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CJSF
2002-Jun-04, 07:58 PM
This article (http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/06/04/einstein.wrong/index.html) on CNN.com talks about a proposed experiment to test Special Relativity, aboard the ISS. If you read through it, though, I think there are some mistakes(??)

For example, it says:


Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity postulates that the laws of physics and the speed of light are always the same to an observer moving at a constant speed. That means a coin will always fall straight down, whether you drop it while standing still or while inside a moving vehicle.

Huh?

Also,


Likewise, a clock on its side will tick at the same rate as a clock that is upright -- at least it will on earth.

HUH?

Are these really pertinent analogies and examples?

CJSF


_________________
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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2002-06-04 15:59 ]</font>

ToSeek
2002-Jun-04, 08:50 PM
On 2002-06-04 15:58, Christopher Ferro wrote:
For example, it says:


Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity postulates that the laws of physics and the speed of light are always the same to an observer moving at a constant speed. That means a coin will always fall straight down, whether you drop it while standing still or while inside a moving vehicle.

Huh?



I think that one goes back to Galileo, or at least Newton.

Wiley
2002-Jun-04, 11:00 PM
ToSeek is right. Dropping a coin in a moving car versus dropping a coin in a stationary car is a classic example of Galliean relativity, or the principle of relativity. The principle of relativity is that the laws of physics are valid in all inertial frames. Add to that the postulate, the speed of light is constant in all inertial frames, mix well, and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. When you're done you will have Einstein special theory of relativity.

I don't know what they're trying to say with the second example. Space is isotropic?

Now, my guess is the big BA in this article is that they really want to test the general theory, not the special theory. The don't give any details of the experiment so hard to know exactly what they are testing. I'll see what I can dig up.

Wiley
2002-Jun-04, 11:10 PM
I found the technical version of this article at the Los Alamos preprint archive.

the article (http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0111141)

There are related articles at the site. Have fun.

Roy Batty
2002-Jun-05, 12:54 AM
Sorry, just going back to the original CNN piece: "By comparing extremely precise clocks that can operate under zero gravity,"

Classic BA, free fall or micro grav yes .. zero? uh uh!
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Another Phobos
2002-Jun-05, 05:18 PM
THE glaring problem I found with that article is that CNN seems to be jumping on the idea that Einstein is wrong (sensationalism).

Consider the title ("Has time run out on Einstein's theory?"), the subtitle ("Atomic clocks on the space station might reveal truth"...note: science doesn't offer Truth) and the name of the file (.../einstein.wrong/...).

But then the actual article has quotes from the scientists saying that it wouldn't be an end to SR....not to mention that the experiment hasn't even been done yet.

And then all the tangential discussions that were irrelevant (worm holes, etc.)

Overall, it's a terrible science article. Shame on you, CNN.

Wiley
2002-Jun-06, 11:06 PM
On 2002-06-05 13:18, Another Phobos wrote:
THE glaring problem I found with that article is that CNN seems to be jumping on the idea that Einstein is wrong (sensationalism).

Consider the title ("Has time run out on Einstein's theory?"), the subtitle ("Atomic clocks on the space station might reveal truth"...note: science doesn't offer Truth) and the name of the file (.../einstein.wrong/...).

I did not get the feeling they were trying to sensationalistic (if that's a word), but rather clever, in a cutsie journalistic way. The experiments uses clocks thus "Time running out...", see clever (sic). Although I can certainly see your point.



Overall, it's a terrible science article. Shame on you, CNN.


I definitely agree with you there. I could forgive the extraneous highly speculative Star-Trek-ian science, if after reading the article, I actually had some idea what the experiment was about.

Chip
2002-Jun-12, 07:35 AM
Yeah, I think that instead of reporting this experiment in some detail, CNN was looking for an angle to make the story more (dare I say it?) entertaining. The actual short quotes from the scientists reveal a calmer, and deeper side to on-going research. I'd like to read somewhere what this experiment is really about. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif