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[Fwd: starship-design: relativity]

"Kyle R. Mcallister" wrote:

> Yes, new ideas are treated badly at first by a significant portion of the
> scientific community. But the majority don't act like this. Unfortunately,
> the ones who do make asses of themselves, proclaiming wild assumptions and
> the like, such as Dr. Robert Park, to use him as an example, are the most
> vocal. He may be in a high place, but his opinion is not true of the entire
> scientific community. Most people don't demean others, and think they are
> holier-than-thou-art with proud statements saying that FTL/gravity
> control/interstellar travel/insert-your-favorite-topic-here is impossible,
> and always will be. And most people don't say that their opinion is not
> shared by the APS, but should be.

Good. I guess the pity is that the bad ones are the loudest.

> > Dogmatism is not an acceptable response; it merely signals that you
> > are afraid of the question. I've been there, so I know.
> Uh...when was I practicing dogmatism? By asking for experimental results
> that back up Wallace's claims? If that's dogmatism, I've got a bridge in
> Brooklyn to sell you...

Sorry, I just thought your first response seemed a bit stiff . . .

> > Now, roll up your mouse pad and stick it between your teeth, because I'm
> about
> > to make you bite down really hard.
> There's no need to get uptight about this. I'm not angry, and you shouldn't
> be either. Maybe you weren't...email is not good at conveying emotion.

No offense intended, none taken. You're right about email, full interpretation
is quite difficult at times.

> > It seems to me that c+v makes sense of an otherwise obvious conundrum:
> let's
> > say you have a light source which is receding from you at some
> considerable
> > velocity (or approaching, it doesn't matter). If, as relativity asserts,
> light
> > always travels _only_ at c, then the light reaching you has to actually
> _change
> > its speed_ to be at exactly c when it reaches you.
> I understand what you are saying. It does not make total sense to me
> either. But it is like this: if you move an object at .5c, towards a
> detector, the detector sees the incoming light to be travelling at 1.0c.
> Why?

We can ask why, and should, but how do we know that this really is so? I can't
be the first to have asked this question (obviously), but here's where I think
that Wallace deserves a little consideration on the c+v issue.

In looking through all this material, I kept seeing references to
Michelson-Morley, and went and looked it up, in several places. Okay, Michelson
proved the non-existence of ether, and I see that previous to that, he had
measured the speed of light. But his apparatus had the limitations of fixed
targets at a relatively short range. Here's where I made the connection between
Wallace and Michelson. You can't look for c+v with a fixed target, and a short
range makes it harder to check your error. Wallace's biggest issue is the idea
of using radio telescopes to measure c against other planets. This is great;
you've got unmistakable, large targets, a good many light seconds of distance,
and generous relative velocities, plus modern equipment to measure the results.
And he says (or suspects, as seems reasonable anyway) that all the data he
needs already exist. An honest evaluation of this data should easily settle the
issue of c+v, one way or the other.

So why does he keep getting the run-around? I would think that any true
scientist would be delighted with such a project, and for that matter, I'd be
amazed if someone hadn't done it deliberately by now. So why the evasion?

> This was not meant to flame...

Nor mine, and thanks again for your indulgence.

> --Kyle R. Mcallister