Archive for the ‘Science and God’ Category

QUANTUM PHYSICS AND GOD

July 13, 2010

 

When we discuss at the macro level, we have to face the question: “Where is God in the evolutionary process?” Today we face it also at the micro level, when we speak about quantum physics and elementary quanta: “What is the place for God in the field of quantum physics?” We shall discuss: 1.2.3.

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THEORY OF RELATIVITY:

January 15, 2009

THE TRAGEDY OF LIGHT

Light does not propagate instantaneously. There is the principle of the relativity of motion and of the existence of a countless number of “inertial” frames. In the latter, the laws governing the motion of bodies are similar. However, there exists a kind of motion, which at first glance, contradicts the principle—it is the propagation of light. Light does not propagate instantaneously, although, indeed, its velocity is tremendous—300,000 km/sec. This colossal velocity is hard to conceive, since in our everyday experiences we usually deal with far lesser speeds. The speed of the latest Soviet space rocket, for example, is a mere 12 km/sec. Of all the bodies we deal with, the Earth has the greatest speed in its rotation around the Sun. But even so, the speed of the Earth is only 30 km/sec. Can the velocity of light be changed? The colossal velocity of light propagation is something very extraordinary in itself. Much more striking is the fact that this velocity is strictly constant. You can always accelerate or decelerate the motion of a body artificially, even of a bullet. All you need to do is to place a box of sand in its path. Having pierced the box, the bullet will lose its velocity. It is different with light. The velocity of a bullet depends largely on the design of the rifle it is fired from and the properties of gunpowder, while the speed of light is always the same, no matter what its source. Let us place a piece of glass in the path of a beam of light. Since the velocity of light in glass is less than in vacuum, the beam will travel slower. However, having passed through the glass, the light regains the speed of 300,000 km/sec.

Light propagation in vacuum, as distinct from all other kinds of motion, has a very important property—it can neither be accelerated nor decelerated. Whatever changes the beam of light undergoes in matter, it propagates with the same velocity as soon as it emerges into vacuum.

Light and Sound: In this respect the propagation of light reminds us more of sound propagation than of the usual motion of bodies. Sound is the vibration of the medium in which it propagates. Therefore, the velocity of sound depends on the properties of the medium and not on the properties of the sound producing body. In fact, sound velocity cannot be increased or decreased any more than light velocity, even by passing the sound through other bodies. If we place a metal barrier in its path, the sound will change its velocity inside the barrier, but as soon as it emerges again into its initial medium, it will regain its initial velocity.

Let us place an electric bulb and an electric bell under the glass hood of an air pump and proceed to pump out the air from under the hood. The sound of the bell will get weaker and weaker, until it becomes altogether inaudible. The bulb, on the contrary, will radiate light as usual. This experiment proves that sound propagates in a material medium, while light propagates even in vacuum; therein lies their essential difference. The principle of Relativity of Motion seems to be shaken: The colossal but not infinite velocity of light in vacuum brings us into conflict with the principle of relativity of motion. Imagine a train hurtling along at a tremendous speed of 240,000 km/sec. We are riding in the head carriage, and an electric bulb is switched on in the tail carriage, Let us see what results we would get if we measured the time necessary for the light to travel from one end of the train to the other: it would seem that this time would differ from the one we would obtain if the train were at rest. Indeed, relative to a train moving at 240,000 km/sec the light should travel at a speed of only 300,000-240,000-60,000 km/sec. It is as if the light has to catch up with the head carriage. If we place the bulb at the head of the train and measure the time necessary for the light to reach the tail carriage, it would seem that its velocity in the direction opposite to the movement of the train should be 240,000+300,000-540,000 km/sec. The light and the tail carriage move towards each other. Thus, it appears that in a moving train light should propagate at different velocities in different directions, while in a train which is at a standstill the velocity of light is the same in both directions. It is quite different with a bullet: whether fired in the direction of the train’s movement or against it, the velocity of the bullet relative to the walls of a carriage will be the same—equal to the bullet’s velocity in an unmoving train. The fact is that the velocity of a bullet depends on the speed of the rifle, while the velocity of light does not change with the change in the speed at which the bulb is traveling. Our argument seems to demonstrate that the propagation of light contrasts sharply with the principle of the relativity of motion. A bullet flies at one and the same velocity relative to a moving train and a train at rest, while in a train traveling at 240,000 km/sec light apparently propagates five times as slow in one direction and 1.8 times as fast in the opposite direction as in an unmoving train. It would seem that study of light propagation should enable us to establish the concept of the absolute state of rest by means of the phenomenon of light propagation. The frame in which light propagates in all directions at the same constant velocity, 300,000 km/sec, may be said to be in a state of absolute rest. In any other frame which moves uniformly along a straight like relative to the first one, the velocity of light should be different in different directions. In that case, relativity of motion, relativity of velocity, and relativity of the state of rest, which we have established above, do not exist.

Capricious Clocks and Rulers:

Time Machine:

Now, let us assume that the Einstein train travels along a circular railway and not in a straight line. It will then return after a certain time to its point of departure. As we have already established, the passenger will discover that his watch is slow and the faster the train goes, the slower his watch will be. By increasing the speed of the train we may reach a point where only a day passes for the passenger, while a number of years elapse for the station master. So many years may elapse, as a matter of fact, that on returning home to the station of departure after a day’s journey (by his own watch), our passenger will learn that all, his relatives and friends are long since dead…