A Crackpot Physics: Time, Special Relativity, and Why Bother?

by ACrackedPot10 min read21st Apr 20215 comments

-3

World Modeling
Personal Blog

Previous Post: A Crackpot Physics: Issues

In reverse order.  As I've written the last couple of posts, I think I've perhaps found another way of expressing the fundamental ideas here.

Why Bother?

I didn't, for a long time.  The original idea involved here is something I came up with when I was thirteen or fourteen, and over time I'd occasionally have little "epiphanies", like when I realized that the idea was fundamentally a wave - prior to that I would have expressed it as an infinite sum (which in retrospect was a Euler series, but I lacked the mathematical experience to recognize it as such).  I'd say most of that time was destructive, in regards to the idea, which started off very complicated, and has over time become quite simple.  Originally the idea had two kinds of charge; an electrical charge, and another kind of charge which was related to whether particles annihilated or created space-time (don't ask).  It also had a minimum of six dimensions; now I hesitate to even say it has four.  (Depending on what you mean by a dimension).

The original idea was to try to recover particles, get rid of a particular notion of quantization, and get rid of uncertainty.  At this point, I'd say it is, respectively, a failure, a success, and a mu.  So, needless to say, a lot of the little epiphanies were disappointments.

These aren't the ideas I set out to create, and I don't actually like them very much.  This is very much the product of churning away on an entirely false theory of reality until it started to approximate reality.

That said - why am I bothering?

Part of it is that I think I have some useful insights to contribute, and I should put forward at least a minimum effort towards conveying them to the rest of the world, given the effort other people have put forward into conveying their insights.  I don't joke when I say I believe all this, nor am I joking when I describe myself as a crackpot - the problem is it is very difficult to convey what I mean by "all this".

So let's try this from another logical direction: What am I doing here?

I guess I'm advocating for something completely different.  Stop trying to find the theory of everything, and instead assume one already exists, and try reasoning about it in the abstract.  What do you expect of a theory of everything?  What criteria should we expect it to satisfy?  So I'll start with a "rule", try to explain what it means, and try to explain how it influences the crackpot-physics.  The crackpot-physics in each case is significantly the least important thing; they're an attempt at a proof of concept for the rule itself.

I expect a theory of everything to be scale-symmetric, by which I mean, the laws of physics work the same for very large things as very small things.

This corresponds to a couple of things; fractals, most immediately obviously, but also negative dimensions, which have fractal-like self-similar properties, as far as I can tell based on the very scarce information I was able to obtain about them.

Basically, this means that I expect a graph of the force exerted between any two particles to approach +- infinity as you approach 0, to approach 0 as you approach infinity, and to exhibit a wavelength-like-property that approaches 0 as you approach 0, and infinity as you approach infinity.  Or, to describe this property another way, if you graph the equation, then zoom in or zoom out, there are an infinite number of "zoom levels" which are indistinguishable (but not necessarily identical, if the distinction makes sense); our scale isn't special, which means the laws of physics we observe at our scale aren't special, which means that we should observe the same laws of physics at other scales.

For partial explanation of why I think this is a rule, I offer the observation of structure no matter the scale of observation; galactic clusters, galaxies, star clusters, solar systems, molecules, nucleii, and so forth.  One may observe that the kind of structure we see varies - a galaxy is composed of vast numbers of constituent components, compared to the nucleus of an atom.  However, we should consider, when comparing these structures, the additional component of the scale of time itself, as the amount of time required for a structure to reach a point of equilibrium scales with the spacial distances involved.  Thus, when considering the large-scale structures we observe, we should consider them as and by extending the Copernican Principle to the question of scale.

Basically, graph sin(ln(x))/x in Google, and use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.  That behavior is literally the most important part about that equation.  The logarithm is useful, however; all evidence we have seen suggests that, no matter the scale of observation, patterns and structure emerge, suggesting that whatever the field equation may be, it is scale-insensitive; we should thus expect some kind of logarithmic (or logarithm-like) behavior, such that a graph of the equation is fundamentally self-similar, which is to say, looks approximately the same regardless of how one "zooms in" or "zooms out" on it by adding or removing exponents to the scale of the axes.  Or, to frame that differently, the laws of the universe should scale with the scale of the structures under consideration; logarithms are one way of doing this.

 The equation presented here has the property of a rational number, in a sense, in that no matter where you move on the scale of observation (no matter what set of decimal points you look at), you can find the same kinds of pattern emerging.  Perhaps the true field equation has the characteristic of an irrational number in this sense, in that the pattern is never the same, but that patterns emerge nonetheless.  I don't expect this to be the case, but it cannot be ruled out.  Or, in terms of self-similarity, this equation is exactly self-similar; it may be that the true equation is only approximately self-similar.

I believe the hierarchy problem can be solved by this framework, provided the force takes the form of curvature - because this means we are incorrectly measuring forces by not correcting, both for the lensing effect the forces exert on observations, but also for the truly enormous differences in local versus observer distances.  That is, if we correct for the fact that the subatomic forces are changing the distances involved, the forces become significantly weaker.  (If I calculate correctly, the nucleus of a hydrogen atom might be somewhere on the order of a meter across).

Now, as for the crackpot part of things?  Examining the problem of scale symmetry in terms of an abstraction of spacial density, negative dimensions brought me to sin(ln(x))/x, for reasons that I doubt I could satisfactorily explain, but involve a mental model which I can only really convey as a recursive-Matryoshka model of General Relativity arising when a singularity turns space-time recursively inside-out (previously I had suspected an equation like sin(ln(x))/x^2).  This led me to notice that sin(theta)/x is 1/x^2, for a given relationship between theta and x, and that this represented a rotation, giving rise to an abstraction based around the idea of rotation.

The rotation abstraction isn't important because it's correct, it's important as a way of conveying an idea of how this idea could potentially cash out.  It's an example of a strategy which I think will end up being important.

Negative mass must not lead to runaway acceleration

This one may seem somewhat arbitrary, but the universe, as a rule, has not given us any free lunches, and this one would be a feast.  One solution is to have positive and negative mass go in opposite directions in time, as the Standard Model, as I understand, already does with antimatter and various other particles.  But having different parts of the universe go in different directions in time seems like it might cause issues.

Well, what is time?  It's really two things, which we often conflate, and treat as if they are the same thing.  Time as relative rate of change, and time as history.  Here's the thing: There is absolutely no reason why these two things should be the same thing, and indeed, given what we know about the universe, maybe it should surprise us if they are, in fact, the same thing.  From an informational perspective, entropy is already, basically, kind of, a perfect compression algorithm on the history of the universe; it increases because there's an ever-increasing amount of history to store, and we are storing that information in the configuration of the universe.  Given that entropy is storing the history of the universe, albeit in an unrecoverable kind of way, why should we expect history to also be stored in some kind of multi-dimensional pattern covering the entirety of the universe, past and present?  That is, history is already represented once, in entropy.  Should we expect it to be represented in the laws of the universe twice?

Indeed, if you think about general relativity seriously, if history (which includes past, present, and future) is stored in some kind of dimensional pattern, the future (and past) should exert influence on the present - we should experience gravitational forces from the sun, not just as it is now, but as it was three seconds ago, and five seconds ago.  The first obvious answer is that it's already doing this - we experience the historic state of the sun because that's how long it took to reach us - but then it should be obvious that distance and time are fulfilling the same purpose there.  In a sense, then, there's no room in the time-that-is-General-Relativity for historical state information because it's already completely full of it, in the shape of something that I think could accurately be described as entropy.  To be pithy, history-time, in General Relativity, is emitted rather than kept.

So maybe time-as-timing is entirely separate from time-as-history, which leads to the question, if time, in the sense of the fourth dimension required by general relativity, is purely a matter of relative rate of change (timing), and not entirely a matter of a spacial dimension along which the past and future are stored, what shape would we expect time-as-timing to take?

A loop is the simplest answer there, but a spiral has certain qualities to recommend it.  (Chirality in particular is a useful quality)  But more generally, with loop-like structures, there is a characteristic behavior where going backwards in time is at least in certain respects the same as going forwards in time, which has some convenience when it comes to interpreting things like antimatter.  So I expect time-as-a-loop-or-looplike-structure to play a role in the physics.

Now, onto the more directly crackpot stuff, I suspect one of the quantized spin pairs to be representative of opposing configurations in a synchronized set of particles (and I expect sets of particles to be synchronized for attraction/repulsion/stable configuration reasons), which may or may not be significant with respect to Kaluza-Klein (I think it is, but this is based on an understanding of Kaluza-Klein which is almost certainly lacking).  Which is to say, there's a potential answer here to the question of electrical charge, in time being the closed (loop) dimension described in Kaluza-Klein, but I can't evaluate it.

Special Relativity Shouldn't be Special

I haven't talked much about Special Relativity.  There's a reason for this, and it's because this is the subject that I tend to annoy people about the most.  But some leading questions, to illustrate the issues, in increasing level of crackpottery.

First question: Is Lorentz Contraction real, in the specific sense that two spaceship captains whose ships are traveling at different speeds will observe/measure different distances between themselves in proportion to their velocity?

The answer to this question is "No."  "Yes" violates one of the basic assumptions of relativity, in that it creates a privileged frame of reference, because if they measure different distances, they can identify which ship is "really" in motion relative to the other - it is the ship which measures a shorter distance.  (It never ceases to surprise me how many physicists will insist the answer to this question is "Yes".  Velocity relative to what?)

Second question: Is time dilation real, in the sense that two spaceship captains who start at the same place and time, whose ships travel different routes at different speeds to a second place and time, can experience different amounts of time in the traversal?

The answer to this question is "Yes."  Now wait a moment, time dilation is often justified with the time it takes light to traverse a space from a frame of reference, using Lorentz Contraction to change the amount of space - how can I say Lorentz Contraction isn't real, but time dilation is?

I can actually explain this fairly neatly in terms of rotation - both spaceships measure the light traversing the same distance, but because the ships are rotated differently in time, they are in disagreement about how much distance the -other- ship should measure it going.  That is, Lorentz Contraction is measuring what proportion of "space" in one frame of reference is "time" from another frame of reference; the total dimensions are preserved.

And in fact there's already a phenomenon, largely regarded as an illusion, which corresponds exactly to this explanation: Penrose-Terrell rotation.

Third question: Does near-instantaneous acceleration create Penrose-Terrell rotation?

This one is a bit odd, but I think the answer should be "Yes."

Fourth question: Is sufficiently high acceleration equivalent to time-travel?

This one is very odd, and again, I think the answer should be a careful "Yes."  If you think about Penrose-Terrell rotation (taken seriously, as a real phenomenon), this may make more sense.  It's a limited kind of time-travel, however, and only permits the observation of light which, depending on the direction of acceleration, either shouldn't have reached the observer yet, or which should have already passed the observer - the universe doesn't store either future or history in time, so there's no history or future to travel to.  Mind, seeing light that shouldn't have reached the observer yet is pretty significant, from a causality perspective.

(I can write up a paradox illustrating why I think this has to be the case, aside from questions of rotation-in-space-and-time, but ultimately I'm not really attached to this answer, it's just illustrating some of my thought processes)

Fifth question: If sufficiently high acceleration permits the observation of light that shouldn't have arrived at an observer yet, doesn't that violate causality?

And the answer here is "No."  I don't have any justification here, I'm just going to say "No."  Either there's a cosmic maximum relative acceleration, or information can't be propagated back to other inertial reference frames fast enough, or a singularity gets involved.  Something stops it.  My personal vote is on a cosmic maximum relative acceleration, but I found an error in the math I had showing one, so I can't demonstrate it.

Okay, so I have five questions, of increasing degree of crankitude.  (Although I've been told I'm wrong, by different physicists, about both the first and second questions, three through five I'm specifically calling crackpottery.)

The thing that all the answers have in common, however, is that my answers basically assume special relativity is not, in fact, special, because special relativity isn't special; it should just be an obvious implication of the laws of physics.  Special relativity works quite well with the idea of General Relativity (and forces and motion and acceleration and mass and energy) as Rotation; you can literally just substitute in a phenomenon that has already been noticed.

Special relativity, when you treat everything as rotation, is nothing more than the observations that rotation is a relative quality, and that once objects are permitted to rotate in time, time just becomes another subjective dimension like "left".  It isn't special.

On the other hand, I've seen claims that special relativity and general relativity are in principle divisible; you can have physics with one but not the other.  If this is the direction your physics takes, I think you've started down the wrong path from the beginning, by treating special relativity as a special property of the universe, instead of an emergent (and rather boring) property.

But Why Bother?

If I go through the sequences, I'm warned repeatedly of the dangers of getting attached to an idea, of becoming a crackpot, refusing to update my information based on invalid views of reality.

Flip side of this: Maybe "General Relativity as Rotation" is genuine innovation, which permits some neat thing I can't think of.  (As far as I can tell, it laboriously adds up to normality, and is in fact kind of boring, but at this point my normality has some distance from other people's.)  Maybe my insane march through incomprehensible nonsense found something weird, interesting, and novel.

Or maybe I'm just trying to justify my trip through incomprehensible nonsense.  I've never actually felt the need to justify it, however; what it actually feels like is that I've stumbled across something interesting while wandering aimlessly in the forest, and I can't get anybody to actually look at it.

Actually, from the inside perspective it feels like I'm the second person on Earth to truly grok the universe, and I'm forcing myself to give a half-assed explanation to other people out of a sense of gratitude towards all the dead people who came before me who bothered to give explanations for their own insights into the universe instead of just privately being the only people to understand something about the universe.  I'm not a bitter crackpot because, from my perspective, the expression of this crackpottery is  favor to everyone else; if nobody else wants to understand the ideas, that's fine, they're really only depriving themselves of understanding the universe.  But that is the crackpot-experience; my logical outside-perspective feeling is more like the finding-something-in-a-forest.

I can actually come up with other rules for the crackpot physics here, or metaphysics as the case may be; for instance, I expect everything to be the same "stuff".  In this approach, everything is space-time.

So:

I expect the unified field theory to be self-similar.  That is, you should be able to graph it, and zoom in and out, and not be able to tell where you are in the zoom.  Our scale shouldn't be special, if for no other reason that the Copernican principle.

I expect negative mass to fail entirely to create runaway acceleration.  Or, to frame that differently, positive and negative mass should behave with symmetry; either mutual attraction, or mutual repulsion.  Or, to frame that very generally: No free lunches.

And I expect special relativity to be a boring byproduct of the theory of everything.  Rotation happens to have this property; curvature does as well, but historically, when I've insisted that velocity is curvature of local space-time, I tended to get some cross responses, so that idea may be a lot less obvious and intuitive than I think it is.  Or, to frame that very generally: The laws of the universe should be boring and unexceptional.

-3

5 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 2:42 AM
New Comment

Well, you sure weren't falsely advertising :)

I think you've got SR wrong, obv. Maybe because you're not imagining changes of reference frame to mix time and space coordinates for far-away places? Here's a lorentz transform gif, showing how events (spacetime points) change when you change velocity : https://i.stack.imgur.com/O4OnL.gif The points move along these hyperbolas. So "length-contracting" your way to alpha centauri looks like moving a point that is in your future lightcone but very far away, until it's directly in your future direction (you'll go straight there in free-fall).

The reason you can't use this to set an absolute reference frame is because the lorentz transformation effect moves things in both time and space, in a way that means the "present distance" (in the way that you think is the present in your reference frame) will be smallest precisely when you are stationary relative to it (i.e. when it's a vertical line in a spacetime diagram). This means that if there are two different stars out there moving at different velocities, the longest distance to them will be measured at different velocities.

Look at that lorentz transform gif again, but try to pick out diagonal lines of points with your eye! Diagonal lines are moving objects. Watch what happens to all sorts of diagonal lines, particularly their "present distance" along the x-axis.

The other thing I'd argue against here is drawing too much from the copernican principle. Not thinking our scale is special doesn't have to mean we have strong evidence that all scales are the same - we could be equally virtuous copernicans just be being uncertain about the laws of physics at different scales in a symmetrical way. Then if we do experiments and see differences at different scales, we can update that uncertainty to learn about the world.

Well, you sure weren't falsely advertising :)

I try to be accurate.

I think you've got SR wrong, obv. Maybe because you're not imagining changes of reference frame to mix time and space coordinates for far-away places?

What's entertaining is that I'd say this is basically a (considerable) rephrase of my criticism of the way people generally handle special relativity.  So I am completely in agreement here if we're talking about "my model of the way other people model special relativity".

So "length-contracting" your way to alpha centauri looks like moving a point that is in your future lightcone but very far away, until it's directly in your future direction (you'll go straight there in free-fall).

This, right here, is incredibly frustrating, because I think this is exactly what I'm referring to by velocity-as-rotation-in-time.  The direction an object moves is, from its perspective, the future; it is the direction of time.  "Moving a point that is in your future lightcone" is rotating which direction "time" points at, until "time" points at, for example, Alpha Centauri.

Except relativity; from your perspective it is the rest of the universe whose time is rotating, and it is Alpha Centauri's future which is pointed, partially, at you; your future is still pointed firmly in the direction of time itself, since obviously you can't move.  The speed at which you move, or rather the speed at which Alpha Centauri moves towards you, is determined by the angle between Alpha Centauri's future cone and your own.  (That is, the more Alpha Centauri's future cone is pointed at time, rather than at you, the slower it moves in space, and the faster it moves in time).

The reason you can't use this to set an absolute reference frame is because the lorentz transformation effect moves things in both time and space, in a way that means the "present distance" (in the way that you think is the present in your reference frame) will be smallest precisely when you are stationary relative to it

I don't understand what you mean by present distance; do you mean distance in a unified concept of space and time?  (I handle this particular problem in my crackpot nonsense by insisting that the time dimension is spacelike in proportion to velocity, sort of; so the distance "lost" to length contraction is regained in some portion of the distance-in-time becoming distance-in-space.  If that makes sense.  Is this analogous to this concept?)

The other thing I'd argue against here is drawing too much from the copernican principle. Not thinking our scale is special doesn't have to mean we have strong evidence that all scales are the same - we could be equally virtuous copernicans just be being uncertain about the laws of physics at different scales in a symmetrical way. Then if we do experiments and see differences at different scales, we can update that uncertainty to learn about the world.

I think I can break the claim down into a weak version, and a strong version:

The weak version: "Every scale will have laws of physics."

The strong version: "Every scale will have the same laws of physics."

I'm pretty sure even the weak version rules out quantization, since if there is quantization, then there is a scale below which nothing meaningfully exists.

In the first question, when you compare between two moving spaceships you don't just correct for spatial displacement and spatial rotation. You also correct for the relative velocities ie the boost. When "standard phycisists" compare the compatiblity of observations taken form two vantage points, they usually convert the "raw readings" into what would be the observer independent things. If one doesn't have preferred frames this comes down to having a transformation that includes parameters about changing to a target point of view (if you are facing left and I am facing right and we look into the same situation I have do a 180 rotation to compared to your point of view).

Your disagreement with your phycist friedns is that they are already taking the angle between the times of the observers into account while you are using viewpoint of "ah, there is a difference and with this new thing we can make it go away".

If I have a number like 1.01001100011100001111.... where there is supposed to be a digit pattern of ever expanding size this fails to be a rational number but is very strctured. However transcendental numbers include every digit combination (and none of them have an end).  Most of these numbers don't have a structure. It gets a bit muddled whether the "structuricity" or "self-similiarity" is essential or essential clue or totally optional. But being a number and being irrational doens't give this structuricity.

Special relativity came first. Special relativity is a special case of general relavity. If ones brain can deal with positive numbers already so it makes sense to treat the number 2 with the general machinery rather than using a "special" 2-ness theory.

It is common that if you have a time direction then for others it could be space+time. However saying that one can treat a pure space direction as a pure time direction is somewhat more radical. Renaming your left into future is expected to run into trouble. Althought one could try to understand the business with virtual particles as stuff that are moving timelike in what to the "non-virtual" world is a spacelike direction. After all what it is to it its width is to the non-virtual world its temporal extent. It is so brief that it makes sense to treat it as not having exsisted (and non-virtual entities have no use to communicate about virtual entities, by the time a message could arrive the entity has already ceased excisting).

If you are thinking in euclidean terms it might seems that x,y,z,t can be relabeled into each other. However with relativity there is an "odd signature" going either (+---) or (-+++). One can easily relabel like signs. But part of what gives the space its properties that there are "timelike" dimensions and "spacelike" dimensinos. SImple relabeling over all is not sufficient, in order to get full exhangeability something more tricsky would need to be done.If you are not taking these thinks into account you might have a lot of sign errors and some effects will go different direciton than expected.

Your disagreement with your phycist friedns is that they are already taking the angle between the times of the observers into account while you are using viewpoint of "ah, there is a difference and with this new thing we can make it go away".

Not the impression I get, but there does tend to be a bit of a communication barrier, given how ... odd my abstractions of these things to be.

If I have a number like 1.01001100011100001111.... where there is supposed to be a digit pattern of ever expanding size this fails to be a rational number but is very strctured. However transcendental numbers include every digit combination (and none of them have an end).  Most of these numbers don't have a structure. It gets a bit muddled whether the "structuricity" or "self-similiarity" is essential or essential clue or totally optional. But being a number and being irrational doens't give this structuricity.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that the behavior of numbers in this way is significant in some sense; rather, it's just an example to try to explain the idea that it isn't strictly necessary to these ideas for self-similarity to behave exactly like this.  A logarithmic spiral works, and exhibits a particularly neat kind of self-similarity, but I think a hyperbolic spiral might also work under some other constraints, and it wouldn't exhibit the same kind of neat self-similarity.  Or the shape might not be a smooth spiral at all, but some jagged monstrosity.

That is, the numbers are just trying to describe the "kind" of thing I'm trying to gesture at, lacking good language to define or describe it.

If you are thinking in euclidean terms it might seems that x,y,z,t can be relabeled into each other. However with relativity there is an "odd signature" going either (+---) or (-+++). One can easily relabel like signs. But part of what gives the space its properties that there are "timelike" dimensions and "spacelike" dimensinos. SImple relabeling over all is not sufficient, in order to get full exhangeability something more tricsky would need to be done.If you are not taking these thinks into account you might have a lot of sign errors and some effects will go different direciton than expected.

They aren't actually exchangeable.  But also they kind of are.  This one is difficult to explain.

Somebody traveling close to the speed of light, relative to us, has in a sense exchanged travel-in-time for travel-in-space.  There is an "exchange" happening.  But from the perspective of that person, we're the one who have conducted an exchange.

If they are traveling towards our Left, we could say that their "time" dimension is pointed partially Time-ward, and partially Left-ward.  This doesn't mean Left and Time have been exchanged, however; that's just our perspective.

Rather, I'd say it's more correct to say that Time is like Left, in that it doesn't point in any specific direction; you have to be inside space-time, with an orientation, in order for Time to point anywhere.  And it doesn't have to point in any particular direction; just as we can't agree on what direction Left points, likewise we can't agree on what direction Time points.  In general I'd say that Time pointing in any particular direction would be privileging a reference frame.

(But also, as mentioned in the other thread, I think Time and Distance are kind of the same thing, but also kind of not; Time is Distance turned inside out and upside down, sort of.  That gets weird, because it kind of implies that you need singularities in order for Time to exist at all, which causes a bootstrapping issue with the universe.  Granted that bootstrapping issue isn't any worse than the universe already had, so oh well there.)

Edit:

Huh.  Thought about this a little bit more, and was preparing to analogize this to the holographic principle.  Then I considered timeless physics instead, since it seemed closer to what I'm doing here.

And then I noticed those two ideas are kind of the same thing.  So, the holographic principle, noticing that distance is unnecessary given that all the information we need is already encoded in time, says we can describe the universe as two spacial dimensions plus a time dimension.  Timeless physics, noticing that time is unnecessary given that all the information we need is already encoded in distance, says we can describe the universe as three spacial dimensions.  So there's a generalization of both the holographic principle and timeless physics, I think.

I expect a theory of everything to be scale-symmetric, by which I mean, the laws of physics work the same for very large things as very small things.

Scale invariance is not a novel idea. Scale invariance is believed to apply to some things and not others ... because of evidence. Your novel claim would be that scale invariance applies to everything. But what's the evidence for that?

First question: Is Lorentz Contraction real, in the specific sense that two spaceship captains whose ships are traveling at different speeds will observe/measure different distances between themselves in proportion to their velocity? The answer to this question is “No.” “Yes” violates one of the basic assumptions of relativity, in that it creates a privileged frame of reference, because if they measure different distances, they can identify which ship is “really” in motion relative to the other—it is the ship which measures a shorter distance.

The answer is "no" because they have the same velocity relative to each other. That's standard physics, so you are not disproving anything.

(It never ceases to surprise me how many physicists will insist the answer to this question is “Yes”.

Can you name any?