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« "Fear of Food: 'The Hubris of Experts'” | Main | Here's how you know the New York Times suspects Romney will win »

October 22, 2012

Two supposed challenges to Einstein

"It May Be Possible To Travel Faster Than The Speed Of Light".

"Einstein faces super-massive black hole challenge".

As with the supposedly FTL neutrinos that turned out to bogus, I recommend betting on Big Al and giving the points. 


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Super lightspeed speculation, which lies beyond the realm of special relativity (SR), is nothing more than mathematical manipulation in an unreal-world domain. It is analogous to manipulation of complex numbers (i.e., numbers comprising "real" and "imaginary" components, where the imaginary component is quantified in units of "square-root of minus one"). Such speculation concerns a universe governed by laws unlike those of our own universe.

The black-hole challenge is yet another proposed experiment that will undoubtedly confirm general relativity (GR), Big Al's generalization of Newton's law of gravity. In the domain where GR applies, namely beyond the realm of quantum mechanics, Big Al rules -- big time. And so long as any so-called "challenge" remains beyond any black hole's horizon (which this proposed experiment does), it is in GR's realm of applicability. Once inside a black hole's horizon (and, therefore, beyond GR's realm of applicability), however, we would need a theory of quantum gravity, which we still don't have.

Bottom line, within Big Al's domains of applicability, namely SR and GR, you are wise to take Big Al and give the points.

mike shupp

The notion that relativity was compatible with particles moving faster than the speed of light was recognized back in the 1960's by a theoretical physicist named Gerald Feinberg. He called such particles "tachyons" and wrote a book with that name. From the account, it seems Hill and Cox have have his repeated his logic and obtained the same conclusions ... what in commoner trades is called "reinventing the wheel."

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