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  • speed of light Archives - Unreal Blog
    SRT and are currently taken as confirmation that space time obeys SRT But instead space time may have a deeper structure that when filtered through LTT effects results in our perception that space time obeys SRT Once we accept the neuroscience view of reality as a representation of our sensory inputs we can understand why the speed of light figures so prominently in our physical theories The theories of physics are a description of reality Reality is created out of the readings from our senses especially our eyes They work at the speed of light Thus the sanctity accorded to the speed of light is a feature only of our reality not the absolute ultimate reality that our senses are striving to perceive When it comes to physics that describes phenomena well beyond our sensory ranges we really have to take into account the role that our perception and cognition play in seeing them The Universe as we see it is only a cognitive model created out of the photons falling on our retina or on the photo sensors of the Hubble telescope Because of the finite speed of the information carrier namely photons our perception is distorted in such a way as to give us the impression that space and time obey SRT They do but space and time are not the absolute reality Space and time are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live as Einstein himself put it Treating our perceived reality as our brain s representation of our visual inputs filtered through the LTT effect we will see that all the strange effects of the coordinate transformation in SRT can be understood as the manifestations of the finite speed of our senses in our space and time Furthermore we will show that this line of thinking leads to natural explanations for two classes of astrophysical phenomena Gamma Ray Bursts which are very brief but intense flashes of rays currently believed to emanate from cataclysmic stellar collapses and Radio Sources which are typically symmetric and seem associated with galactic cores currently considered manifestations of space time singularities or neutron stars These two astrophysical phenomena appear distinct and unrelated but they can be unified and explained using LTT effects This article presents such a unified quantitative model It will also show that the cognitive limitations to reality due to LTT effects can provide qualitative explanations for such cosmological features as the apparent expansion of the Universe and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation CMBR Both these phenomena can be understood as related to our perception of superluminal objects It is the unification of these seemingly distinct phenomena at vastly different length and time scales along with its conceptual simplicity that we hold as the indicators of validity of this framework 2 Similarities between LTT Effects SRT The coordinate transformation derived in Einstein s original paper 6 is in part a manifestation of the LTT effects and the consequence of imposing the constancy of light speed in all inertial frames This is most obvious in the first thought experiment where observers moving with a rod find their clocks not synchronized due to the difference in LTT s along the length of the rod However in the current interpretation of SRT the coordinate transformation is considered a basic property of space and time One difficulty that arises from this formulation is that the definition of the relative velocity between the two inertial frames becomes ambiguous If it is the velocity of the moving frame as measured by the observer then the observed superluminal motion in radio jets starting from the core region becomes a violation of SRT If it is a velocity that we have to deduce by considering LTT effects then we have to employ the extra ad hoc assumption that superluminality is forbidden These difficulties suggest that it may be better to disentangle the LTT effects from the rest of SRT Although not attempted in this paper the primary motivation for SRT namely the covariance of Maxwell s equations may be accomplished even without attributing LTT effects to the properties of space and time In this Section we will consider space and time as a part of the cognitive model created by the brain and illustrate that SRT applies to the cognitive model The absolute reality of which the SRT like space time is our perception does not have to obey the restrictions of SRT In particular objects are not restricted to subluminal speeds even though they may appear to us as if they are restricted to subluminal speeds in our perception of space and time If we disentangle LTT effects from the rest of SRT we can understand a wide array of phenomena as shown in this article SRT seeks a linear coordinate transformation between coordinate systems in motion with respect to each other We can trace the origin of linearity to a hidden assumption on the nature of space and time built into SRT as stated by Einstein 6 In the first place it is clear that the equations must be linear on account of the properties of homogeneity which we attribute to space and time Because of this assumption of linearity the original derivation of the transformation equations ignores the asymmetry between approaching and receding objects and concentrates on receding objects Both approaching and receding objects can be described by two coordinate systems that are always receding from each other For instance if a system K is moving with respect to another system k along the positive X axis of k then an object at rest in K at a positive x is approaching an observer at the origin of k Unlike SRT considerations based on LTT effects result in intrinsically different set of transformation laws for objects approaching an observer and those receding from him More generally the transformation depends on the angle between the velocity of the object and the observer s line of sight Since the transformation equations based on LTT effects treat approaching and receding objects asymmetrically they provide a natural solution to the twin paradox for instance 2 1 First Order Perceptual Effects For approaching and receding objects the relativistic effects are second order in speed and speed typically appears as The LTT effects on the other hand are first order in speed The first order effects have been studied in the last fifty years in terms of the appearance of a relativistically moving extended body 7 15 It has also been suggested that the relativistic Doppler effect can be considered the geometric mean 16 of more basic calculations The current belief is that the first order effects are an optical illusion to be taken out of our perception of reality Once these effects are taken out or deconvolved from the observations the real space and time are assumed to obey SRT Note that this assumption is impossible to verify because the deconvolution is an ill posed problem there are multiple solutions to the absolute reality that all result in the same perceptual picture Not all the solutions obey SRT The notion that it is the absolute reality that obeys SRT ushers in a deeper philosophical problem This notion is tantamount to insisting that space and time are in fact intuitions beyond sensory perception rather than a cognitive picture created by our brain out of the sensory inputs it receives A formal critique of the Kantian intuitions of space and time is beyond the scope of this article Here we take the position that it is our observed or perceived reality that obeys SRT and explore where it leads us In other words we assume that SRT is nothing but a formalization of the perceptual effects These effects are not first order in speed when the object is not directly approaching or receding from the observer as we will see later We will show in this article that a treatment of SRT as a perceptual effect will give us natural solution for astrophysical phenomena like gamma ray bursts and symmetric radio jets 2 2 Perception of Speed We first look at how the perception of motion is modulated by LTT effects As remarked earlier the transformation equations of SRT treat only objects receding from the observer For this reason we first consider a receding object flying away from the observer at a speed of the object depends on the real speed b as shown in Appendix A 1 1 2 Thus due to LTT effects an infinite real velocity gets mapped to an apparent velocity In other words no object can appear to travel faster than the speed of light entirely consistent with SRT Physically this apparent speed limit amounts to a mapping of to This mapping is most obvious in its consequences For instance it takes an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object to an apparent speed because in reality we are accelerating it to an infinite speed This infinite energy requirement can also be viewed as the relativistic mass changing with speed reaching at Einstein explained this mapping as For velocities greater than that of light our deliberations become meaningless we shall however find in what follows that the velocity of light in our theory plays the part physically of an infinitely great velocity Thus for objects receding from the observer the effects of LTT are almost identical to the consequences of SRT in terms of the perception of speed 2 3 Time Dilation Time Dilation Figure 1 Comparison between light travel time LTT effects and the predictions of the special theory of relativity SR The X axis is the apparent speed and the Y axis shows the relative time dilation or length contraction LTT effects influence the way time at the moving object is perceived Imagine an object receding from the observer at a constant rate As it moves away the successive photons emitted by the object take longer and longer to reach the observer because they are emitted at farther and farther away This travel time delay gives the observer the illusion that time is flowing slower for the moving object It can be easily shown see Appendix A 2 that the time interval observed is related to the real time interval as 3 for an object receding from the observer This observed time dilation is plotted in Fig 1 where it is compared to the time dilation predicted in SR Note that the time dilation due to LTT has a bigger magnitude than the one predicted in SR However the variation is similar with both time dilations tending to as the observed speed tends to 2 4 Length Contraction The length of an object in motion also appears different due to LTT effects It can be shown see Appendix A 3 that observed length as 4 for an object receding from the observer with an apparent speed of This equation also is plotted in Fig 1 Note again that the LTT effects are stronger than the ones predicted in SRT Fig 1 illustrates that both time dilation and Lorentz contraction can be thought of as LTT effects While the actual magnitudes of LTT effects are larger than what SRT predicts their qualitative dependence on speed is almost identical This similarity is not surprising because the coordinate transformation in SRT is partly based on LTT effects If LTT effects are to be applied as an optical illusion on top of the consequences of SRT as currently believed then the total observed length contraction and time dilation will be significantly more than the SRT predictions 2 5 Doppler Shift The rest of the article the sections up to Conclusions has been abridged and can be read in the PDF version 5 Conclusions In this article we started with an insight from cognitive neuroscience about the nature of reality Reality is a convenient representation that our brain creates out of our sensory inputs This representation though convenient is an incredibly distant experiential mapping of the actual physical causes that make up the inputs to our senses Furthermore limitations in the chain of sensing and perception map to measurable and predictable manifestations to the reality we perceive One such fundamental constraint to our perceived reality is the speed of light and the corresponding manifestations LTT effects Because space and time are a part of a reality created out of light inputs to our eyes some of their properties are manifestations of LTT effects especially on our perception of motion The absolute physical reality generating the light inputs does not obey the properties we ascribe to our perceived space and time We showed that LTT effects are qualitatively identical to those of SRT noting that SRT only considers frames of reference receding from each other This similarity is not surprising because the coordinate transformation in SRT is derived based partly on LTT effects and partly on the assumption that light travels at the same speed with respect to all inertial frames In treating it as a manifestation of LTT we did not address the primary motivation of SRT which is a covariant formulation of Maxwell s equations as evidenced by the opening statements of Einstein s original paper 6 It may be possible to disentangle the covariance of electrodynamics from the coordinate transformation although it is not attempted in this article Unlike SRT LTT effects are asymmetric This asymmetry provides a resolution to the twin paradox and an interpretation of the assumed causality violations associated with superluminality Furthermore the perception of superluminality is modulated by LTT effects and explains g ray bursts and symmetric jets As we showed in the article perception of superluminal motion also holds an explanation for cosmological phenomena like the expansion of the Universe and cosmic microwave background radiation LTT effects should be considered as a fundamental constraint in our perception and consequently in physics rather than as a convenient explanation for isolated phenomena Given that our perception is filtered through LTT effects we have to deconvolute them from our perceived reality in order to understand the nature of the absolute physical reality This deconvolution however results in multiple solutions Thus the absolute physical reality is beyond our grasp and any assumed properties of the absolute reality can only be validated through how well the resultant perceived reality agrees with our observations In this article we assumed that the absolute reality obeys our intuitively obvious classical mechanics and asked the question how such a reality would be perceived when filtered through LTT effects We demonstrated that this particular treatment could explain certain astrophysical and cosmological phenomena that we observe The distinction between the different notions of velocity including the proper velocity and the Einsteinian velocity was the subject matter of a recent issue of this journal 33 The coordinate transformation in SRT should be viewed as a redefinition of space and time or more generally reality in order to accommodate the distortions in our perception of motion due to LTT effects The absolute reality behind our perception is not subject to restrictions of SRT One may be tempted to argue that SRT applies to the real space and time not our perception This line of argument begs the question what is real Reality is nothing but a cognitive model created in our brain starting from our sensory inputs visual inputs being the most significant Space itself is a part of this cognitive model The properties of space are a mapping of the constraints of our perception We have no access to a reality beyond our perception The choice of accepting our perception as a true image of reality and redefining space and time as described in SRT indeed amounts to a philosophical choice The alternative presented in the article is prompted by the view in modern neuroscience that reality is a cognitive model in the brain based on our sensory inputs Adopting this alternative reduces us to guessing the nature of the absolute reality and comparing its predicted projection to our real perception It may simplify and elucidate some theories in physics and explain some puzzling phenomena in our Universe However this option is yet another philosophical stance against the unknowable absolute reality References 1 V S Ramachandran The Emerging Mind Reith Lectures on Neuroscience BBC 2003 2 L M Chen R M Friedman and A W Roe Science 302 881 2003 3 J A Biretta W B Sparks and F Macchetto ApJ 520 621 1999 4 A J Zensus ARA A 35 607 1997 5 M Rees Nature 211 468 1966 6 A Einstein Annalen der Physik 17 891 1905 7 R Weinstein Am J Phys 28 607 1960 8 M L Boas Am J Phys 29 283 1961 9 S Yngström Arkiv för Fysik 23 367 1962 10 G D Scott and M R Viner Am J Phys 33 534 1965 11 N C McGill Contemp Phys 9 33 1968 12 R Bhandari Am J Phys 38 1200 1970 13 G D Scott and H J van Driel Am J Phys 38 971 1970 14 P M Mathews and M Lakshmanan Nuovo Cimento 12 168 1972 15 J Terrell Am J Phys 57 9 1989 16 T M Kalotas and A M Lee Am J Phys 58 187 1990 17 I F Mirabel and L F Rodríguez Nature 371 46 1994 18 I F Mirabel and L F Rodríguez ARA A 37 409 1999 19 G Gisler Nature 371 18 1994 20 R P Fender S T Garrington D J McKay T W B Muxlow G G Pooley R E Spencer A M Stirling and E B Waltman MNRAS 304 865 1999 21 R A Perley J W Dreher and J J Cowan ApJ 285 L35 1984 22 I Owsianik and J E Conway A A 337 69 1998 23 A G Polatidis J E Conway and I Owsianik in Proc 6th European VLBI Network Symposium edited by Ros Porcas Lobanov Zensus 2002 24 M Thulasidas The perceptual effect due to LTT of a superluminal object appearing as two objects is best illustrated using an animation which can be found at the author s web site http www TheUnrealUniverse com anim html 25 S Jester H J Roeser K Meisenheimer and R Perley A A 431 477 2005 astro ph 0410520 26 T Piran International Journal of Modern Physics A 17 2727 2002 27 E P Mazets S V Golenetskii V N Ilyinskii Y A Guryan and R L Aptekar Ap SS 82 261 1982 28 T Piran Phys Rept 314 575 1999 29 F Ryde ApJ 614 827 2005 30 F Ryde and R Svensson ApJ 566 210 2003 31 G Ghisellini J Mod Phys A Proc 19th European Cosmic Ray Symposium ECRS 2004 2004 astro ph 0411106 32 F Ryde and R Svensson ApJ 529 L13 2000 33 C Whitney Galilean Electrodynamics Special Issues 3 Editor s Essays Winter 2005 Pages 1 2 AGN cognitive neuroscience gamma ray bursts gamma rays light travel time microwave background radiation relativity speed of light symmetric radio sources Articles and Essays Philosophy Physics The Philosophy of Special Relativity A Comparison between Indian and Western Interpretations August 6 2008 manoj 3 Comments Abstract The Western philosophical phenomenalism could be treated as a kind of philosophical basis of the special theory of relativity The perceptual limitations of our senses hold the key to the understanding of relativistic postulates The specialness of the speed of light in our phenomenal space and time is more a matter of our perceptual apparatus than an input postulate to the special theory of relativity The author believes that the parallels among the phenomenological Western spiritual and the Eastern Advaita interpretations of special relativity point to an exciting possibility of unifying the Eastern and Western schools of thought to some extent Editor Key Words Relativity Speed of Light Phenomenalism Advaita Introduction The philosophical basis of the special theory of relativity can be interpreted in terms of Western phenomenalism which views space and time are considered perceptual and cognitive constructs created out our sensory inputs From this perspective the special status of light and its speed can be understood through a phenomenological study of our senses and the perceptual limitations to our phenomenal notions of space and time A similar view is echoed in the Brahman Maya distinction in Advaita If we think of space and time as part of Maya we can partly understand the importance that the speed of light in our reality as enshrined in special relativity The central role of light in our reality is highlighted in the Bible as well These remarkable parallels among the phenomenological Western spiritual and the Advaita interpretations of special relativity point to an exciting possibility of unifying the Eastern and Western schools of thought to a certain degree Special Relativity Einstein unveiled his special theory of relativity 2 a little over a century ago In his theory he showed that space and time were not absolute entities They are entities relative to an observer An observer s space and time are related to those of another through the speed of light For instance nothing can travel faster than the speed of light In a moving system time flows slower and space contracts in accordance with equations involving the speed of light Light therefore enjoys a special status in our space and time This specialness of light in our reality is indelibly enshrined in the special theory of relativity Where does this specialness come from What is so special about light that its speed should figure in the basic structure of space and time and our reality This question has remained unanswered for over 100 years It also brings in the metaphysical aspects of space and time which form the basis of what we perceive as reality Noumenal Phenomenal and Brahman Maya Distinctions In the Advaita 3 view of reality what we perceive is merely an illusion Maya Advaita explicitly renounces the notion that the perceived reality is external or indeed real It teaches us that the phenomenal universe our conscious awareness of it and our bodily being are all an illusion or Maya They are not the true absolute reality The absolute reality existing in itself independent of us and our experiences is Brahman A similar view of reality is echoed in phenomenalism 4 which holds that space and time are not objective realities They are merely the medium of our perception In this view all the phenomena that happen in space and time are merely bundles of our perception Space and time are also cognitive constructs arising from perception Thus the reasons behind all the physical properties that we ascribe to space and time have to be sought in the sensory processes that create our perception whether we approach the issue from the Advaita or phenomenalism perspective This analysis of the importance of light in our reality naturally brings in the metaphysical aspects of space and time In Kant s view 5 space and time are pure forms of intuition They do not arise from our experience because our experiences presuppose the existence of space and time Thus we can represent space and time in the absence of objects but we cannot represent objects in the absence of space and time Kant s middle ground has the advantage of reconciling the views of Newton and Leibniz It can agree with Newton s view 6 that space is absolute and real for phenomenal objects open to scientific investigation It can also sit well with Leibniz s view 7 that space is not absolute and has an existence only in relation to objects by highlighting their relational nature not among objects in themselves noumenal objects but between observers and objects We can roughly equate the noumenal objects to forms in Brahman and our perception of them to Maya In this article we will use the terms noumenal reality absolute reality or physical reality interchangeably to describe the collection of noumenal objects their properties and interactions which are thought to be the underlying causes of our perception Similarly we will phenomenal reality perceived or sensed reality and perceptual reality to signify our reality as we perceive it As with Brahman causing Maya we assume that the phenomenal notions of space and time arise from noumenal causes 8 through our sensory and cognitive processes Note that this causality assumption is ad hoc there is no a priori reason for phenomenal reality to have a cause nor is causation a necessary feature of the noumenal reality Despite this difficulty we proceed from a naive model for the noumenal reality and show that through the process of perception we can derive a phenomenal reality that obeys the special theory of relativity This attempt to go from the phenomena space and time to the essence of what we experience a model for noumenal reality is roughly in line with Husserl s transcendental phenomenology 9 The deviation is that we are more interested in the manifestations of the model in the phenomenal reality itself rather than the validity of the model for the essence Through this study we show that the specialness of the speed of light in our phenomenal space and time is a consequence of our perceptual apparatus It doesn t have to be an input postulate to the special theory of relativity Perception and Phenomenal Reality The properties we ascribe to space and time such as the specialness of the speed of light can only be a part of our perceived reality or Maya in Advaita not of the underlying absolute reality Brahman If we think of space and time as aspects of our perceived reality arising from an unknowable Brahman through our sensory and cognitive processes we can find an explanation for the special distinction of the speed of light in the process and mechanism of our sensing Our thesis is that the reason for the specialness of light in our phenomenal notions of space and time is hidden in the process of our perception We therefore study how the noumenal objects around us generate our sensory signals and how we construct our phenomenal reality out of these signals in our brains The first part is already troublesome because noumenal objects by definition have no properties or interactions that we can study or understand These features of the noumenal reality are identical to the notion of Brahman in Advaita which highlights that the ultimate truth is Brahman the one beyond time space and causation Brahman is the material cause of the universe but it transcends the cosmos It transcends time it exists in the past present and future It transcends space it has no beginning middle and end It even transcends causality For that reason Brahman is incomprehensible to the human mind The way it manifests to us is through our sensory and cognitive processes This manifestation is Maya the illusion which in the phenomenalistic parlance corresponds to the phenomenal reality For our purpose in this article we describe our sensory and cognitive process and the creation of the phenomenal reality or Maya 10 as follows It starts with the noumenal objects or forms in Brahman which generate the inputs to our senses Our senses then process the signals and relay the processed electric data corresponding to them to our brain The brain creates a cognitive model a representation of the sensory inputs and presents it to our conscious awareness as reality which is our phenomenal world or Maya This description of how the phenomenal reality created ushers in a tricky philosophical question Who or what creates the phenomenal reality and where It is not created by our senses brain and mind because these are all objects or forms in the phenomenal reality The phenomenal reality cannot create itself It cannot be that the noumenal reality creates the phenomenal reality because in that case it would be inaccurate to assert the cognitive inaccessibility to the noumenal world This philosophical trouble is identical in Advaita as well Our senses brain and mind cannot create Maya because they are all part of Maya If Brahman created Maya it would have to be just as real This philosophical quandary can be circumvented in the following way We assume that all events and objects in Maya have a cause or form in Brahman or in the noumenal world Thus we postulate that our senses mind and body all have some unknown forms in Brahman or in the noumenal world and these forms create Maya in our conscious awareness ignoring the fact that our consciousness itself is an illusory manifestation in the phenomenal world This inconsistency is not material to our exploration into the nature of space and time because we are seeking the reason for the specialness of light in the sensory process rather than at the level of consciousness Space and time together form what physics considers the basis of reality Space makes up our visual reality precisely as sounds make up our auditory world Just as sounds are a perceptual experience rather than a fundamental property of physical reality space also is an experience or a cognitive representation of the visual inputs not a fundamental aspect of Brahman or the noumenal reality The phenomenal reality thus created is Maya The Maya events are an imperfect or distorted representation of the corresponding Brahman events Since Brahman is a superset of Maya or equivalently our senses are potentially incapable of sensing all aspects of the noumenal reality not all objects and events in Brahman create a projection in Maya Our perception or Maya is thus limited because of the sense modality and its speed which form the focus of our investigation in this article In summary it can be argued that the noumenal phenomenal distinction in phenomenalism is an exact parallel to the Brahman Maya distinction in Advaita if we think of our perceived reality or Maya as arising from sensory and cognitive processes Sensing Space and Time and the Role of Light The phenomenal notions of space and time together form what physics considers the basis of reality Since we take the position that space and time are the end results of our sensory perception we can understand some of the limitations in our Maya by studying the limitations in our senses themselves At a fundamental level how do our senses work Our sense of sight operates using light and the fundamental interaction involved in sight falls in the electromagnetic EM category because light or photon is the intermediary of EM interactions 11 The exclusivity of EM interaction is not limited to our long range sense of sight all the short range senses touch taste smell and hearing are also EM in nature In physics the fundamental interactions are modeled as fields with gauge bosons 12 In quantum electrodynamics 13 the quantum field theory of EM interactions photon or light is the gauge boson mediating EM interactions Electromagnetic interactions are responsible for all our sensory inputs To understand the limitations of our perception of space we need not highlight the EM nature of all our senses Space is by and large the result of our sight sense But it is worthwhile to keep in mind that we would have no sensing and indeed no reality in the absence of EM interactions Like our senses all our technological extensions to our senses such as radio telescopes electron microscopes red shift measurements and even gravitational lensing use EM interactions exclusively to measure our universe Thus we cannot escape the basic constraints of our perception even when we use modern instruments The Hubble telescope may see a billion light years farther than our naked eyes but what it sees is still a billion years older than what our eyes see Our phenomenal reality whether built upon direct sensory inputs or technologically enhanced is made up of a subset of EM particles and interactions only What we perceive as reality is a subset of forms and events in the noumenal world corresponding to EM interactions filtered through our sensory and cognitive processes In the Advaita parlance Maya can be thought of as a projection of Brahman through EM interactions into our sensory and cognitive space quite probably an imperfect projection The exclusivity of EM interactions in our perceived reality is not always appreciated mainly because of a misconception that we can sense gravity directly This confusion arises because our bodies are subject to gravity There is a fine distinction between being subject to and being able to sense gravitational force The gravity sensing in our ears measures the effect of gravity on EM matter In the absence of EM interaction it is impossible to sense gravity or anything else for that matter This assertion that there is no sensing in the absence of EM interactions brings us to the next philosophical hurdle One can always argue that in the absence of EM interaction there is no matter to sense This argument is tantamount to insisting that the noumenal world consists of only those forms and events that give rise to EM interaction in our phenomenal perception In other words it is the same as insisting that Brahman is made up of only EM interactions What is lacking in the absence of EM interaction is only our phenomenal reality In the Advaita notion in the absence of sensing Maya does not exist The absolute reality or Brahman however is independent of our sensing it Again we see that the Eastern and Western views on reality we explored in this article are remarkably similar The Speed of Light Knowing that our space time is a representation of the light waves our eyes receive we can immediately see that light is indeed special in our reality In our view sensory perception leads to our brain s representation that we call reality or Maya Any limitation in this chain of sensing leads to a corresponding limitation in our phenomenal reality One limitation in the chain from senses to perception is the finite speed of photon which is the gauge boson of our senses The finite speed of the sense modality influences and distorts our perception of motion space and time Because these distortions are perceived as a part of our reality itself the root cause of the distortion becomes a fundamental property of our reality This is how the speed of light becomes such an important constant in our space time The importance of the speed of light however is respected only in our phenomenal Maya Other modes of perception have other speeds the figure as the fundamental constant in their space like perception The reality sensed through echolocation for instance has the speed of sound as a fundamental property In fact it is fairly simple to establish 14 that echolocation results in a perception of motion that obeys something very similar to special relativity with the speed of light replaced with that of sound Theories beyond Sensory Limits The basis of physics is the world view called scientific realism which is not only at the core of sciences but is our natural way of looking at the world as well Scientific realism and hence physics assume an independently existing external world whose structures are knowable through scientific investigations To the extent observations are based on perception the philosophical stance of scientific realism as it is practiced today can be thought of as a trust in our perceived reality and as an assumption that it is this reality that needs to be explored in science Physics extends its reach beyond perception or Maya through the rational element of pure theory Most of physics works in this extended intellectual reality with concepts such as fields forces light rays atoms particles etc the existence of which is insisted upon through the metaphysical commitment implied in scientific realism However it does not claim that the rational extensions are the noumenal causes or Brahman giving raise to

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  • universe Archives - Unreal Blog
    between coordinate systems in motion with respect to each other We can trace the origin of linearity to a hidden assumption on the nature of space and time built into SR as stated by Einstein In the first place it is clear that the equations must be linear on account of the properties of homogeneity which we attribute to space and time Because of this assumption of linearity the original derivation of the transformation equations ignores the asymmetry between approaching and receding objects Both approaching and receding objects can be described by two coordinate systems that are always receding from each other For instance if a system is moving with respect to another system along the positive X axis of then an object at rest in at a positive is receding while another object at a negative is approaching an observer at the origin of The coordinate transformation in Einstein s original paper is derived in part a manifestation of the light travel time LTT effects and the consequence of imposing the constancy of light speed in all inertial frames This is most obvious in the first thought experiment where observers moving with a rod find their clocks not synchronized due to the difference in light travel times along the length of the rod However in the current interpretation of SR the coordinate transformation is considered a basic property of space and time One difficulty that arises from this interpretation of SR is that the definition of the relative velocity between the two inertial frames becomes ambiguous If it is the velocity of the moving frame as measured by the observer then the observed superluminal motion in radio jets starting from the core region becomes a violation of SR If it is a velocity that we have to deduce by considering LT effects then we have to employ the extra ad hoc assumption that superluminality is forbidden These difficulties suggest that it may be better to disentangle the light travel time effects from the rest of SR In this section we will consider space and time as a part of the cognitive model created by the brain and argue that special relativity applies to the cognitive model The absolute reality of which the SR like space time is our perception does not have to obey the restrictions of SR In particular objects are not restricted to subluminal speeds but they may appear to us as though they are restricted to subluminal speeds in our perception of space and time If we disentangle LTT effects from the rest of SR we can understand a wide array of phenomena as we shall see in this article Unlike SR considerations based on LTT effects result in intrinsically different set of transformation laws for objects approaching an observer and those receding from him More generally the transformation depends on the angle between the velocity of the object and the observer s line of sight Since the transformation equations based on LTT effects treat approaching and receding objects asymmetrically they provide a natural solution to the twin paradox for instance Conclusions Because space and time are a part of a reality created out of light inputs to our eyes some of their properties are manifestations of LTT effects especially on our perception of motion The absolute physical reality presumably generating the light inputs does not have to obey the properties we ascribe to our perceived space and time We showed that LTT effects are qualitatively identical to those of SR noting that SR only considers frames of reference receding from each other This similarity is not surprising because the coordinate transformation in SR is derived based partly on LTT effects and partly on the assumption that light travels at the same speed with respect to all inertial frames In treating it as a manifestation of LTT we did not address the primary motivation of SR which is a covariant formulation of Maxwell s equations It may be possible to disentangle the covariance of electrodynamics from the coordinate transformation although it is not attempted in this article Unlike SR LTT effects are asymmetric This asymmetry provides a resolution to the twin paradox and an interpretation of the assumed causality violations associated with superluminality Furthermore the perception of superluminality is modulated by LTT effects and explains ray bursts and symmetric jets As we showed in the article perception of superluminal motion also holds an explanation for cosmological phenomena like the expansion of the universe and cosmic microwave background radiation LTT effects should be considered as a fundamental constraint in our perception and consequently in physics rather than as a convenient explanation for isolated phenomena Given that our perception is filtered through LTT effects we have to deconvolute them from our perceived reality in order to understand the nature of the absolute physical reality This deconvolution however results in multiple solutions Thus the absolute physical reality is beyond our grasp and any assumed properties of the absolute reality can only be validated through how well the resultant perceived reality agrees with our observations In this article we assumed that the underlying reality obeys our intuitively obvious classical mechanics and asked the question how such a reality would be perceived when filtered through light travel time effects We demonstrated that this particular treatment could explain certain astrophysical and cosmological phenomena that we observe The coordinate transformation in SR can be viewed as a redefinition of space and time or more generally reality in order to accommodate the distortions in our perception of motion due to light travel time effects One may be tempted to argue that SR applies to the real space and time not our perception This line of argument begs the question what is real Reality is only a cognitive model created in our brain starting from our sensory inputs visual inputs being the most significant Space itself is a part of this cognitive model The properties of space are a mapping of the constraints of our perception The choice of accepting our perception as a true image of reality and redefining space and time as described in special relativity indeed amounts to a philosophical choice The alternative presented in the article is inspired by the view in modern neuroscience that reality is a cognitive model in the brain based on our sensory inputs Adopting this alternative reduces us to guessing the nature of the absolute reality and comparing its predicted projection to our real perception It may simplify and elucidate some theories in physics and explain some puzzling phenomena in our universe However this option is yet another philosophical stance against the unknowable absolute reality causality cosmic microwave background expanding universe gamma ray bursts grb light travel time microwave background radiation neuroscience perception perceptual constraints phenomenalism Physics radio sources relativity space and time speed of light universe Articles and Essays Philosophy Physics Unpublished The Unreal Universe Seeing Light in Science and Spirituality August 31 2008 manoj We know that our universe is a bit unreal The stars we see in the night sky for instance are not really there They may have moved or even died by the time we get to see them This delay is due to the time it takes for light from the distant stars and galaxies to reach us We know of this delay The same delay in seeing has a lesser known manifestation in the way we perceive moving objects It distorts our perception such that something coming towards us would look as though it is coming in faster Strange as it may sound this effect has been observed in astrophysical studies Some of the heavenly bodies do look as though they are moving several times the speed of light while their real speed is probably a lot lower Now this effect raises an interesting question what is the real speed If seeing is believing the speed we see should be the real speed Then again we know of the light travel time effect So we should correct the speed we see before believing it What then does seeing mean When we say we see something what do we really mean Light in Physics Seeing involves light obviously The finite speed of light influences and distorts the way we see things This fact should hardly come as a surprise because we do know that things are not as we see them The sun that we see is already eight minutes old by the time we see it This delay is not a big deal if we want to know what is going on at the sun now all we have to do is to wait for eight minutes We nonetheless have to correct for the distortions in our perception due to the finite speed of light before we can trust what we see What is surprising and seldom highlighted is that when it comes to sensing motion we cannot back calculate the same way we take out the delay in seeing the sun If we see a celestial body moving at an improbably high speed we cannot figure out how fast and in what direction it is really moving without making further assumptions One way of handling this difficulty is to ascribe the distortions in our perception to the fundamental properties of the arena of physics space and time Another course of action is to accept the disconnection between our perception and the underlying reality and deal with it in some way Einstein chose the first route In his groundbreaking paper over a hundred years ago he introduced the special theory of relativity in which he attributed the manifestations of the finite speed of light to the fundamental properties of space and time One core idea in special relativity SR is that the notion of simultaneity needs to be redefined because it takes some time for light from an event at a distant place to reach us and we become aware of the event The concept of Now doesn t make much sense as we saw when we speak of an event happening in the sun for instance Simultaneity is relative Einstein defined simultaneity using the instants in time we detect the event Detection as he defined it involves a round trip travel of light similar to Radar detection We send out light and look at the reflection If the reflected light from two events reaches us at the same instant they are simultaneous Another way of defining simultaneity is using sensing we can call two events simultaneous if the light from them reaches us at the same instant In other words we can use the light generated by the objects under observation rather than sending light to them and looking at the reflection This difference may sound like a hair splitting technicality but it does make an enormous difference in the predictions we can make Einstein s choice results in a mathematical picture that has many desirable properties thereby making further development elegant The other possibility has an advantage when it comes to describing objects in motion because it corresponds better with how we measure them We don t use Radar to see the stars in motion we merely sense the light or other radiation coming from them But this choice of using a sensory paradigm rather than Radar like detection to describe the universe results in a slightly uglier mathematical picture The mathematical difference spawns different philosophical stances which in turn percolate to the understanding of our physical picture of reality As an illustration let us look at an example from astrophysics Suppose we observe through a radio telescope for instance two objects in the sky roughly of the same shape and properties The only thing we know for sure is that the radio waves from two different points in the sky reach the radio telescope at the same instant in time We can guess that the waves started their journey quite a while ago For symmetric objects if we assume as we routinely do that the waves started the journey roughly at the same instant in time we end up with a picture of two real symmetric lobes more or less the way see them But there is different possibility that the waves originated from the same object which is in motion at two different instants in time reaching the telescope at the same instant This possibility explains some spectral and temporal properties of such symmetric radio sources which is what I mathematically described in a recent physics article Now which of these two pictures should we take as real Two symmetric objects as we see them or one object moving in such a way as to give us that impression Does it really matter which one is real Does real mean anything in this context The philosophical stance in implied in special relativity answers this question unequivocally There is an unambiguous physical reality from which we get the two symmetric radio sources although it takes a bit of mathematical work to get to it The mathematics rules out the possibility of a single object moving in such a fashion as to mimic two objects Essentially what we see is what is out there On the other hand if we define simultaneity using concurrent arrival of light we will be forced to admit the exact opposite What we see is pretty far from what is out there We will confess that we cannot unambiguously decouple the distortions due to the constraints in perception the finite speed of light being the constraint of interest here from what we see There are multiple physical realities that can result in the same perceptual picture The only philosophical stance that makes sense is the one that disconnects the sensed reality and the causes behind what is being sensed This disconnect is not uncommon in philosophical schools of thought Phenomenalism for instance holds the view that space and time are not objective realities They are merely the medium of our perception All the phenomena that happen in space and time are merely bundles of our perception In other words space and time are cognitive constructs arising from perception Thus all the physical properties that we ascribe to space and time can only apply to the phenomenal reality the reality as we sense it The noumenal reality which holds the physical causes of our perception by contrast remains beyond our cognitive reach The ramifications of the two different philosophical stances described above are tremendous Since modern physics seems to embrace a non phenomenalistic view of space and time it finds itself at odds with that branch of philosophy This chasm between philosophy and physics has grown to such a degree that the Nobel prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg wondered in his book Dreams of a Final Theory why the contribution from philosophy to physics have been so surprisingly small It also prompts philosophers to make statements like Whether noumenal reality causes phenomenal reality or whether noumenal reality is independent of our sensing it or whether we sense noumenal reality the problem remains that the concept of noumenal reality is a totally redundant concept for the analysis of science One almost accidental difficulty in redefining the effects of the finite speed of light as the properties of space and time is that any effect that we do understand gets instantly relegated to the realm of optical illusions For instance the eight minute delay in seeing the sun because we readily understand it and disassociate from our perception using simple arithmetic is considered a mere optical illusion However the distortions in our perception of fast moving objects although originating from the same source are considered a property of space and time because they are more complex We have to come to terms with the fact that when it comes to seeing the universe there is no such thing as an optical illusion which is probably what Goethe pointed out when he said Optical illusion is optical truth The distinction or lack thereof between optical illusion and truth is one of the oldest debates in philosophy After all it is about the distinction between knowledge and reality Knowledge is considered our view about something that in reality is actually the case In other words knowledge is a reflection or a mental image of something external as shown in the figure below In this picture the black arrow represents the process of creating knowledge which includes perception cognitive activities and the exercise of pure reason This is the picture that physics has come to accept While acknowledging that our perception may be imperfect physics assumes that we can get closer and closer to the external reality through increasingly finer experimentation and more importantly through better theorization The Special and General Theories of Relativity are examples of brilliant applications of this view of reality where simple physical principles are relentlessly pursued using formidable machine of pure reason to their logically inevitable conclusions But there is another alternative view of knowledge and reality that has been around for a long time This is the view that regards perceived reality as an internal cognitive representation of our sensory inputs as illustrated below In this view knowledge and perceived reality are both internal cognitive constructs although we have come to think of them as separate What is external is not the reality as we perceive it but an unknowable entity giving rise to the physical causes behind sensory inputs In the illustration the first arrow represents the process of sensing and the second arrow represents the cognitive and logical reasoning steps In order to apply this view of reality and knowledge we have to guess the nature of the absolute reality unknowable as it is One possible candidate for the absolute reality is Newtonian mechanics which gives a reasonable prediction for our perceived reality To summarize when we try to handle the distortions due to perception we have two options or

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  • AGN Archives - Unreal Blog
    it was actually observed Although the observation of superluminal motion was the starting point behind the work presented in this article it is by no means an indication of the validity of our model The similarity between a sonic boom and a hypothetical luminal boom in spatio temporal and spectral evolution is presented here as a curious albeit probably unsound foundation for our model One can however argue that the special theory of relativity SR does not deal with superluminality and therefore superluminal motion and luminal booms are not inconsistent with SR As evidenced by the opening statements of Einstein s original paper the primary motivation for SR is a covariant formulation of Maxwell s equations which requires a coordinate transformation derived based partly on light travel time LTT effects and partly on the assumption that light travels at the same speed with respect to all inertial frames Despite this dependence on LTT the LTT effects are currently assumed to apply on a space time that obeys SR SR is a redefinition of space and time or more generally reality in order to accommodate its two basic postulates It may be that there is a deeper structure to space time of which SR is only our perception filtered through the LTT effects By treating them as an optical illusion to be applied on a space time that obeys SR we may be double counting them We may avoid the double counting by disentangling the covariance of Maxwell s equations from the coordinate transformations part of SR Treating the LTT effects separately without attributing their consequences to the basic nature of space and time we can accommodate superluminality and obtain elegant explanations of the astrophysical phenomena described in this article Our unified explanation for GRBs and symmetric radio sources therefore has implications as far reaching as our basic understanding of the nature of space and time Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video AGN Doppler shift galaxy grb afterglow Lorentz invariance perception Physics radio sources relativity sonic boom Articles and Essays Creative Philosophy Physics Constraints of Perception and Cognition in Relativistic Physics September 13 2008 manoj Cognitive neuroscience treats space and time as our brain s representation of our sensory inputs In this view our perceptual reality is only a distant and convenient mapping of the physical processes causing the sensory inputs Sound is a mapping of auditory inputs and space is a representation of visual inputs Any limitation in the chain of sensing has a specific manifestation on the cognitive representation that is our reality One physical limitation of our visual sensing is the finite speed of light which manifests itself as a basic property of our space time In this article we look at the consequences of the limited speed of our perception namely the speed of light and show that they are remarkably similar to the coordinate transformation in special relativity From this observation and inspired by the notion that space is merely a cognitive model created out of light signal inputs we examine the implications of treating special relativity theory as a formalism for describing the perceptual effects due to the finite speed of light Using this framework we show that we can unify and explain a wide array of seemingly unrelated astrophysical and cosmological phenomena Once we identify the manifestations of the limitations in our perception and cognitive representation we can understand the consequent constraints on our space and time leading to a new understanding of astrophysics and cosmology Key words cognitive neuroscience reality special relativity light travel time effect gamma rays bursts cosmic microwave background radiation 1 Introduction Our reality is a mental picture that our brain creates starting from our sensory inputs 1 Although this cognitive map is often assumed to be a faithful image of the physical causes behind the sensing process the causes themselves are entirely different from the perceptual experience of sensing The difference between the cognitive representation and their physical causes is not immediately obvious when we consider our primary sense of sight But we can appreciate the difference by looking at the olfactory and auditory senses because we can use our cognitive model based on sight in order to understand the workings of the lesser senses Odors which may appear to be a property of the air we breathe are in fact our brain s representation of the chemical signatures that our noses sense Similarly sound is not an intrinsic property of a vibrating body but our brain s mechanism to represent the pressure waves in the air that our ears sense Table I shows the chain from the physical causes of the sensory input to the final reality as the brain creates it Although the physical causes can be identified for the olfactory and auditory chains they are not easily discerned for visual process Since sight is the most powerful sense we possess we are obliged to accept our brain s representation of visual inputs as the fundamental reality While our visual reality provides an excellent framework for physical sciences it is important to realize that the reality itself is a model with potential physical or physiological limitations and distortions The tight integration between the physiology of perception and its representation in the brain was proven recently in a clever experiment using the tactile funneling illusion 2 This illusion results in a single tactile sensation at the focal point at the center of a stimulus pattern even though no stimulation is applied at that site In the experiment the brain activation region corresponded to the focal point where the sensation was perceived rather than the points where the stimuli were applied proving that the brain registered perceptions not the physical causes of the perceived reality In other words for the brain there is no difference between applying the pattern of the stimuli and applying only one stimulus at the center of the pattern The brain maps the sensory inputs to regions that correspond to their perception rather than the regions that physiologically correspond to the sensory stimuli Sense modality Physical cause Sensed signal Brain s model Olfactory Chemicals Chemical reactions Smells Auditory Vibrations Pressure waves Sounds Visual Unknown Light Space time reality Table I The brain s representation of different sensory inputs Odors are a representation of chemical compositions and concentration our nose senses Sounds are a mapping of the air pressure waves produced by a vibrating object In sight we do not know the physical reality our representation is space and possibly time The neurological localization of different aspects of reality has been established in neuroscience by lesion studies The perception of motion and the consequent basis of our sense of time for instance is so localized that a tiny lesion can erase it completely Cases of patients with such specific loss of a part of reality 1 illustrate the fact that our experience of reality every aspect of it is indeed a creation of the brain Space and time are aspects of the cognitive representation in our brain Space is a perceptual experience much like sound Comparisons between the auditory and visual modes of sensing can be useful in understanding the limitations of their representations in the brain One limitation is the input ranges of the sensory organs Ears are sensitive in the frequency range 20Hz 20kHz and eyes are limited to the visible spectrum Another limitation which may exist in specific individuals is an inadequate representation of the inputs Such a limitation can lead to tone deafness and color blindness for instance The speed of the sense modality also introduces an effect such as the time lag between seeing an event and hearing the corresponding sound For visual perception a consequence of the finite speed of light is called a Light Travel Time LTT effect LLT offers one possible interpretation for the observed superluminal motion in certain celestial objects 3 4 when an object approaches the observer at a shallow angle it may appear to move much faster than reality 5 due to LTT Other consequences of the LTT effects in our perception are remarkably similar to the coordinate transformation of the special relativity theory SRT These consequences include an apparent contraction of a receding object along its direction of motion and a time dilation effect Furthermore a receding object can never appear to be going faster than the speed of light even if its real speed is superluminal While SRT does not explicitly forbid it superluminality is understood to lead to time travel and the consequent violations of causality An apparent violation of causality is one of the consequences of LTT when the superluminal object is approaching the observer All these LTT effects are remarkably similar to effects predicted by SRT and are currently taken as confirmation that space time obeys SRT But instead space time may have a deeper structure that when filtered through LTT effects results in our perception that space time obeys SRT Once we accept the neuroscience view of reality as a representation of our sensory inputs we can understand why the speed of light figures so prominently in our physical theories The theories of physics are a description of reality Reality is created out of the readings from our senses especially our eyes They work at the speed of light Thus the sanctity accorded to the speed of light is a feature only of our reality not the absolute ultimate reality that our senses are striving to perceive When it comes to physics that describes phenomena well beyond our sensory ranges we really have to take into account the role that our perception and cognition play in seeing them The Universe as we see it is only a cognitive model created out of the photons falling on our retina or on the photo sensors of the Hubble telescope Because of the finite speed of the information carrier namely photons our perception is distorted in such a way as to give us the impression that space and time obey SRT They do but space and time are not the absolute reality Space and time are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live as Einstein himself put it Treating our perceived reality as our brain s representation of our visual inputs filtered through the LTT effect we will see that all the strange effects of the coordinate transformation in SRT can be understood as the manifestations of the finite speed of our senses in our space and time Furthermore we will show that this line of thinking leads to natural explanations for two classes of astrophysical phenomena Gamma Ray Bursts which are very brief but intense flashes of rays currently believed to emanate from cataclysmic stellar collapses and Radio Sources which are typically symmetric and seem associated with galactic cores currently considered manifestations of space time singularities or neutron stars These two astrophysical phenomena appear distinct and unrelated but they can be unified and explained using LTT effects This article presents such a unified quantitative model It will also show that the cognitive limitations to reality due to LTT effects can provide qualitative explanations for such cosmological features as the apparent expansion of the Universe and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation CMBR Both these phenomena can be understood as related to our perception of superluminal objects It is the unification of these seemingly distinct phenomena at vastly different length and time scales along with its conceptual simplicity that we hold as the indicators of validity of this framework 2 Similarities between LTT Effects SRT The coordinate transformation derived in Einstein s original paper 6 is in part a manifestation of the LTT effects and the consequence of imposing the constancy of light speed in all inertial frames This is most obvious in the first thought experiment where observers moving with a rod find their clocks not synchronized due to the difference in LTT s along the length of the rod However in the current interpretation of SRT the coordinate transformation is considered a basic property of space and time One difficulty that arises from this formulation is that the definition of the relative velocity between the two inertial frames becomes ambiguous If it is the velocity of the moving frame as measured by the observer then the observed superluminal motion in radio jets starting from the core region becomes a violation of SRT If it is a velocity that we have to deduce by considering LTT effects then we have to employ the extra ad hoc assumption that superluminality is forbidden These difficulties suggest that it may be better to disentangle the LTT effects from the rest of SRT Although not attempted in this paper the primary motivation for SRT namely the covariance of Maxwell s equations may be accomplished even without attributing LTT effects to the properties of space and time In this Section we will consider space and time as a part of the cognitive model created by the brain and illustrate that SRT applies to the cognitive model The absolute reality of which the SRT like space time is our perception does not have to obey the restrictions of SRT In particular objects are not restricted to subluminal speeds even though they may appear to us as if they are restricted to subluminal speeds in our perception of space and time If we disentangle LTT effects from the rest of SRT we can understand a wide array of phenomena as shown in this article SRT seeks a linear coordinate transformation between coordinate systems in motion with respect to each other We can trace the origin of linearity to a hidden assumption on the nature of space and time built into SRT as stated by Einstein 6 In the first place it is clear that the equations must be linear on account of the properties of homogeneity which we attribute to space and time Because of this assumption of linearity the original derivation of the transformation equations ignores the asymmetry between approaching and receding objects and concentrates on receding objects Both approaching and receding objects can be described by two coordinate systems that are always receding from each other For instance if a system K is moving with respect to another system k along the positive X axis of k then an object at rest in K at a positive x is approaching an observer at the origin of k Unlike SRT considerations based on LTT effects result in intrinsically different set of transformation laws for objects approaching an observer and those receding from him More generally the transformation depends on the angle between the velocity of the object and the observer s line of sight Since the transformation equations based on LTT effects treat approaching and receding objects asymmetrically they provide a natural solution to the twin paradox for instance 2 1 First Order Perceptual Effects For approaching and receding objects the relativistic effects are second order in speed and speed typically appears as The LTT effects on the other hand are first order in speed The first order effects have been studied in the last fifty years in terms of the appearance of a relativistically moving extended body 7 15 It has also been suggested that the relativistic Doppler effect can be considered the geometric mean 16 of more basic calculations The current belief is that the first order effects are an optical illusion to be taken out of our perception of reality Once these effects are taken out or deconvolved from the observations the real space and time are assumed to obey SRT Note that this assumption is impossible to verify because the deconvolution is an ill posed problem there are multiple solutions to the absolute reality that all result in the same perceptual picture Not all the solutions obey SRT The notion that it is the absolute reality that obeys SRT ushers in a deeper philosophical problem This notion is tantamount to insisting that space and time are in fact intuitions beyond sensory perception rather than a cognitive picture created by our brain out of the sensory inputs it receives A formal critique of the Kantian intuitions of space and time is beyond the scope of this article Here we take the position that it is our observed or perceived reality that obeys SRT and explore where it leads us In other words we assume that SRT is nothing but a formalization of the perceptual effects These effects are not first order in speed when the object is not directly approaching or receding from the observer as we will see later We will show in this article that a treatment of SRT as a perceptual effect will give us natural solution for astrophysical phenomena like gamma ray bursts and symmetric radio jets 2 2 Perception of Speed We first look at how the perception of motion is modulated by LTT effects As remarked earlier the transformation equations of SRT treat only objects receding from the observer For this reason we first consider a receding object flying away from the observer at a speed of the object depends on the real speed b as shown in Appendix A 1 1 2 Thus due to LTT effects an infinite real velocity gets mapped to an apparent velocity In other words no object can appear to travel faster than the speed of light entirely consistent with SRT Physically this apparent speed limit amounts to a mapping of to This mapping is most obvious in its consequences For instance it takes an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object to an apparent speed because in reality we are accelerating it to an infinite speed This infinite energy requirement can also be viewed as the relativistic mass changing with speed reaching at Einstein explained this mapping as For velocities greater than that of light our deliberations become meaningless we shall however find in what follows that the velocity of light in our theory plays

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  • Doppler shift Archives - Unreal Blog
    assumed cataclysmic energy requirement becomes superfluous Another feature of our perception of supersonic object is that we hear the sound source at two different location as the same time as illustrated in Figure 2 This curious effect takes place because the sound waves emitted at two different points in the trajectory of the supersonic object reach the observer at the same instant in time The end result of this effect is the perception of a symmetrically receding pair of sound sources which in the luminal world is a good description of symmetric radio sources Double Radio source Associated with Galactic Nucleus or DRAGN Figure 2 The object is flying from to through and at a constant supersonic speed Imagine that the object emits sound during its travel The sound emitted at the point which is near the point of closest approach reaches the observer at before the sound emitted earlier at The instant when the sound at an earlier point reaches the observer the sound emitted at a much later point also reaches So the sound emitted at and reaches the observer at the same time giving the impression that the object is at these two points at the same time In other words the observer hears two objects moving away from rather than one real object Radio Sources are typically symmetric and seem associated with galactic cores currently considered manifestations of space time singularities or neutron stars Different classes of such objects associated with Active Galactic Nuclei AGN were found in the last fifty years Figure 3 shows the radio galaxy Cygnus A an example of such a radio source and one of the brightest radio objects Many of its features are common to most extragalactic radio sources the symmetric double lobes an indication of a core an appearance of jets feeding the lobes and the hotspots Some researchers have reported more detailed kinematical features such as the proper motion of the hotspots in the lobes Symmetric radio sources galactic or extragalactic and GRBs may appear to be completely distinct phenomena However their cores show a similar time evolution in the peak energy but with vastly different time constants The spectra of GRBs rapidly evolve from region to an optical or even RF afterglow similar to the spectral evolution of the hotspots of a radio source as they move from the core to the lobes Other similarities have begun to attract attention in the recent years This article explores the similarities between a hypothetical luminal boom and these two astrophysical phenomena although such a luminal boom is forbidden by the Lorentz invariance Treating GRB as a manifestation of a hypothetical luminal boom results in a model that unifies these two phenomena and makes detailed predictions of their kinematics Figure 3 The radio jet and lobes in the hyperluminous radio galaxy Cygnus A The hotspots in the two lobes the core region and the jets are clearly visible Reproduced from an image courtesy of NRAO AUI Conclusions In this article

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  • galaxy Archives - Unreal Blog
    on light travel time LTT effects and partly on the assumption that light travels at the same speed with respect to all inertial frames Despite this dependence on LTT the LTT effects are currently assumed to apply on a space time that obeys SR SR is a redefinition of space and time or more generally reality in order to accommodate its two basic postulates It may be that there is a deeper structure to space time of which SR is only our perception filtered through the LTT effects By treating them as an optical illusion to be applied on a space time that obeys SR we may be double counting them We may avoid the double counting by disentangling the covariance of Maxwell s equations from the coordinate transformations part of SR Treating the LTT effects separately without attributing their consequences to the basic nature of space and time we can accommodate superluminality and obtain elegant explanations of the astrophysical phenomena described in this article Our unified explanation for GRBs and symmetric radio sources therefore has implications as far reaching as our basic understanding of the nature of space and time Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video AGN Doppler shift galaxy grb afterglow Lorentz invariance perception Physics radio sources relativity sonic boom Physics The Big Bang Theory October 21 2008 manoj 2 Comments I am a physicist but I don t quite understand the Big Bang theory Let me tell you why The Big Bang theory says that the whole universe started from a singularity a single point The first question then is a single point where It is not a single point in space because the whole space was a single point The Discovery channel would put it fancifully that the whole universe could fit in the palm of your hand which of course it could not Your palm would also be a little palm inside the little universe in that single point The second question is if the whole universe was inside one point what about all the points around it Physicists would advise you not to ask such stupid questions Don t feel bad they have asked me to shut up as well Some of them may kindly explain that the other points may be parallel universes Others may say that there are no other points They may point out as Steven Weinberg does in The Dreams of a Final Theory that there is nothing more to the north of the North Pole I consider this analogy more of a semantic argument than a scientific one but let s buy this argument for now The next hurdle is that the singularity is in space time not merely in space So before the Big Bang there was no time Sorry there was no before This is a concept that my five year old son has problems with Again the Big Bang cosmologist will point out that things do not necessarily have to continue backwards you may think that whatever temperature something is at you can always make it a little colder But you cannot make it colder than absolute zero True true but is temperature the same as time Temperature is a measure of hotness which is an aggregate of molecular speeds And speed is distance traveled in unit time Time again Hmmm I am sure it is my lack of imagination or incompleteness of training that is preventing me from understanding and accepting this Big Bang concept But even after buying the space time singularity concept other difficulties persist Firstly if the whole universe is at one point at one time one would naively expect it to make a super massive black hole from which not even light can escape Clearly then the whole universe couldn t have banged out of that point But I m sure there is a perfectly logical explanation why it can just that I don t know it yet May be some of my readers will point it out to me Second what s with dark matter and dark energy The Big Bang cosmology has to stretch itself a bit with the notion of dark energy to account for the large scale dynamics of the observed universe Our universe is expanding or so it appears at an accelerating rate which can only be accounted for by assuming that there is an invisible energy pushing the galaxies apart Within the galaxies themselves stars are moving around as though there is more mass than we can see This is the so called dark matter Although dark signifies invisible to me it sounds as though we are in the dark about what these beasts are The third trouble I have is the fact that the Big Bang cosmology violates special relativity SR This little concern of mine has been answered in many different ways One answer is that general relativity trumps SR if there are conflicting predictions or directives from these two theories I was advised to always trust GR Besides SR applies only to local motion like spaceships whizzing past each other Non local events do not have to obey SR This makes me wonder how events know whether they are local or not Well that was bit tongue in cheek I can kind of buy this argument based on curvature of space time perhaps becoming significant at large distances although the non scientific nature of local ness makes me uneasy During the inflationary phase in the Big Bang theory were things local or non local Third answer In the case of the Big Bang the space itself is expanding hence no violation of SR SR applies to motion through space Wonder if I could ve used that line when I got pulled over on I 81 Officer I wasn t speeding Just that the space in between was expanding a little too fast Speaking of space expanding it is supposed to be expanding only in between galaxies not within them apparently I

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  • grb afterglow Archives - Unreal Blog
    assumed cataclysmic energy requirement becomes superfluous Another feature of our perception of supersonic object is that we hear the sound source at two different location as the same time as illustrated in Figure 2 This curious effect takes place because the sound waves emitted at two different points in the trajectory of the supersonic object reach the observer at the same instant in time The end result of this effect is the perception of a symmetrically receding pair of sound sources which in the luminal world is a good description of symmetric radio sources Double Radio source Associated with Galactic Nucleus or DRAGN Figure 2 The object is flying from to through and at a constant supersonic speed Imagine that the object emits sound during its travel The sound emitted at the point which is near the point of closest approach reaches the observer at before the sound emitted earlier at The instant when the sound at an earlier point reaches the observer the sound emitted at a much later point also reaches So the sound emitted at and reaches the observer at the same time giving the impression that the object is at these two points at the same time In other words the observer hears two objects moving away from rather than one real object Radio Sources are typically symmetric and seem associated with galactic cores currently considered manifestations of space time singularities or neutron stars Different classes of such objects associated with Active Galactic Nuclei AGN were found in the last fifty years Figure 3 shows the radio galaxy Cygnus A an example of such a radio source and one of the brightest radio objects Many of its features are common to most extragalactic radio sources the symmetric double lobes an indication of a core an appearance of jets feeding the lobes and the hotspots Some researchers have reported more detailed kinematical features such as the proper motion of the hotspots in the lobes Symmetric radio sources galactic or extragalactic and GRBs may appear to be completely distinct phenomena However their cores show a similar time evolution in the peak energy but with vastly different time constants The spectra of GRBs rapidly evolve from region to an optical or even RF afterglow similar to the spectral evolution of the hotspots of a radio source as they move from the core to the lobes Other similarities have begun to attract attention in the recent years This article explores the similarities between a hypothetical luminal boom and these two astrophysical phenomena although such a luminal boom is forbidden by the Lorentz invariance Treating GRB as a manifestation of a hypothetical luminal boom results in a model that unifies these two phenomena and makes detailed predictions of their kinematics Figure 3 The radio jet and lobes in the hyperluminous radio galaxy Cygnus A The hotspots in the two lobes the core region and the jets are clearly visible Reproduced from an image courtesy of NRAO AUI Conclusions In this article

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  • Lorentz invariance Archives - Unreal Blog
    assumed cataclysmic energy requirement becomes superfluous Another feature of our perception of supersonic object is that we hear the sound source at two different location as the same time as illustrated in Figure 2 This curious effect takes place because the sound waves emitted at two different points in the trajectory of the supersonic object reach the observer at the same instant in time The end result of this effect is the perception of a symmetrically receding pair of sound sources which in the luminal world is a good description of symmetric radio sources Double Radio source Associated with Galactic Nucleus or DRAGN Figure 2 The object is flying from to through and at a constant supersonic speed Imagine that the object emits sound during its travel The sound emitted at the point which is near the point of closest approach reaches the observer at before the sound emitted earlier at The instant when the sound at an earlier point reaches the observer the sound emitted at a much later point also reaches So the sound emitted at and reaches the observer at the same time giving the impression that the object is at these two points at the same time In other words the observer hears two objects moving away from rather than one real object Radio Sources are typically symmetric and seem associated with galactic cores currently considered manifestations of space time singularities or neutron stars Different classes of such objects associated with Active Galactic Nuclei AGN were found in the last fifty years Figure 3 shows the radio galaxy Cygnus A an example of such a radio source and one of the brightest radio objects Many of its features are common to most extragalactic radio sources the symmetric double lobes an indication of a core an appearance of jets feeding the lobes and the hotspots Some researchers have reported more detailed kinematical features such as the proper motion of the hotspots in the lobes Symmetric radio sources galactic or extragalactic and GRBs may appear to be completely distinct phenomena However their cores show a similar time evolution in the peak energy but with vastly different time constants The spectra of GRBs rapidly evolve from region to an optical or even RF afterglow similar to the spectral evolution of the hotspots of a radio source as they move from the core to the lobes Other similarities have begun to attract attention in the recent years This article explores the similarities between a hypothetical luminal boom and these two astrophysical phenomena although such a luminal boom is forbidden by the Lorentz invariance Treating GRB as a manifestation of a hypothetical luminal boom results in a model that unifies these two phenomena and makes detailed predictions of their kinematics Figure 3 The radio jet and lobes in the hyperluminous radio galaxy Cygnus A The hotspots in the two lobes the core region and the jets are clearly visible Reproduced from an image courtesy of NRAO AUI Conclusions In this article

    Original URL path: http://www.thulasidas.com/tag/lorentz-invariance/ (2016-02-16)
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  • sonic boom Archives - Unreal Blog
    assumed cataclysmic energy requirement becomes superfluous Another feature of our perception of supersonic object is that we hear the sound source at two different location as the same time as illustrated in Figure 2 This curious effect takes place because the sound waves emitted at two different points in the trajectory of the supersonic object reach the observer at the same instant in time The end result of this effect is the perception of a symmetrically receding pair of sound sources which in the luminal world is a good description of symmetric radio sources Double Radio source Associated with Galactic Nucleus or DRAGN Figure 2 The object is flying from to through and at a constant supersonic speed Imagine that the object emits sound during its travel The sound emitted at the point which is near the point of closest approach reaches the observer at before the sound emitted earlier at The instant when the sound at an earlier point reaches the observer the sound emitted at a much later point also reaches So the sound emitted at and reaches the observer at the same time giving the impression that the object is at these two points at the same time In other words the observer hears two objects moving away from rather than one real object Radio Sources are typically symmetric and seem associated with galactic cores currently considered manifestations of space time singularities or neutron stars Different classes of such objects associated with Active Galactic Nuclei AGN were found in the last fifty years Figure 3 shows the radio galaxy Cygnus A an example of such a radio source and one of the brightest radio objects Many of its features are common to most extragalactic radio sources the symmetric double lobes an indication of a core an appearance of jets feeding the lobes and the hotspots Some researchers have reported more detailed kinematical features such as the proper motion of the hotspots in the lobes Symmetric radio sources galactic or extragalactic and GRBs may appear to be completely distinct phenomena However their cores show a similar time evolution in the peak energy but with vastly different time constants The spectra of GRBs rapidly evolve from region to an optical or even RF afterglow similar to the spectral evolution of the hotspots of a radio source as they move from the core to the lobes Other similarities have begun to attract attention in the recent years This article explores the similarities between a hypothetical luminal boom and these two astrophysical phenomena although such a luminal boom is forbidden by the Lorentz invariance Treating GRB as a manifestation of a hypothetical luminal boom results in a model that unifies these two phenomena and makes detailed predictions of their kinematics Figure 3 The radio jet and lobes in the hyperluminous radio galaxy Cygnus A The hotspots in the two lobes the core region and the jets are clearly visible Reproduced from an image courtesy of NRAO AUI Conclusions In this article

    Original URL path: http://www.thulasidas.com/tag/sonic-boom/ (2016-02-16)
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