The Invincible Zombie Called Fundamental Physics

Dec 27, 2022
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Nowadays the death of fundamental physics is so obvious that this fact has even entered popular culture:

Leonard: "I know I said physics is dead, but it is the opposite of dead. If anything, it is undead, like a zombie."
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDNP9KOEdh0


In the physics establishment, only Peter Woit is bold enough to hint at the death of physics (he believes that string theorists have killed it):

"Fundamental physical theory may now be over, replaced with a pseudo-science, but at least that means that things in this subject can't get any worse." https://math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=12604

"As seems increasingly all too possible, we're now at an endpoint of fundamental physics." http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9444

"There's a very real danger...that we will in our lifetimes see the end of fundamental physics as a human endeavor." http://math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=8392

"As far as this stuff goes, we're now not only at John Horgan's "End of Science", but gone past it already and deep into something different." http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=7266

The following quotations show that fundamental physics, even though dead, is all-powerful and invincible:

Ethan Siegel: "Scientific Theories Never Die, Not Unless Scientists Choose To Let Them. When it comes to science, we like to think that we formulate hypotheses, test them, throw away the ones that fail to match, and continue testing the successful one until only the best ideas are left. But the truth is a lot muddier than that. The actual process of science involves tweaking your initial hypothesis over and over, trying to pull it in line with what we already know. [...] By the addition of enough extra free parameters, caveats, behaviors, or modifications to your theory, you can literally salvage any idea. As long as you're willing to tweak what you've come up with sufficiently, you can never rule anything out." https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/11/16/scientific-theories-never-die-not-unless-scientists-choose-to-let-them/

Sabine Hossenfelder (Bee): "The criticism you raise that there are lots of speculative models that have no known relevance for the description of nature has very little to do with string theory but is a general disease of the research area. Lots of theorists produce lots of models that have no chance of ever being tested or ruled out because that's how they earn a living. The smaller the probability of the model being ruled out in their lifetime, the better. It's basic economics. Survival of the 'fittest' resulting in the natural selection of invincible models that can forever be amended." http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9375
 
Dec 27, 2022
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Peter Woit: "The worst thing that has happened to theoretical physics over the past 25 years is this descent into ideology." http://math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9375

The correct number is 118, not 25:

"This paper investigates an alternative possibility: that the critics were right and that the success of Einstein's theory in overcoming them was due to its strengths as an ideology rather than as a science. The clock paradox illustrates how relativity theory does indeed contain inconsistencies that make it scientifically problematic. These same inconsistencies, however, make the theory ideologically powerful...The gatekeepers of professional physics in the universities and research institutes are disinclined to support or employ anyone who raises problems over the elementary inconsistencies of relativity. A winnowing out process has made it very difficult for critics of Einstein to achieve or maintain professional status. Relativists are then able to use the argument of authority to discredit these critics. Were relativists to admit that Einstein may have made a series of elementary logical errors, they would be faced with the embarrassing question of why this had not been noticed earlier. Under these circumstances the marginalisation of antirelativists, unjustified on scientific grounds, is eminently justifiable on grounds of realpolitik. Supporters of relativity theory have protected both the theory and their own reputations by shutting their opponents out of professional discourse...The triumph of relativity theory represents the triumph of ideology not only in the profession of physics bur also in the philosophy of science." Peter Hayes, The Ideology of Relativity: The Case of the Clock Paradox https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02691720902741399
 
Dec 27, 2022
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Twenty years ago physicists were still worried about the death of physics (nowadays they couldn't care less):

"But instead of celebrating, physicists are in mourning after a report showed a dramatic decline in the number of pupils studying physics at school. The number taking A-level physics has dropped by 38% over the past 15 years, a catastrophic meltdown that is set to continue over the next few years. The report warns that a shortage of physics teachers and a lack of interest from pupils could mean the end of physics in state schools. Thereafter, physics would be restricted to only those students who could afford to go to posh schools. Britain was the home of Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and Paul Dirac, and Brits made world-class contributions to understanding gravity, quantum physics and electromagnetism - and yet the British physicist is now facing extinction. But so what? Physicists are not as cuddly as pandas, so who cares if we disappear?"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/nov/22/schools.g2
 
Dec 27, 2022
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I don't agree with all of this mathematician's conclusions but he makes lots of good points. You're gonna love this guy.

I love only one heretic:

Bryan Wallace: "There is a popular argument that the world's oldest profession is sexual prostitution. I think that it is far more likely that the oldest profession is scientific prostitution, and that it is still alive and well, and thriving in the 20th century. I suspect that long before sex had any commercial value, the prehistoric shamans used their primitive knowledge to acquire status, wealth, and political power, in much the same way as the dominant scientific and religious politicians of our time do. [...] Because many of the dominant theories of our time do not follow the rules of science, they should more properly be labeled pseudoscience. The people who tend to believe more in theories than in the scientific method of testing theories, and who ignore the evidence against the theories they believe in, should be considered pseudoscientists and not true scientists. To the extent that the professed beliefs are based on the desire for status, wealth, or political reasons, these people are scientific prostitutes. [...] Einstein's special relativity theory with his second postulate that the speed of light in space is constant is the linchpin that holds the whole range of modern physics theories together. Shatter this postulate, and modern physics becomes an elaborate farce! [...] The speed of light is c+v. [...] I expect that the scientists of the future will consider the dominant abstract physics theories of our time in much the same light as we now consider the Medieval theories of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or that the Earth stands still and the Universe moves around it." http://www.kritik-relativitaetstheorie.de/2013/02/the-farce-of-physics-2/

Note: Bryan Wallace wrote "The Farce of Physics" on his deathbed so one should not judge him too severely for (numerous) imperfections.
 
Dec 27, 2022
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Einstein's 1954 stunning confession:

Albert Einstein (1954): "I consider it entirely possible that physics cannot be based upon the field concept, that is on continuous structures. Then nothing will remain of my whole castle in the air, including the theory of gravitation, but also nothing of the rest of contemporary physics." John Stachel, Einstein from 'B' to 'Z', p. 151 https://www.amazon.com/Einstein-B-Z-John-Stachel/dp/0817641432

Clues to understanding Einstein's confession:

"The two first articles (January and March) establish clearly a discontinuous structure of matter and light. The standard look of Einstein's SR is, on the contrary, essentially based on the continuous conception of the field." http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0101/0101109.pdf

"Einstein's March paper treated light as particles, but special relativity sees light as a continuous field of waves." http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/genius/

So special relativity might have killed physics - is that what Einstein is suggesting?

"Lee [Smolin] and I discussed these paradoxes at great length for many months, starting in January 2001. We would meet in cafés in South Kensington or Holland Park to mull over the problem. THE ROOT OF ALL THE EVIL WAS CLEARLY SPECIAL RELATIVITY. All these paradoxes resulted from well known effects such as length contraction, time dilation, or E=mc^2, all basic predictions of special relativity." Joao Magueijo, Faster Than the Speed of Light, p. 250 http://www.amazon.com/Faster-Than-Speed-Light-Speculation/dp/0738205257
 
Dec 27, 2022
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Yes, special relativity did kill physics. The texts below imply that, if the speed of light is variable (it is!), modern physics, predicated on Einstein's 1905 constant-speed-of-light postulate, is long dead (exists in a zombie state):

"He opened by explaining how Einstein's theory of relativity is the foundation of every other theory in modern physics and that the assumption that the speed of light is constant is the foundation of that theory. Thus a constant speed of light is embedded in all of modern physics and to propose a varying speed of light (VSL) is worse than swearing! It is like proposing a language without vowels." http://www.thegreatdebate.org.uk/VSLRevPrnt.html

"If there's one thing every schoolboy knows about Einstein and his theory of relativity, it is that the speed of light in vacuum is constant. No matter what the circumstances, light in vacuum travels at the same speed...The speed of light is the very keystone of physics, the seemingly sure foundation upon which every modern cosmological theory is built, the yardstick by which everything in the universe is measured...The constancy of the speed of light has been woven into the very fabric of physics, into the way physics equations are written, even into the notation used. Nowadays, to "vary" the speed of light is not even a swear word: It is simply not present in the vocabulary of physics." https://www.amazon.com/Faster-Than-Speed-Light-Speculation/dp/0738205257

"The whole of physics is predicated on the constancy of the speed of light...So we had to find ways to change the speed of light without wrecking the whole thing too much." https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8q87gk/light-speed-slowed
 
Dec 27, 2022
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"We find ourselves in a period of extremely profound change. We are indeed at the end of science as the West has known it", such is the current observation made by Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, theoretical physicist, epistemologist and director of the scientific collections of Editions du Seuil." http://archipope.over-blog.com/article-12278372.html

Jean-Marc Levy-Leblond: "Science is suffering from a strong loss of credit, both literally and figuratively: its political and economic support, like its intellectual and cultural reputation, are experiencing a serious crisis...It may be too late. Nothing proves, I say this with some seriousness, that we are capable of carrying out these necessary changes today. History, precisely, shows us that, in the history of civilizations, the great scientific episodes are over... There is therefore no guarantee that in the centuries to come, our civilization, now global, will continue to preserve the place science has been occupying for several centuries." https://hal.science/hal-01197326/file/C56Levy.pdf

I have a suspiciously simple explanation of why physics is dead (or dying, if you prefer): Einstein's 1905 constant-speed-of-light falsehood proved so malignant that its metastases killed this branch of science. Then I have a much more suspicious idea of how physics can be resurrected (if it's not too late): Einstein's 1905 false axiom

The speed of light is constant.

should be replaced with the correct axiom

The wavelength of light is constant.

Constant wavelength of light emerges any time physicists ignore for a while Einstein's relativity and return to common sense:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: "Consider a falling object. Its speed increases as it is falling. Hence, if we were to associate a frequency with that object the frequency should increase accordingly as it falls to earth. Because of the equivalence between gravitational and inertial mass, we should observe the same effect for light. So lets shine a light beam from the top of a very tall building. If we can measure the frequency shift as the light beam descends the building, we should be able to discern how gravity affects a falling light beam. This was done by Pound and Rebka in 1960. They shone a light from the top of the Jefferson tower at Harvard and measured the frequency shift. The frequency shift was tiny but in agreement with the theoretical prediction." https://courses.physics.illinois.edu/phys419/sp2011/lectures/Lecture13/L13r.html

Two principles implied in this particular scenario are actually valid in any scenario:

(1) Frequency and speed of light vary proportionally.

(2) The wavelength of light remains constant.

It is easy to see that (1) and (2) are equivalent, given the formula (frequency)=(speed of light)/(wavelength).

Another scenario where (1) and (2) are obviously true is Doppler (moving observer):

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg7O4rtlwEE


"Thus, the moving observer sees a wave possessing the same wavelength [...] but a different frequency [...] to that seen by the stationary observer." http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/315/Waveshtml/node41.html

"The wavelength is staying the same in this case."
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHepfIIsKcE


"Vo is the velocity of an observer moving towards the source. This velocity is independent of the motion of the source. Hence, the velocity of waves relative to the observer is c + Vo. [...] The motion of an observer does not alter the wavelength. The increase in frequency is a result of the observer encountering more wavelengths in a given time." http://a-levelphysicstutor.com/wav-doppler.php

Physicists would not readily agree that the wavelength remains constant when the moving-emitter scenario is considered:

Stephen Hawking, "A Brief History of Time", Chapter 3: "Now imagine a source of light at a constant distance from us, such as a star, emitting waves of light at a constant wavelength. Obviously the wavelength of the waves we receive will be the same as the wavelength at which they are emitted (the gravitational field of the galaxy will not be large enough to have a significant effect). Suppose now that the source starts moving toward us. When the source emits the next wave crest it will be nearer to us, so the distance between wave crests will be smaller than when the star was stationary." http://www.fisica.net/relatividade/stephen_hawking_a_brief_history_of_time.pdf

Hawking is not alone - all physicists believe that the wavelength of light varies with the speed of the emitter. Here is an animation:
View: https://youtu.be/3mJTRXCMU6o?t=77


Variable wavelength of light contradicts the principle of relativity. If the wavelength varied, the emitter could regularly measure the variations inside his spaceship - so he would know his spaceship's speed without looking outside. If, for instance, measurements inside the spaceship show that the wavelength has decreased, the emitter will conclude that his spaceship is now moving faster than before.

The wavelength of light depends only on the nature of the emitting substance and is constant otherwise. In future, Einstein-free physics the wavelength of light will be nothing more than an invariable coefficient in the formula

(speed of light) = (wavelength)(frequency)
 
Dec 29, 2022
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Once we discover that light has duty cycle and not frequency, all the mystery of relative velocity will disappear. And the proper measurement of light will prove absolute time and length(space). But we will have to wait for better sensors and detectors.
 
Dec 27, 2022
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The formula

(frequency) = (speed of light)/(wavelength)

can be combined with two axioms:

Axiom 1: The speed of light is constant (Einsteinian physics).

Axiom 2: The wavelength of light is constant (future, Einstein-free physics).

Axiom 1 killed physics.

Axiom 2 will resurrect it (if it's not too late). Important corollaries:

Corollary 1: Any frequency shift entails (is caused by) a proportional speed-of-light shift.

Corollary 2: If the emitter and the observer travel towards each other with relative speed v, the speed of light relative to the observer is c' = c+v, as posited by Newton's theory.

Corollary 3: Spacetime and gravitational waves (ripples in spacetime) don't exist. LIGO's "discoveries" are fakes.

Corollary 4: Light falls in a gravitational field with the same acceleration as ordinary falling bodies - near Earth's surface the accelerations of falling photons is g = 9.8 m/s^2. Accordingly, there is no gravitational time dilation.

Corollary 5: The Hubble redshift is due to light slowing down as it travels through vacuum. The universe is not expanding.

Corollary 6: The dark sky in the Olbers' paradox can be explained by the fact that very slow, high-redshifted light (known as CMB), coming from very distant sources, is invisible.
 
Dec 27, 2022
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"Was Einstein wrong? The idea of a variable speed of light, championed by an angry young scientist, could one day topple Einstein's theory of relativity...The speed of light might not be constant at all. Shock, horror! Does this mean the next Great Revolution in Science is just around the corner?" http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/waseinsteinwrong/

The "next Great Revolution in Science" IS around the corner, but for unknown reasons theoretical physicists repudiate the consequence, space-time, and not the underlying premise, Einstein's 1905 constant-speed-of-light falsehood:

"Was Einstein wrong? Do we have to kill off the theory of space and time to make sense of the universe?" https://space.com/end-of-einstein-space-time

Nima Arkani-Hamed: "Almost all of us believe that spacetime doesn't really exist, spacetime is doomed and has to be replaced..."
View: https://youtu.be/U47kyV4TMnE?t=369


Philip Ball: "And by making the clock's tick relative - what happens simultaneously for one observer might seem sequential to another - Einstein's theory of special relativity not only destroyed any notion of absolute time but made time equivalent to a dimension in space: the future is already out there waiting for us; we just can't see it until we get there. This view is a logical and metaphysical dead end, says [Lee] Smolin." http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jun/10/time-reborn-farewell-reality-review

"Bye bye space-time: is it time to free physics from Einstein's legacy?" https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24332472-900-bye-bye-space-time-is-it-time-to-free-physics-from-einsteins-legacy/

"Rethinking Einstein: The end of space-time...Horava, who is at the University of California, Berkeley, wants to rip this fabric apart and set time and space free from one another..." https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727721-200-rethinking-einstein-the-end-of-space-time/

What scientific idea is ready for retirement? Steve Giddings: "Spacetime. Physics has always been regarded as playing out on an underlying stage of space and time. Special relativity joined these into spacetime...The apparent need to retire classical spacetime as a fundamental concept is profound..." https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25477

Space-time is a logical consequence of Einstein's 1905 constant-speed-of-light postulate, theoretical physicists:

"Special relativity is based on the observation that the speed of light is always the same, independently of who measures it, or how fast the source of the light is moving with respect to the observer. Einstein demonstrated that as an immediate consequence, space and time can no longer be independent, but should rather be considered a new joint entity called "spacetime." https://www.bowdoin.edu/news/2015/04/physics-professor-baumgarte-describes-100-years-of-gravity.html

So you cannot "retire" the consequence but continue to worship the underlying postulate. Logic forbids you to do so.
 
Dec 27, 2022
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"Was Einstein wrong? The idea of a variable speed of light, championed by an angry young scientist, could one day topple Einstein's theory of relativity...The speed of light might not be constant at all. Shock, horror! Does this mean the next Great Revolution in Science is just around the corner?" http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/waseinsteinwrong/

Concerning "the next Great Revolution in Science", here is the long story very short, as I see it:

The formula

(frequency) = (speed of light)/(wavelength)

says that, if the speed of light is constant, we have the absurd corollary

Any frequency shift entails (is caused by) an inversely proportional wavelength shift.

So the constancy of the speed of light is disproved by reductio ad absurdum.

The formula also says that, if the wavelength of light is constant, we have the corollary

Any frequency shift entails (is caused by) a proportional speed-of-light shift.

Everything that can be deduced from the axiom "The wavelength of light is constant" (combined with other reasonable assumptions of course) will constitute the basis of "the next Great Revolution in Science".
 
Dec 27, 2022
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Paul Davies: "Was Einstein wrong? The idea of a variable speed of light, championed by an angry young scientist, could one day topple Einstein's theory of relativity. Einstein's famous equation E=mc^2 is the only scientific formula known to just about everyone. The "c" here stands for the speed of light. It is one of the most fundamental of the basic constants of physics. Or is it? In recent years a few maverick scientists have claimed that the speed of light might not be constant at all. Shock, horror! Does this mean the next Great Revolution in Science is just around the corner?" http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/waseinsteinwrong/

The "maverick scientists":

Joao Magueijo, Niayesh Afshordi, Stephon Alexander: "So we have broken fundamentally this Lorentz invariance which equates space and time...It's the other postulate of relativity, that of constancy of c, that has to give way..."
View: https://youtu.be/kbHBBtsrU1g?t=1431


"You want to go back to a notion of space-time that preceded the 20th century, and it wants to ignore the essential lessons about space-time that the 20th century has taught us." Joao Magueijo: "Yes, that's right. So it's nouveau-Newtonian." https://pirsa.org/16060116?t=3211

"Lee [Smolin] and I discussed these paradoxes at great length for many months, starting in January 2001. We would meet in cafés in South Kensington or Holland Park to mull over the problem. THE ROOT OF ALL THE EVIL WAS CLEARLY SPECIAL RELATIVITY. All these paradoxes resulted from well known effects such as length contraction, time dilation, or E=mc^2, all basic predictions of special relativity." Joao Magueijo, Faster Than the Speed of Light, p. 250 http://www.amazon.com/Faster-Than-Speed-Light-Speculation/dp/0738205257

The "mavericks" broke the Lorentz invariance, became nouveau-Newtonians, and continue to teach...relativity: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/j.magueijo/teaching.html

George Orwell: "Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."

 
Dec 27, 2022
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Richard Feynman: "I want to emphasize that light comes in this form - particles. It is very important to know that light behaves like particles, especially for those of you who have gone to school, where you probably learned something about light behaving like waves. I'm telling you the way it does behave - like particles. You might say that it's just the photomultiplier that detects light as particles, but no, every instrument that has been designed to be sensitive enough to detect weak light has always ended up discovering the same thing: light is made of particles." QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter p. 15 https://www.amazon.com/QED-Strange-Theory-Light-Matter/dp/0691024170

Whether Feynman is correct is not a matter of discussion here. I am just drawing the attention to a crucial implication. The concept of VARIABLE wavelength of light

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsVxC_NR64M


is preposterous if light is particles and not waves. That is, Feynman's words imply that the wavelength of light can only be an invariable proportionality factor in the formula

(speed of light) = (wavelength)(frequency)

Here is a crucial question:

Variable speed of light and constant wavelength, in accordance with the particle model of light, or constant speed of light and variable wavelength, in accordance with the wave model of light?

The answer was given in 1887 (prior to the introduction of the length-contraction fudge factor):

"Emission theory, also called emitter theory or ballistic theory of light, was a competing theory for the special theory of relativity, explaining the results of the Michelson–Morley experiment of 1887...The name most often associated with emission theory is Isaac Newton. In his corpuscular theory Newton visualized light "corpuscles" being thrown off from hot bodies at a nominal speed of c with respect to the emitting object, and obeying the usual laws of Newtonian mechanics, and we then expect light to be moving towards us with a speed that is offset by the speed of the distant emitter (c ± v)." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emission_theory

Banesh Hoffmann, Einstein's co-author, admits that, originally ("without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations"), the Michelson-Morley experiment was compatible with Newton's variable speed of light, c'=c±v, and incompatible with the constant speed of light, c'=c:

"Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it. And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether." Banesh Hoffmann, Relativity and Its Roots, p.92 https://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its-Roots-Banesh-Hoffmann/dp/0486406768

If it is not too late and physics can still be resurrected, "The wavelength of light is constant" will become the fundamental axiom of future, Einstein-free physics.
 
Dec 27, 2022
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The particle model of light is incompatible with VARIABLE wavelength of light, and so is the wave model:

Stephen Hawking, "A Brief History of Time", Chapter 3: "Now imagine a source of light at a constant distance from us, such as a star, emitting waves of light at a constant wavelength. Obviously the wavelength of the waves we receive will be the same as the wavelength at which they are emitted (the gravitational field of the galaxy will not be large enough to have a significant effect). Suppose now that the source starts moving toward us. When the source emits the next wave crest it will be nearer to us, so the distance between wave crests will be smaller than when the star was stationary." http://www.fisica.net/relatividade/stephen_hawking_a_brief_history_of_time.pdf

This interpretation implies that the moving source is CHASING the emitted crest - that is the reason why, when the next crest is emitted, the distance between the two crests is smaller than when the source is stationary. As chasing becomes faster and faster, the distance between crests approaches zero. In other words, the wavelength at the source varies with the speed of the source, which is absurd (contradicts the principle of relativity).

For light waves, there can be no chasing. No matter how fast the source is moving, the speed of the emitted crest relative to the source remains constant, c. Accordingly, when the next crest is emitted, the distance between the two crests remains unchanged - the same as when the source is stationary.

The wavelength of light depends only on the nature of the emitting substance and is constant otherwise.
 

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