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Landmarks in the History of Science » Physics-Astronomy » Very Rare Book: The Special Theory of Relativity - A Critical Analysis, 1971, Oxford Science Research Papers

Very Rare Book: The Special Theory of Relativity - A Critical Analysis, 1971, Oxford Science Research Papers

Autor: L. Essen
Cod: 8760
In stoc: Da

Detalii produs

Louis Essen (1908-1997) was an English scientist, an expert in the precise measurement of time. He built in 1955 the first atomic clock. As a result, in 1967, the cosmical second was replaced by the atomic second. Essen, of course, was a critic of Einstein's relativity theory, especially as it related to 'time dilation'.

''The general public is misled into believing that science is a mysterious subject which can be understood by only a few exceptionally gifted mathematicians…


Students are told that the theory [of relativity] must be accepted although they cannot expect to understand it. They are encouraged right at the beginning of their careers to forsake science in favour of dogma.''


                   Louis Essen, Relativity and Time Signals in Wireless World, October 1978, p. 44

''No branch of science has received more public acclaim than the theory of relativity, and few scientists are held in greater esteem than its author, A. Einstein…


Einstein and many other writers have found it necessary to write explanations of the theory, and although the explanations are largely repetitive they sometimes differ in important respects. There are examples of the same author giving, at different times, different explanations of some of the relativity predictions. It is a subject about which writers tend to use more emotive language than is usual in scientific texts.. For example L. B. Loeb and A. S. Adams (1933) state that most of those who attack relativity are either fanatics or so poorly equipped mathematically that they are incapable of understanding or following the processes involved.. The reference here to mathematical ability is puzzling because, as we shall see, parts of Einstein’s papers that are often criticized involve no mathematics.


Other strange features are the brevity of the introduction in Einstein’s paper of 1905, and the omission of any reference to the work of H. A. Lorenz and H. Poincare, although this was so important that E. Whittaker (1953) in his detailed study attributes the theory entirely to them…


Perhaps the strangest feature of all, and the most unfortunate to the development of science, is the use of the thought-experiment. The expression itself is a contradiction in terms, since an experiment is a search for new knowledge that cannot be confirmed, although it might be predicted, by a process of logical thought. A thought-experiment on the other hand cannot provide new knowledge; if it gives a result that is contrary to the theoretical knowledge and assumptions on which it is based than a mistake must have been made. Some of the results of this theory were obtained in this way and differ from the original assumptions… Einstein himself calls one of the results peculiar, but in fact it must be wrong, since it disagrees with the initial assumptions…


A common reaction of experimental physicists to the theory is that they do not understand it themselves it is so widely accepted that it must be correct...



A critical examination of Einstein’s papers reveals that in the course of thought-experiments he makes implicit assumptions that are additional and contrary to his two initial principles. The initial postulates of relativity and the constancy of the velocity of light lead directly to length contraction and time dilation simply as new units of measurements, and in several places Einstein gives support to this view by making his observers adjust their clocks. More usually, and this constitutes the second set of assumptions, he regards the changes as being observed effects, even when the units are not deliberately changed. This implies that there is some physical effect even if it is not understood or described. The results are symmetrical to observers in relative motion; and as such can only be an effect in the process of the transmission of the signals. This third assumption is that the clocks and lengths actually change. In this case the relativity postulate can no longer hold.

The first approach, in which the units of measurement are changed is not a physical theory, and the question of experimental evidence does not arise. There is no evidence for the second approach because no symmetrical experiment has ever been made. There is no direct experimental evidence of the third statement of the theory because no experiments have been made in an inertial system. There are experimental results that support the idea of an time dilation, but accelerations are always involved, and there is some indication that they are responsible for the observed effects.''

                        Louis Essen, The Special Theory of Relativity - A Critical Analysis, 1971, pp. 1-2 & 23-24




Louis Essen, The Special Theory of Relativity - A Critical Analysis, Oxford Science Research Papers 5, 1971, Oxford University Press, p. 27, the first cover is sunned, soft covers, fine condition.

Price: USD 800,000.00