Cosmology without headaches 2012

By Michael Somers

Beitrag aus dem GOM-Projekt: 2394 weitere kritische Veröffentlichungen
zur Ergänzung der Dokumentation Textversion 1.2 – 2004, Kapitel 4. 

Cosmology without headaches – Lecture 35-36: lecture 35: Einstein and relativity (1): Special theory, 1905 (18 S.) – lecture 36: Einstein and Relativity (2): General Theory, 1915 (16 S.) / [keine Verfasserangabe]. – [Kanada]: WWW 2012. 34 S. 
Ermittlung des Verfassers über die Homepage. – Wird ständig neu bearbeitet. 2012 mit neuer Zählung der Lectures; in den Lectures selbst stehen noch Hinweise auf die alte Zählung! – URL: 
The special theory of relativity was based entirely on logic and imagination. It is thus no more than metaphysics: a visit to the ideal Kantian-Platonic realm of pure reason.

In the real world, of course, there is nothing resembling an inertial coordinate system, nor is there any perfect vacuum through which light travels unimpeded. Despite the problems we have previously discussed in our attempt to gain intuitive understanding of relativity theory, the accuracy of its fit with real world experience—that is to say predictions based on its mathematics—is undeniable, indicating to many who believe in the verifiability of theories, generally, that this theory describes reality; that the real world is actually governed by these principles; that here is a kernel of truth.

Einstein himself was more reserved in that regard. He stated many times and in many ways that hypotheses, however logical they may seem, do not form a bridge from mind to reality and that “we only see through out theories”. Karl Popper would soon point out that, regardless of the success of any experiments that are suggested by the theory as tests of its accuracy, and regardless of the number of times such experiments are performed with unvarying results, theories can merely be supported as useful and practical tools of science and technology. They can never be proved true; can never be verified. But let just one experiment show a repeatable and conclusive result that is incompatible with the theory, and the theory is lost. Theories, says Popper, can only be falsified, which means scientific knowledge can only be knowledge of a negative sort: knowledge of what isn’t. We will encounter this limiting notion again as we proceed to explore the wild and relatively newly discovered frontier of the expanding Universe.

Einstein was not deterred by such limitations. True or not, his relativity ideas could lead to an improved description of the world; ‘improved’ in that it would include the prevailing laws of physics, explain them in a new way, and resolve the apparent conflicts—or many of them. The new theory then, if not altogether true, must be more accurate in its predictions. Could he expand the mathematics describing his ideal state in the ‘special theory’ to include the forces we observe in non-uniform motion (accelerating coordinate systems) and in the presence of gravitational fields? In the process of entering such forces into his equations, he was brought to the recognition of the equivalency of gravitational mass (weight) and inertial mass (resistance to acceleration) and to consider that their similarity might be more than a coincidence. This also gave him an idea as to how the problems presented by the concept of force might be resolved.

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