An explanation of time dilation by analogy with yacht racing
In yacht racing, unlike say motor racing, it is difficult to know which boat is in front when they have taken different paths. Consider the case of two-yachts, e.g. an America’s Cup type event. One boat might look closer to the finish line, but if it is substantially down-wind of the mark then it will be moving slower than another boat upwind but further away. In addition, the boats might move into regions of the water space where the wind is faster (or slower), or coming from a different direction, and this will affect the outcome.
For a spectator, it is very difficult to see which boat is winning, or how the boats are doing against each other when they are on different parts of the water, unless that spectator has a lot of sailing knowledge him/herself. Plus the spectators are invariably far away and low to the water, so have very little ability to perceive the depth of the visual field. All this makes watching yachting a boring spectacle.
To improve the situation Virtual Eye, based in New Zealand, has developed a data acquisition, software, and rendering system to visually show spectators how the race is progressing. This is a neat system as it shows the advantage between the boats, and avoids the need for the spectator to have specialised sailing knowledge…which of course is important in getting the wider public interested in the sport. Here for example is an image showing a red boat ahead of a black one. It would otherwise not be clear which one was leading.
Things start to get more complex when there are multiple boats, all taking very different paths across the water. In this next image, the white boat with the blue line is ahead of the black boat (Oracle). This would have been hard for a land-lubber to determine, as black looks ahead. The larger the physical space between the boats, the harder it is to see which boat is ahead. This also applies to the yachties on board their boats.
By now you will probably be seeing where this discussion is heading. Yachting is done on a 2D course where there are an infinite many loci possible. The boat’s velocity depends on which part of that 2D space it travels through, how fast the wind flows in those spaces, and the relative orientation of boat and wind.
Now replace the flow of the wind with the flow of time, and the time dilation situation emerges. If two space craft were to take different paths through space, going through different regions of gravitational strength and accelerating differently, then it would be difficult to determine from afar which was ahead in time. Hence the Andromeda Paradox.
Time dilation is often illustrated with the idea that ‘you’ stay on Earth and ‘your twin’ goes off in a spacecraft. In which case we are protagonists embedded within the time dilation, and like the yachties on their boats, find it difficult to comprehend our relative progress. Visual Eye’s software looks down on the yacht race from an independent third-party perspective, and worldlines do this for cosmology though not nearly so engagingly.
Time dilation only applies when two (or more) protagonists take different routes through space. One can never be totally sure which protagonist is ahead in time, because you don’t know what future choices they will make regarding the gravitational and acceleration regimes they will be exposed to. It is only when the protagonists are brought back together in the same location that you can see the time difference. In the case of time dilation this will show up as one clock indicating a later time or date, or a biological organism showing greater age. (This part may sound weird, and indeed it is still something of an open question as to how time occurs at the level of fundamental physics. You can just accept that the clocks will show a difference. There are many explanations of time-dilation on the internet. They invariably address the question of what is is and how to formulate it mathematically. The much harder question is how it occurs. If you want the additional mental gymnastics, start by thinking about atomic clocks (i.e. like atomic vibrations), as this feels less weird. Then you can ponder how atomic time scales up to the level of clockwork timepieces. Then explain to yourself how this determines biological time at the cellular level. Finally, work out the implication for yourself as a biological being. It is a interesting and rewarding personal gedanken experiment. The initial weirdness, which arises from the psychological incongruence between what physics and our own senses tell us of the *now*, becomes resolved and one gains an appreciation of time and the nature of the gift. Our own explanation of time is referenced below).
In the case of yachting, this time dilation shows up as one boat ahead of the other, i,e, one boat enters a region of 2D space before the second boat enters the same space. So whatever has happened before on the water, when the boats come together, heading in the same direction, then it is apparent who is in front, as the image shows. The finish line is one such 2D space, and the most important one. But there are also others where the precedence becomes visible, e.g. going around marker buoys.
So the outcomes of time dilation only become clearly evident when the protagonists are brought back to a common location in space. At this point the ambiguity of which one is ahead collapses. The Andromeda-type paradoxes exploit this ambiguity, but the ambiguity only exists when the protagonists are far away in space – bring them together again and the paradox collapses. Just like in yachting, all the ambiguity during the race collapses at the finish line: both boats have to cross the same region of 2D space, and the first one there is the winner.
- Virtual Eye software http://virtualeye.tv/index.php/the-sports/virtual-eye-sailing
- World-lines (physics and cosmology) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_line
- Pons, D.J., Pons, A., D., and Pons, A., J., Time: An emergent property of matter. Applied Physics Research, 2013. 5(6): p. 23-47.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/apr.v5n6p23
PS: If you don’t like wet, then alternatively, time dilation is like hiking up a mountain where there are no paths and each hiker takes his/her own route. Some paths might look like a more direct route to the summit, but if they are steeper then progress may be slower. This is actually what I was thinking of first since I was hiking at the time and realised that hiking was just like yachting, and then realised both were like time dilation.
Dirk Pons 23 April 2014
And also, Why are antineutrinos right handed? These questions do not have answers. In quantum mechanics and the Standard model of particles it is assumed that the unique left and right spin properties, also called helicity, are fixed ‘intrinsic’ properties. (For example, see Hyperphysics on left handed neutrinos). These theories cannot explain why: the spin is assumed to just happen to be like this. Obviously this is not ontologically satisfactory. Not that weirdness is any stranger to QM.
It’s not hard to see why QM would have logical difficulties in this area. It assumes that particles are zero dimensional (0-D) points, and no physical interpretation is possible for ‘spin’ in such a model: there simply aren’t enough dimensions in a 0-D construct to accommodate something as complex as spin. It is true that string and M-theory have sufficient dimensions, about 11 depending on the theory. So in theory it might be possible to to accommodate ‘spin’ in that framework, except that these theories are entirely abstract. They do not map to the physical world.
So if there is an explanation for the peculiar handedness of the neutrino spins, it is beyond the current theories of physics.
And that’s where the hidden sector theories come in. By their very nature they contain internal structures, the ‘hidden variables’. These theories have the potential to give powerful explanations at levels deeper than quantum mechanics can go. However the difficulty is finding suitable candidate solutions. Our Cordus theory is one such design. Technically it’s called a non-local hidden-variable (NLHV) theory.
In our recent work we return to the question of neutrino spin, and have some explanations to offer. These have been published here 10.5539/apr.v6n3p50 based on a development of our earlier work (see vixra). Here’s how we approached it. We started by determining the internal structure of the neutrino (and antineutrino) within this NLHV framework. We did this by reverse-engineering the beta decays. In β- decay, or electron emission, the free-neutron decays into a proton, electron, and an antineutrino:
n => p + e + v
Since we already have the internal structures of the n, p and e, we can infer the structure of the antineutrino. Similarly, in β+ decay, also called positron emission, the proton converts into a neutron, antielectron (positron) and neutrino:
p + energy => n + e + v
This allows the neutrino structure to be determined, since everything else is known. Obviously in doing this we are relying on the hope that the Cordus theory has internal validity. The result we get is shown in the Figure.
In turn, this structure offers an explanation for why the neutrino moves: it has incomplete discrete forces and therefore has to borrow discrete fields from the surrounding fabric, and this means moving at the speed of propagation of the fabric fields, which is the speed of light.An explanation for the selective spin direction is that the energisation sequence of the neutrino’s discrete forces causes a rotational spin. The energisation sequence -of which there are only two options- also determines the matter-antimatter species differentiation. So the spin direction depends on the energisation sequence, and the latter also determines the matter-antimatter nature. So a species-specific spin arises. The linear velocity and spin also have a common cause, since it is the lack of discrete forces that causes both the velocity and the spin reactions. Consequently the neutrino takes one hand (left) and the antineutrino the other (right). Which is to say, helicity is species-specific.
So there, in one paragraph, we have a natural explanation for why the neutrino is left handed, and for why the neutrino moves at the speed of light. We also have an explanation for neutrino mass, but I’ll leave that for now. It is covered in the paper, which is open access.
The fact that we have been able to achieve an explanation of neutrino spin shows that the Cordus theory has a good degree of logical consistency and internal validity. However we do acknowledge that it could be coherent but still wrong. Nonetheless given the plausibility of the result, one either has to show why it’s wrong, or consider the consequences of it being correct. As for showing where the theory might be wrong, I’ll leave that to others. I suspect the easiest way to do that would be to show that the electron cannot have the structure we propose. Looking at our paper on pair-production might show weaknesses? On the other side of the equation, if this theory is correct then the implications are radical and unorthodox. Radical because it claims there is a deeper NLHV physics beneath quantum mechanics. Unorthodox because it means that that QM’s premise of particles being 0-D points would be merely a coarse approximation to a deeper reality. This implies that QM would be unsuitable -unfit for purpose- as a basis for new physics at the next level down.
There is no logical reason why particles should be 0-D points: it was merely a convenient assumption of ignorance on the part of the pioneers of quantum mechanics. Now times have moved on and more powerful NLHV designs are available that, by their wide-ranging explanatory power, demonstrate that it is possible to think beyond the cognitively stifling 0-D point premise of QM.
18 April 2014
- Pons, D. J., Pons, A., D., & Pons, A., J. (2014). Beta decays and the inner structures of the neutrino in a NLHV design. Applied Physics Research, 6(3), 50-63. http://vixra.org/pdf/1111.0022v1.pdf
http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/apr/article/view/35335 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/apr.v6n3p50 or http://vixra.org/abs/1111.0022
‘Hidden variable solutions’ are theories of fundamental physics that propose that particles (e.g. the electron) have inner structure. By comparison quantum mechanics (QM) and the Standard Model are based on the premise that a particle is a zero-dimensional (0D) point.
However it is known from experiment that particles have many properties, that make them different to other particles. For example the electron has negative charge, a certain mass, and a spin.
How does QM explain these? It doesn’t. Instead it proposes that these are ‘intrinsic’ properties. i.e. disembodied attributes. How might these properties arise then? According to QM, that is not a meaningful question to ask. The mathematics simply requires these attributes, and QM pointedly rejects the notion that there might be natural explanations at a deeper level of physics. Consequently the more extremist interpretations of QM would have us believe that reality is fundamentally mathematical, and that the probabilistic nature of superposition is simply all there is, that there is nothing deeper (Copenhagen interpretation). Hence an assumption that indeterminism is fundamental (Born & Heisenberg).
The hidden variable theories propose that there is a deeper inner structure to a particle. This physical structure then causes the properties of charge, mass, spin (etc). These internal structures are ‘hidden’ to external inspection, hence the name. According to this perspective, the probabilistic equations of QM are approximations to a deeper mechanics. Einstein believed that QM was fundamentally incomplete (EPR, 1935) and suspected the existence of hidden variables. However the hidden sector has historically failed to live up to expectations, the main difficulty being the sheer lack of specific solutions. It is all very well to say that in principle a particle might have inner structure, but to do anything useful one has to propose a specific internal design. That’s where things have failed to progress. There is no obvious hidden variable solution, and very few candidate designs.
To make things harder, one whole category of possibilities, the local hidden-variable designs, have been eliminated by the Bell type inequalities (Bell, 1964). The other category, the non-local hidden variable (NLHV) designs, is also under theoretical siege (Leggett, 2013)(Groblacher 2007) such that the remaining solution space is limited. As those authors have commented, if a NLHV solution exists at all, it must be counter-intuitive.
The candidate hidden-variable designs are as follow:
- The de-Broglie-Bohm theory (Bohm, 1966), also called the ‘pilot-wave’ theory. (See wikipedia). This has not done well, though there are still scientists who are progressing the idea and seeking to extend it. However in its present state it is not able to explain a diverse range of other fundamental phenomena, and hence is not yet as extensive as QM. There are many things it cannot explain. Some have even suggested it is merely another interpretation of QM, but I think that’s taking it a bit too far.
- Others?At the present time, if you search for NLHV solutions there is not much more than de-Broglie-Bohm. This goes to show how hard it has been to come up with candidates that can evade the Bell-type inequalities. Here are a few more ideas. These are mostly mathematical treatments rather than specific proposals for natural structures, so are difficult to interpret or apply, and their ontological explanatory power is weak, but they show that people are still chipping away at the problem in creative ways.
- The Cordus theory (covered elsewhere on this site) can be considered a NLHV design. Unusually, it has been developed using a systems engineering design methodology, as opposed to the mathematical theory building that every other attempt has used. Consequently it is descriptive theory, rather than a mathematical formalism. Nonetheless it has good ontological explanatory power, arguably better than QM. All that weirdness of quantum mechanics gets washed away in natural explanations involving the deeper sub-components of the particle. We think it can explain, in an ontological sense, anything that quantum mechanics purports to explain (which is not always a lot). But it doesn’t do the quantitative formalism as well as QM, so is limited in that regard.
Most physicists believe that quantum mechanics is a complete description of reality, and only needs extending. They are generally dismissive of hidden variable designs. However NLHV designs are not dead, just incredibly hard to find. It’s not impossible that a new physics could be found in the hidden sector.
Dirk Pons, 29 March 2014
Why are there exactly three colour charges for quarks?
The Cordus theory, which is a type of non-local hidden-variable design, gives a straight-forward answer: because three is the number of geometric directions for emission of discrete forces. Thus the number of fractional charges (colours) is dependent on the nature of spacetime.
The Cordus theory also explains why colour is only seen in fractional charge situations: because there are none of the three emission directions may be unfilled in unit-charge particules.
The pattern of discrete forces is represented in HED notation, which simply indicates the number of discrete forces in each of three orthogonal spatial directions [r, a, t].
For more, see the following paper  on the annihilation process.
1. Pons, D.J., Pons, A.D., Pons, A.J.: Annihilation mechanisms. Applied Physics Research 6(2), 28-46 (2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/apr.v6n2p28
Most of the developments of the Cordus theory have focussed on fundamental physics, e.g. the proposed inner structure of the fundamental particles and that of the nuclides (isotopes). However the theory also has cosmological implications. We have explored some of these in the theory for time, and that of the cosmological frontier (the outer edge of the universe).
These start to raise some interesting philosophical questions. In particular, the implications for free-will. In this post I explore some of these, starting at the cosmological level.
The explicit implication of the conventional idea of the cosmological horizon is that the inner universe of 3D matter could be controlled from outside, by an intelligent Agent that could access the outer 2D horizon. This philosophically thought-provoking idea has significant existential implications for reality. The Cordus theory rejects this as a fanciful notion, for the following reasons.
First, the Agent would need to control the whole entire horizon simultaneously (as opposed to only one patch). This task is physically infeasible, given the size of the universe, and the necessary coordinated control would need to be instantaneous to have any useful control purpose. This excludes any physical Agent.
Second, a physical Agent is further excluded because such an Agent, positioned around the cosmological boundary, would therefore become part of the process whereby the vacuum of the universe colonises the wider void. (The Cordus theory proposes that time is created by the existence of matter, and therefore time does not exist outside the cosmological horizon). Thus a matter-based Agent would create time and therefore become part of the universe being measured and controlled, and the unidirectional causality could not be maintained. It is therefore not possible, according to the Cordus theory, to have an independent physical Agent, observer, or even inanimate instrumentation, at the boundary. The Cordus theory shows that the act of observation changes the system, i.e. observation is necessarily contextual. This applies to photons in double-slit and interferometer apparatus. In the case of the cosmological boundary there is a similar principle, except here the addition of the Agent adds to the system under observation.
The third objection is that there is, according to the Cordus theory, no bidirectional causality between the 2D surface and the inner 3D volume anyway. Even if there was a non-physical (metaphysical) Agent at the boundary, one nonetheless able to meddle with the discrete forces protruding from the expanding universe, such a frontier interaction would do nothing to change the emitting particule way back in the depths of the universe. This interpretation arises because the Cordus theory suggests that discrete fields are unilateral interactions with mono-directional causality: they are not conduits for bi-directional force transfer. Consequently, the discrete field pulses that are received at any inspection point remote from the emitting body are a force on any matter at that inspection point, and have no reciprocal effect back on the emitting body.
The only way for an Agent on the boundary to change the particules inside the universe is for the Agent to emit its own discrete fields back into the universe to target those particules. However this would require a physical agent (which we already exclude) to generate the discrete fields. This is because discrete fields are a feature of matter, and do not have an independent pre-existence. There is a further obstacle too: even if it were somehow possible to generate discrete fields without matter, these would take time to arrive at their target within the universe, thereby adding a practical limitation to the efficacy of the control.
So there are three objections to the holographic control idea, the most fundamental of which is that simply intercepting the discrete fields of the original emitting particule is insufficient for controlling that particule. The universe can therefore not be controlled from its boundary, under this theory. The Cordus theory excludes the possibility of placing a physical Agent at the boundary of the universe, and of such an Agent having any practical way to control the universe from the outside. The control aspects of the holographic principle are therefore rejected.
We have not excluded the possibility that a metaphysical Being or Deity may be able to achieve this level of control, but even this seems unlikely for two reasons. One, it is unclear how a metaphysical Being could create or interfere with the discrete forces protruding from the frontier. More importantly, such manipulation would take ages to propagate back to their target in the physical universe, so the control effect would lack immediacy.
So the conclusion we reach, is that the Cordus theory rejects the idea that free-will may be compromised on a grand scale by an Agent controlling the whole universe from its outer surface. We have not proved that free-will exists, but simply shown that the cosmological frontier is not relevant to consideration of free-will under this theory.
[This post has looked at the cosmological scale at its widest, just for the fun of it. I would like to come back to this in future work, by starting at the opposite end of the scale, by examining the implications of this theory for determinism at the fundamental level. ]
Read the full paper (open access) here:
Pons DJ, Pons A, D. (2013) Outer boundary of the expanding cosmos: Discrete fields and implications for the holographic principle The Open Astronomy Journal 6:77-89. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1874381101306010077
 The idea that forces like gravitation are bidirectional is a tacit assumption in classical mechanics. The relation for gravitation, F = G ma mb /r2 specifically identifies that the force depends on both masses, not one. The Cordus theory accepts this at the macroscopic level, but suggests that the effect is not a bidirectional force conduit between the two masses, but rather two independent effects that are aggregated. More specifically, that discrete fields emitted from source A cause their recipient target B to experience prescribed constraints on the re-energisation location of its reactive ends, and this is what we perceive as force. The recipient body B also sends out its own discrete fields, some of which are intercepted by A, and the mutual attraction/repulsion of the EMG forces arises by a combination of the individual unilateral effects. Simple passive access of field information does not necessitate control of the emitting source, according to the Cordus theory.
How does annihilation work? What occurs when matter and antimatter annihilate? How does an electron combine with an antielectron (positron) to disappear in a blip of photons? What is the process whereby the photons emerge from annihilation interaction? How, at the fundamental level, does mass-energy equivalence operate? (Mass-energy equivalence is the conversion of matter into energy, and the reciprocal conversion of photons into matter and antimatter, and is quantified by E=mc^2). How can something as substantial as matter be wiped out? Why does annihilation sometimes produce 2 photons, and at other times 3? No-one really knows how annihilation occurs.
A solution from the hidden sector
In our latest paper (10.5539/apr.v6n2p28) we offer an explanation for the annihilation process. This solution uses the Cordus theory, which is a specific non-local hidden-variable design, and is therefore from the hidden sector of fundamental physics (as opposed to quantum mechanics, relativity, or string theory).
This paper explains annihilation as the collapse of the discrete force structures of the electron and antielectron, and their reformation into photon structures. The process is more one of remanufacture than destruction. The resulting Cordus theory successfully explains para- and ortho-positronium annihilation: the different photons output, the relative difference in lifetimes, and why Bhabha scattering sometimes happens instead.
Curiously, this theory suggests that annihilation is the same class of interaction as pair-creation (nothing new there), and bonding via the strong force. It suggests the mechanisms are common.
For other background reading on annihilation, see Encycl. Britannica, and Wikipedia. One can also represent the inputs and outputs in a simple Feynman diagram. However the difficulty with all these approaches is describing how the annihilation process works. This is where our design offers a solution.
Pons DJ, Pons AD, Pons AJ (2014) Annihilation mechanisms. Applied Physics Research 6 (2):28-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/apr.v6n2p28
This application of the Cordus theory offers a descriptive solution for the relative lifetimes of all the nuclides of Hydrogen to Neon.
More specifically, the theory is able to explain why any one nuclide is stable, unstable, or non-existent. Consequently the theory also explains the drip lines, which are the margins of stability to the table of nuclides. It also explains the gaps in the series and sudden changes in stability across a series. This is achieved by identifying a unique set of rules -a mechanics- for the nuclear polymer. This is based, as with all the rest of the Cordus theory, on a non-local hidden-variable (NLHV) design.
The chart of the nuclides as per the Cordus theory is shown below.
This is a large diagram and may look blank: you will need to pan and zoom to see it. The paper containing this diagram has been submitted to a journal for peer-review. A copy is available on the vixra physics archive.
This theory also explains several other trends in the table of nuclides, which we may discuss another time. Other theories, including quantum chromodynamics (QCD), binding energy, shell model, liquid drop model, and semi-empirical mass formula (SEMF) can explain some of the features of the table of nuclides, but tend to be limited to mathematical representations of binding energy, with little real explanatory power. In contrast this Cordus theory offers explanations where these other theories are at a loss.
So it appears that the nuclide landscape may be explained by morphological considerations based on a NLHV design.
- Explaining the Nuclides (cordus.wordpress.com)
- Here is a really useful chart of the nuclides: https://www-nds.iaea.org/relnsd/vcharthtml/VChartHTML.html
- Paper version one Pons DJ, Pons AD, Pons AJ. (2013) Internal structure and assembly mechanics of the nucleus: Nuclides of hydrogen to neon, http://vixra.org/abs/1310.0172
- Update 29/11/2013: Published as Pons, D. J., Pons, A. D., & Pons, A. J. (2013). Explanation of the Table of Nuclides: Qualitative nuclear mechanics from a NLHV design. Applied Physics Research, 5(6), 145-174. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/apr.v5n6p145