are not random but are determined - for instance by Schroedinger's equation in the case of light.


QM states are randomly sampled from a probability distribution. Yes, the PDF itself cannot be called "random" in the vernacular (mathematically, that's a misuse of terminology), as it has a rather well-defined shape. However, the _sampling_ is completely random. That is, there is no concept of internal (even if non-measurable in practice/so far) state that would DETERMINE (deterministically) a particular outcome for a given measurement. Rather, it's basically a toss of the dice; the particular sample from the PDF just magically materializes out of nothingness, and just magically happens to follow the prescribed PDF in terms of frequency of various magically materialized outcomes. It's all magical. And it's all ridiculous.

The universe is still fundamentally computable - it's simply not 100% rigidly determined, like clockwork is.


That's a self-contradicting assertion. Anyone who has even a cursory understanding of the theory of computation (i.e. Turing machines), would know that computation is inherently deterministic. And yes, 100% so. Else, it could no longer be called computation; a more appropriate euphemism might be 'deus ex machina', or in more vernacular terms, 'voodoo'.

...if you can accept the absurd Second Postulate of the Theory of Special Relativity...


I see absolutely nothing absurd about it. Light is a propagating disturbance within a medium. In fact, all matter and all energy are just propagating disturbances within a medium. Relative to that medium, the speed is constant just like the speed of sound is constant in air, regardless of how fast or in what direction the source of that sound is moving. Of course, since literally _everything_ is constructed along these lines, we cannot actually detect our absolute motion against that medium (any more so than software running on a computer is fundamentally capable of detecting the transistors executing it.) To us it appears as if there is no medium, and no absolute point of reference. But regardless of what we are incapable of detecting, fundamentally, there has to be such an absolute frame, and in fact it can be no other way if the universe is indeed to be construed as computational.
yOnsa
1 / 5 (1) Jul 23, 2009
My understanding of QM is that quantum states are not random but are determined - for instance by Schroedinger's equation in the case of light.




QM states are randomly sampled from a probability distribution. Yes, the PDF itself cannot be called "random" in the vernacular (mathematically, that's a misuse of terminology), as it has a rather well-defined shape. However, the _sampling_ is completely random. That is, there is no concept of internal (even if non-measurable in practice/so far) state that would DETERMINE (deterministically) a particular outcome for a given measurement. Rather, it's basically a toss of the dice; the particular sample from the PDF just magically materializes out of nothingness, and just magically happens to follow the prescribed PDF in terms of frequency of various magically materialized outcomes. It's all magical. And it's all ridiculous.



The universe is still fundamentally computable - it's simply not 100% rigidly determined, like clockwork is.




That's a self-contradicting assertion. Anyone who has even a cursory understanding of the theory of computation (i.e. Turing machines), would know that computation is inherently deterministic. And yes, 100% so. Else, it could no longer be called computation; a more appropriate euphemism might be 'deus ex machina', or in more vernacular terms, 'voodoo'.



...if you can accept the absurd Second Postulate of the Theory of Special Relativity...




I see absolutely nothing absurd about it. Light is a propagating disturbance within a medium. In fact, all matter and all energy are just propagating disturbances within a medium. Relative to that medium, the speed is constant just like the speed of sound is constant in air, regardless of how fast or in what direction the source of that sound is moving. Of course, since literally _everything_ is constructed along these lines, we cannot actually detect our absolute motion against that medium (any more so than software running on a computer is fundamentally capable of detecting the transistors executing it.) To us it appears as if there is no medium, and no absolute point of reference. But regardless of what we are incapable of detecting, fundamentally, there has to be such an absolute frame, and in fact it can be no other way if the universe is indeed to be construed as computational.



i love you
smiffy
not rated yet Jul 25, 2009
The universe is still fundamentally computable - it's simply not 100% rigidly determined, like clockwork is.




That's a self-contradicting assertion. Anyone who has even a cursory understanding of the theory of computation (i.e. Turing machines), would know that computation is inherently deterministic. And yes, 100% so. Else, it could no longer be called computation; a more appropriate euphemism might be 'deus ex machina', or in more vernacular terms, 'voodoo'.
A Turing machine is a device for processing algorithms i.e. doing mathematics. If you define the word 'computable' in a technical sense (as opposed to its everyday sense) meaning that that which can be processed by a Turing machine, then you're at risk of developing a self-contradicting assertion of your own. Namely that the Turing machine can only deal with algorithms and since the universe is patently not an algorithm then the universe is not computable at all (0%).

Of course you mean that the universe can be construed as computable, meaning that a mathematical model of the universe can be developed. But a deterministic model is only one kind of model. A stochastic model could be employed to pick up the probablility function of QM. The stochastic model should be reducible to an algorithm, and therefore, input into a Turing machine and therefore computable. To insist on a model which is inclusive of all aspects of all the universe seems to be a philosophical ideal.

The idea that individual photons cannot currently be tracked by a deterministic model just represents a lack of knowledge about what exactly does determine the photon's trajectory. That a group of photons should fall into a well-defined pattern strongly suggests determination going on somewhere, even if we cannot specify exactly what. It seems a bit strong to call a gap in knowledge voodoo. No one is saying that QM is complete, or even logically self-consistent.

Light is a propagating disturbance within a medium [...] Relative to that medium, the speed is constant just like the speed of sound is constant in air, regardless of how fast or in what direction the source of that sound is moving.
The medium, or aether as it used to be known, is one thing that makes the the second postulate absurd. Because the aether is required for the constancy of the speed of light to make sense, as you say, but has resisted all intensive and persistent efforts to reveal it empirically, most famously by the Michelsson-Morley experiment. But the fact that it doesn't apparently exist is not the main reason why the second postulate is absurd.

A comparison with sound can only go so far. While the speed of sound is constant with reference to the medium in which it's propagating, it's not constant with respect to observers who are moving relative to the medium. But the 2nd postulate has it that light is constant regardless of relative motion between source and observer. That's what makes light absurd - it's unique. Its very uniqueness in this respect means that it must necessarily go against all intuition.