Thursday, April 25, 2013

E=MC2, or doesit?

There are several questions regarding Einstein’s Relativity. There have even been speculations about the possibility of an FTL drive for space travel. Talk of the equations really proving we can travel faster than light or slower than light just not the speed of light, and recently it was suggested (or theorized) that the speed of light might not be constant. Or could we use a wormtravel thereby avoiding the problem all-together.

There is one fact as spelled out by Einstein himself in his journals and by people who knew him at the time – when he choose a career at Princeton while having achieved an academic goal, he never returned to his equations as he had originally hoped. He had in fact offered the equation much sooner than intended and never felt quite comfortable with the constant in E=MC2. Actually most times when the equation is used the constant is set to one and so its impact is often negated.

There is no question that Einstein was a genius and there is no question that the equation holds tremendous validity, but there is question as to whether there might be certain exceptions to this law. One exception has been offered by University of Arizona’s professor Andrei Lebed.

Many technologies in today’s world depend on Einstein’s theory, so it is probably a good thing that the area that Lebed questions does not apply. Lebed offers calculations that indicate the electron is capable of jumping to a higher energy level only in times where space is curved. As proof of this, Photons emitted during tests showing this energy switching event tested the concept.

The very key to Lebed’s suggestion can be found in the very definition or connotation of mass itself. General rule seems to accept that mass exists in one form. Lebed suggests otherwise. The mass of a moving object (defined by its inertia) and the mass given an object (by its gravitational field) are not always in sync. Lebed finds that some gravitational masses are evidence of Einstein’s equation breaking down.

Lebed says that space has a curvature that would disturb the resultant motion. It is hard to consider this thought 100% valid due to the testing conditions and proofs have not utilized space. Of course no one is positive that in space either man would be right. If what Lebed suggests exists- basically saying that the curvature exists only within Earth’s gravitational field and thus will not affect the outcome as predicted, can the measurements be obtained in the same fashion? Lebed no doubt has some interesting thoughts to debate.

Einstein always admitted his possible blunder, but it referred to the constant, not to the gravity. If one were curious to know more I suggest the book “Einstein's Greatest Blunder?: The Cosmological Constant and Other Fudge Factors in the Physics of the Universe (Questions of Science)” by Donald Goldsmith. If truly brings a new reality to brilliance and the fact that every mind is still growing just from different places on the number line!

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