Maxwell's Equations and Special Relativity Theory 3
Faster than Light?
is a new crop of experimental evidence favoring superluminal
waves have been reported to travel faster than "c,"
at least initially, in the
laboratory.(30) However, this result has been
challenged as experimental
error.(31) Velocities of up to "lOc" transverse
to line of site have been
reported by astronomers. More evidence has
surfaced that the speed of light is
not "c" in deep space, based on data
from the Pioneer 10 and 11
Recently, physicists at Princeton made an announcement indicating
they have broken the light barrier.(33) One researcher was quoted as
"Our experiment does show that the generally held misconception that
‘nothing can travel faster than the speed of light’ is wrong." However,
their results have been challenged as experimental error due to anomalous
dispersion. (Recall that non-TEM transmission modes in waveguide or in
fibers are subject to dispersion, even when the medium is lossless. This
spreads out an energy pulse, giving the illusion of increased speed at the
Another heresy to modern physics is the dissident assumption
must act instantaneously (more than 10^8c) in order to explain the
of the heavens.(34) If gravity propagated (slowly) at "c," the effects
aberration would cause the Earth’s orbital energy to increase, and spiral
slowly outward. NASA is said to use an instantaneous velocity for the speed
of gravity in its calculations.
"Recreational Mathematics" and Its Impact to Physics I have
dissident protests in the classroom (see
IE No. 33, pp. 8-9). No doubt the
politics of Einstein’s Relativity have
contributed to the malaise within the
physics community. In a recent
editorial,35 a noted Emeritus professor of
physics discussed the
situation with regard to students leaving academia for
challenging work in industry. He goes on to say: "We are
experiencing a serious
brain drain in physics. . .those who are leaving
are in many cases the cream of
the crop. I hear this again and again
from many different mentors. I find many of
those hired for permanent
jobs in physics [academia] to be among the least
creative. . .my
impression is that [industryl is doing a better job in
creativity. . [Our profession] believes that there are no more
revolutions possible. . .We must not let The End of Science become
self-fulfilling prophecy. The best way to prevent the end of science is
provide opportunity in abundance for the most creative and original
young people. This is not happening. But it needs to."
The mavericks have often
made the point that, once cut loose from
the constraints of experiment, modern
physics has drifted into the
realm of abstract, untestable mathematics. G.H.
Hardy would have
been very pleased. Quoting Beckmann: "Mathematics is
free and unfettered by experimental observation to define its
from which it deduces their consequences; physics, if it is to
the real world, must build on the two primitive and
undefinable pillars [space
and time]. It must not tamper with them in
order to accommodate higher concepts.
It must not redefine the
unthinkable; more particularly, it must not make the
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