Originally Posted by Morbert
They all register the same level time dilation: a level predicted by relativity. The East-West difference is due to the motion of the laboratory clock with respect to the centre of the earth.
From what I understand, experimental observations have produced data which has varied from 10% accuracy in the fifties, to 1% accuracy in the sixties and in 2005 the NPL performed the Hafele and Keating experiment which produced results within 4% accuracy of Einstein's predictions. If the theory came about through observation then the theory would be slightly different.
But this is nit-picking.
Let me be clear; I do not deny that gravity/acceleration have the effect that time-dilation attempts to address but I do question what it is that is actually being measured.
And I accept that the east-west thing is sufficiently understood in terms of the relative motion of the centre of gravity.
Could I ask your opinion of something: It seems well documented that the data released from the Hafele and Keating experiment were actually different to data obtained from the experiment, that the original results were adjusted. Some claim that the adjustments were made using dubious reasoning. Do you think that this is true?
The reason I ask is that, in my opinion, science that is based on politics is bad science. Would you agree?
Originally Posted by Morbert
As Enkidu has already pointed out, this is categorically untrue. The processes in particle accelerators (not merely muon decay) do not involve photonic properties, and they all behave as predicted by special relativity and quantum theory. Why would particle decay processes happen to all exhibit time dilation, and why would they agree with the time dilation exhibited by atomic clocks? Remember that we are not merely talking about a qualitative "slowing", but a slowing by a specific amount predicted by relativity.
Yes, thank you Enkido. I think you are both being a little unfair here, I was talking about 'clocks' and as far as I know there are no time-keeping devices based on muon decay. Caesium-clocks and light-clocks rely on photonic properties and it is these kinds of clocks that are used in the detection of time-dilation.
Furthermore, muon detection relies on the use of photo-multipliers and photo-multipliers do make use of photonic properties.
Anyway, what is a photon if not a packet of energy? Muon decay is an energetic process and so must
be subject to photonic properties.
But to answer your question, I think that 'time-dilation' can be explained in terms of impedance; anything in a gravitational field or undergoing acceleration becomes 'stressed', 'under tension', so to speak. Why?... Because of resistance; resistance to change. Change requires energy expenditure; to stand up, sit down, lie down all require an exchange of energy and all because of gravity. It is gravity that stresses human joints. Every time we move we suffer wear and tear due to gravity, change occurs and energy is expended. I reckon you get the picture.
When systems interact, degradation happens; the universe is a process of decay. All matter has a 'life-span'.
Of course, I am talking about matter in terms of large scale systems of energy; atoms, molecules, microscopic-life, animals, planets, stars are all fated to destruction and all because gravity causes wear and tear. All systems of energy have a tendency to decay.
So why shouldn't the same thing apply at a sub-atomic scale? Sub-atomic particles can be thought of as systems whose components are comprised of energy that interact with each other creating structures defined as particles. In stable particles the components are balanced, relatively speaking, and in unstable particles there is a mismatch which results in the decay of that particle.
Let me offer another analogy by way of yet another idealised thought experiment. Imagine the fundamental particles as a set of toothed cogs that come in three distinct sizes; large, medium and small. Each size comes in two flavours; ten teeth per centimetre and fourteen teeth per centimetre, say. That is six types of cog so far. Each cog is fitted with a drive mechanism that gives it spin and there are two speeds available, one rpm and two rpm, let us say, which brings the number of different types of cog to twelve. Next, suppose that the cogs are magnetised in order to represent charge; the y-axis of the cog is a cylindrical bar-magnet and half the cogs have their north-pole up and the other half have their north-pole down. That is now twenty-four types of cog. Finally, all of these cogs are designed to have symmetry along their x-axis and to float on water such that the bottom surface of the cog is barely in contact with the water (so that we can disregard the forces generated in the water itself... for now). This means that they can be 'flipped' which will affect the spin direction and the 'charge'.
Let us say that we have two-thousand of each type and that they will each begin to operate upon contact with water. All we need now is a pool of water large enough to accommodate millions of such cogs and we can start ramdomly throwing our forty-eight thousand cogs into the water.
What would happen? The motors would start and roughly half will spin in a clockwise direction and the rest will spin in the opposite direction. They'd bob about randomly and eventually, they'll start making contact with each other. Think of the possible combinations; where charge is the same, north meets north of south meets south, repulsion occurs but if their spins are in opposite directions, the repulsion would be gentle whereas where the spins are the same, the repulsion would be violent. In the cases where charges are opposite and two cogs are attracted to each other equal spin would cause the two cogs to rotate about a common centre whereas opposite spin would cause 'soft merging' and the pair would simply move in a new direction according to their momentum.
Factor in the two different tooth-pitches, two different speeds and three different sizes (representing different masses), consider that three or four cogs could interact, and more, and the number of possible interactions becomes enormous.
However, some combinations will persist, be stable, for longer periods than others which can be considered unstable.
Can you imagine such a model and visualise how the cogs might 'arrange' themselves over time?
And back to muon decay. A muon might be represented as one large cog and three small ones that have been thrown together as a result of a collision between two stable systems. The instability comes about because one small cog is spinning at the slower rate and as soon as the system comes together it is doomed to break down shortly thereafter.
But what effect would acceleration have on the rate of 'decay'?
The reason that our mechanical muon is unstable is because there will come a point where like magnetic poles will be brought into contact and this will cause one cog to be ejected from the system at a rate determined by the magnetic field. If the muon is being accelerated in the direction in which the repulsive force is acting then the rate at which the muon decays is retarded. The cogs disengage which means that spin no longer plays a role in the decay but because one side of the rejected cog remains in close proximity to an opposite pole, it stays loosely connected to the system until either unstable oscillations inpart enough momentum to fire the particle out of the system or the system decelerates.
Naturally this would suggest that if a muon is accelerated in a direction opposite to the direction in which the repulsive force is acting then decay would be speeded up; acceleration would cause the system to move away from the rejected particle, assisting the force of repulsion.
I have a vivid picture in mind and I hope I am conveying it. Does this model work in a crude way at least?
If I make the cogs into corrugated spheres with the same properties outlined above, submerge trillions upon trillions of them in a vast tank of water and take into account the forces imparted into the water, don't I have, at the very least, a crude model of the quantum world?
Originally Posted by Morbert
Furthermore, regarding photonic properties, why would gravity, acceleration, and velocity affect all atomic and optical clocks equally? The oscillation frequencies involved are very different. The energy levels involved are very different, yet they all quantitatively support time dilation. Not to mention relativistic Doppler shifting, specifically the transverse Doppler effect.
Simple. Under acceleration, the orbital shells of atoms, all
atoms, becomes distorted. They tend toward being a kind of 'comet' shape as the rate of acceleration increases. This causes the orbital path of the electron to become elongated and the distance travelled by the electron in each revolution is increased and the average velocity of the electron is decreased as is spends more time in the outer orbital.
In the case of caesium, this means that the probability that an electron makes a transition is increased and sure enough, the clock ticks slightly faster.
Oh, and the change of average velocity of an electron in any given shell is directly proportional to the spectral-shift. It can go down as well as up. At very high acceleration the orbital-shell can become so 'compressed' at the bow that electrons approach very close to the nucleus where escape velocity increases exponentially.
Also, could you give me an example of an 'optical-clock' that has shown the effects of time-dilation in the real world?
Originally Posted by Morbert
To illustrate my point, consider your train scenario:
Swap the position of the walls with the emitter and you get the opposite effect. The clock at the front of the train would now speed up. The clock at the back of the train would now slow down. Or place the the apparatus such that the path of the balls are perpendicular to the acceleration of the train. The discrepancy would disappear. Here we have a clock that registers different frequencies based on trivial rearrangements. This does not happen with robust, optical and atomic clocks. They do not arbitrarily register different frequencies. All versions agree to incredibly high accuracy, and all agree with special relativity to incredibly high accuracy.
Yes, that is true of course but caesium clocks do not operate that way; orbital paths are affected the same way regardless of direction of acceleration; acceleration provides energy to the system which raises the probability of a transition occurring.
As far as I know optical clocks cannot be used in high velocity and high altitude experiments as they require very stable conditions if they are to operate at all and could not provide reliable data. Although I suppose two such clocks could be synchronised, one is the tick to the other ones tock, with one clock at high altitude and the other below sea-level. The 'mark to space ratio', or phase-change could be analysed to obtain data helpful in understanding time-dilation a little better.
And light clocks that operate by 'bouncing' photons are not really useful in the study of time-dilation for the reasons you gave above.
Originally Posted by Morbert
So the questions remain: Why do different processes (atomic and optical clocks, particle decay etc.) register the same level of time dilation? And why do they all register the level of time dilation predicted by special relativity?
In conclusion then, we are actually only interested in atomic clocks and particle decay here, aren't we?
I think we have dealt with atomic clocks; acceleration has an effect on atoms and can consequently have an effect on photon emission/absorption. The rate of acceleration can be said to modify the probability curve of all events undergoing acceleration and a consequence of this must be that a device that counts events of a cyclic nature will be subject to alteration through acceleration regardless of its construction.
For instance, a digital wrist-watch which operates on the basis of crystal oscillations relies on the size and shape of the crystal. Under acceleration the part of the crystal that faces the direction of motion experiences compression which slightly changes the dimensions of the crystal whilst at the same time modifying the way the crystal bends and flexes. It seems logical and reasonable to think frequency of the crystal would increase in a manner proportional to the rate of acceleration. However, you would have to take into account what the effect of acceleration would have on capacitance. Capacitors are often used in conjunction with crystals and 'tune' the frequency to the counter. But capacitance is inversely proportional to the distance between the plates. And the lower the capacitance, the higher the frequency.
Under acceleration capacitive plates would increase their cross-sectional are in almost all orientations to a greater or lesser degree and cross-sectional-area is proportional to capacitance. There are only two possible, limited areas where capacitance can be reduced due to acceleration; the plates would have to be oriented one behind the other with respect the direction of acceleration. Only in this arrangement would the plates experiences a force that tends to increase the distance between them. So it is entirely possible that a digital-watch might speed up or slow down depending on its position during acceleration.
So maybe the construction of the time-keeping device is relevant when it comes to the question of time-dilation.
Particle decay evidences time-dilation. Or rather, the effect that acceleration has on atomic clocks startlingly correlates with the effect that acceleration has on particle decay. That's fair, isn't it?
A muon has a life-expectancy of about 2.2 microseconds but under acceleration the probability of a muon decaying after more time (or over a longer distance) increases. But also, the probability of faster decay rates are also increased.
As I outlined above, acceleration has equivalence with charge. I visualise a decaying particle a collection of fundamental particles that are temporarily 'entangled', in wildly chaotic orbits, bombarding each other with energy until one is emitted away from the system. Sometimes, absorbing energy can stabilise the system too.
Acceleration imparts energy. As the muon is pulled toward the centre of gravity it becomes deformed, comet-shaped. Now the decay has to occur at the front so that the resultant particles can conserve momentum and continue their downward journey.
The interior of the muon is filled with forces that are interacting with each other and a standing wave appears growing as it makes its way around the centre of mass and the muon begins to resonate. Then it shakes itself to pieces.
Under acceleration, if the motion of this standing-wave is away from gravity (through reasons of momentum) then it will experience 'retardation' as it make its way around the top of the muon (toward the tail of the comet) in an elongated path. The result: The muon takes longer to decay.
However, if the motion of the standing is toward gravity then the wave will experience 'advancement'; energy is gained from acceleration and the muon decays sooner.
I see a problem here though; could a muon be accelerated at a rate that would prevent it from decaying altogether.
Suppose a muon is created in the viscinity of a black-hole and was accelerating toward it at near light-speed. Could the accelerating force of a black-hole retard the muon's decay to infinity?
I reckon that it is possible that some muons never get to decay before they are spontaneously converted into pure photonic energy shining toward the centre of the black-hole where they encounter other photons in head-on collisions which yield energy with 100% efficiency.
The thing is though, perhaps the rate of particle decay can be speeded up or slowed down through acceleration. There is nothing to say that a muon cannot decay more quickly through the same mechanism that causes muons to decay more slowly.
So, muon decay yields data that has a similar structure to the data yielded by light-clocks and digital-watches; dependence on orientation and direction of motion with respect to the accelerating force.
And it is not time that is affected; it is how energy is conserved that is affected. Spectral-shifts have to occur because if a photon came back with the same 'colour' it left with the photon would have had to have either speeded up in one direction or, worse, slowed down in the other and there is no way that can happen without violating conservation laws. Spectral shifts indicate energy lost or gained through acceleration and again, that has nothing to do with time and more to do with how energy is distributed.
So, when it comes down to it, atomic-clocks are the only viable means we have for obtaining data concerning time-dilation. Or is it simply the case that acceleration causes a certain type of clock to tick faster?
In the same way that increasing the water-pressure in a garden sprinkler system results in a faster water output, couldn't it be that caesium clocks tick faster because acceleration provides extra energy to electrons at all tested orientations.
And what about this scenario: Suppose the caesium atom was oriented so that the orbital path of the electron remained roughly equidistant from the centre of gravity. Wouldn't this have the effect of pulling the electron into a higher orbital shell, tending to fix it into a particular orbital? Wouldn't this tend to reduce the number of transitions? Could it be possible that caesium clocks could be oriented with respect to gravity in such a way as to tick more slowly than a clock on the same journey oriented such that it ticked faster?
Yes, acceleration has an effect on clocks and Einstein predicts it but time-dilation is actually simply 'a change in the rate of change due to acceleration'. Time doesn't exist except as a scale we measure rate of change against. I think it is a mistake to assume that time is a vector-like quantity that must be subject to change in order to achieve universal constants such as the speed of light, i.e., light cannot rush so time must speed up; light cannot tarry so time must stand still. (I must use that in a song.)
Time-dilation seems like a misleading term to me. Especially if the effect can be explained in terms of energy distribution and changes in rates of change and still confirm relativity. Acceleration causes an increase in energy potential and events can occur more quickly and some can be retarded; position and motion with respect to gravity determine which,
I don't know, perhaps quantum physics has a problem with that?
I have a bit of a problem too; my universe requires the existence of an ether as a source of energy and in the end, so too does relativity.
Or do I?