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Polish media excited about bad article on Relativity Theory, published in a shady journal


boletus 30 | 1,366
25 Nov 2011  #1
Here is an exciting headline from today's Rzepa: "Polak podważył teorię Ensteina", "A Pole undermined the Einstein's Theory"

A retired scientist from the University of Wrocław, Janusz Drożdżyński, says that he found an error in the Einstein's theory of relativity. He published his analysis in "Journal of Modern Physics".

I found his three page article via google. Here is a pointer: Journal of Modern Physics, 2011, 2, 1247-1249, "Evidence for and Invalidity of the Principle of Relativity", scirp.org/Journal/Home.aspx?JournalID=172 I browsed it a bit: it presents a thought experiment, quite similar to that of Einstein, from which the latter concluded the famous formulae for length contraction and time dilation - assuming that the speed of light is constant in any inertial frame of reference.

In the abstract of his paper Prof. Drożdżyński's writes:

The paper presents a thought experiment in which it has been proven that, on the basis of the observed trajectory of a light pulse in a moving space ship with a constant speed, it is in theory possible to determine the speed of the system. We conclude from this that Einstein's principle of relativity is not valid.

I found no evidence that he proved anything worth reporting.
But there are several parallel conclusions:
He is retired and he is a chemist, not a Theoretical Physicist. As such he so well fits into two categories described in the introduction from the blog "Będąc Młodym Fizykiem" (Being a young physicist) - "Nonsense of Polish and Foreign Science",

mlodyfizyk.blox.pl/html

[quote]I am a young scientist. With the help of fellow physicists I collect nonsense, published in Poland and elsewhere by maniacs and pseudo-scholars.

But there are four chapters of International Journal of Modern Physics: A, B, C, D. A coincidence? I do not think so.

After a little research I found this last year article in the Nature, nature.com/news/2010/100113/full/463148a.html : Two new journals copy the old. Apparently the server Scientific Research, scip.org which publishes - among many - Journal of Modern Physics is located in China, although they claim that they are in USA. The articles of their first volume (now they are at the volume 2) were entirely reproduced from the year 2000 edition of the Britain's Institute of Physics in the open-access New Journal of Physics. The Scientific Research solicited names of internationally renown scientists to join their editorial board. They did it under false pretense suggesting that they represented journals of similar names.

In short: this organization and its journals are the sham. Prof. Drożdżyński's article has no merit by itself but publishing it in a shady journal makes it even less glorious. Rzeczpospolita and a bunch of other dailies and portals (odkrywcy, wykop, onet, wp) are a bunch of gullible boneheads by 1.) publishing unverified information 2.) decorating it with sensational headlines.
f stop 25 | 2,513
25 Nov 2011  #2
A suspicious Polish mind is often a great asset
Barney 14 | 1,469
25 Nov 2011  #3
In short: this organization and its journals are the sham.

There is a journalist and Medical Doctor Ben Goldacre who writes about this you may enjoy some of his writing.
isthatu2 4 | 2,708
25 Nov 2011  #4
"A Pole undermined the Einstein's Theory",

How predictable...........CERN anounces that Einstiens theory is in trouble after extensive tests seem to show neutrons (neutrinos?) travel faster than light so a Polish Newspaper falls over itself to find a Pole who had already disproved an Einstien theory....
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
26 Nov 2011  #5
Disapprovers and Correctors of Special Theory of Relativity come in bundles. Not necessarily Polish. Most of those are pseudo-scientists or maniacs, as stated above.
Editors of scientific journals, or even popular scientific bloggers are flooded by letters like this:

I also thought about a connection between the recent neutrino (yes, the tiny almost massless fairy - not the heavy neutron) experiments, that supposed to break the SR Theory, and some bored science editor of a Polish newspaper trying hard to break the "good" news.

But to put everything in perspective: there are thousands of experiments around the world attempting to prove or disprove various aspects of Special and General Theory of Relativity, or improve on some numerical truth ranges. Not in the sense of maniacal attempts to break something that actually works well or to earn fame for themselves. In contrary, these are serious experiments done in the name and service of science. Two of the following survey papers are worthy to glance at:

What is the experimental basis of Special Relativity: desy.de/user/projects/Physics/Relativity/SR/experiments.html
David Mattingly, Modern tests of Lorentz Invariance: relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2005-5/index.html

There is a journalist and Medical Doctor Ben Goldacre who writes about this you may enjoy some of his writing.

Nice, I enjoyed it.
But Physics seems to offer more opportunities for charlatans and maniacs. I just came across "Laboratorium Energii Subtelnych", (Laboratory of Subtle Energies)

labes.edu.pl/index.php?id=51. It would take several hours to describe their Psychotronic products and services, such as :
Little Wishes Machine - an aid to learning the basis of psychotronics and first experiments with it
Friendly Little Lamp - an anti-depressant emitter

But nothing is free there:

Price list of services provided by the Laboratory of Subtle Energies
Consulting Services:
Personal consulting - 140 PLN
Business consulting - 140 PLN/hour
Radiesthetic Services:
Indoor expertise - 5.5 PLN/m2
Building plots expertise - 2 PLN/m2
Energetic cleanup - 500 PLN
Installation of a standard anti-radiation system - 300 PLN
Installation of a stabilization system for indoor energy - 1000 PLN
Development and installation of a custom anti-radiation system - Negotiable, depending on the development cost
Access - According to the official rates
Other Services:
Examination of an extrasensoric capacity - 700 PLN
Developing of products and technologies - Negotiable, depending on the cost of development
Custom Services - Negotiable, depending on the cost of development
f stop 25 | 2,513
6 Dec 2011  #6
Energetic cleanup - 500 PLN

That's the ticket.
EM_Wave 9 | 311
6 Dec 2011  #7
CERN anounces that Einstiens theory is in trouble after extensive tests seem to show neutrons (neutrinos?) travel faster than the speed of light

It's funny how many MIT physics professors have spoken up and said the experiment was BS, including Polish-American physicist Frank Wilczek.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
6 Dec 2011  #8
I found no evidence that he proved anything worth reporting.

and where did you look for this evidence - in the paper itself or elsewhere?

It's funny how many MIT physics professors have spoken up and said the experiment was BS, including Polish-American physicist Frank Wilczek.

the problem with modern scientists is they have their Holly Cow - Einstein - simple experiments by Mr Lucjan £ągiewka that show that some basic physical laws are not actually always valid were instantly dismissed by many Polish physicist as violating one of the Einstein's relativity theory (I can't remember which one)
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
6 Dec 2011  #9
and where did you look for this evidence - in the paper itself or elsewhere?

In the paper. I thought the details would be boring to most people here so I did not elaborate. Would you like to see my arguments nevertheless? Privately or publicly? If yes, give me few hours, I still need to get some more sleep.

Now you are really confused. The £agiewka's story has nothing to do with Einstein and that damned holly cow, as you put it. His demonstrations were dismissed by some witnesses because both sides were confused: those doing the convincing and those trying to refute the explanations. In my humble opinion the man has a wrong adviser who published wrong papers, referring to wrong data sets - like trying to explain a Volvo accident using video of a Ford crash. I saw that last year. Made no sense.

However, there is nothing special and mysterious there. No one is breaking any principles of physics. Again, I may try to explain it later if you wish. But forget about all those hurra-patriotic stories in the newspapers. They mean nothing.

It's funny how many MIT physics professors have spoken up and said the experiment was BS, including Polish-American physicist Frank Wilczek.

Wait. Things need to be sorted out, repeated, repeated, repeated ad nausea. I refer you again to those two links which list a multitude of various experiments that try to prove or break various aspects of both relativity theories: special and general:

What is the experimental basis of Special Relativity: desy.de/user/projects/Physics/Relativity/SR/experiments.html

David Mattingly, Modern tests of Lorentz Invariance: relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2005-5/index.html

The Opera experiment done by the physicists from Gran Sasso laboratory need to be repeated by the same team and various other teams around the world. Patience, patience.

In meantime another team from the same laboratory proved via their Icarus experiment quite the opposite than the Opera team. Again: patience and perseverance are recommended to all of us. So far no one came with a better theory than SRT.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
6 Dec 2011  #10
Now you are really confused.

I am by no means a good physics mind - but don't £ągiewka's experiments show that neither the rule of conservation of regular momentum nor the rule of conservation of angular momentum are a universal law in nature?

ok thought about it for a moment - and now I think that actually £ągiewka's experiment show that F=ma is not valid
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
6 Dec 2011  #11
I am by no means a good physics mind - but don't £ągiewka's experiments show that neither the rule of conservation of regular momentum nor the rule of conservation of angular momentum are a universal law in nature?

As I said before, his bumper seems to work somehow, but nobody really knows how effective it could be. I did not bother with any detailed analysis, but it seems to me that all conservation laws are fine here, nothing is really broken. If he was bumped from his patent by a man from Cambridge, this is their own fault (his and his scientific adviser) for claiming ridiculous things at first.

I actually went to their own site trying to get access to one of their papers (not the media announcements), but I have trouble accessing them.

The młody fizyk blog, has several articles on the subject, and some references to their papers. I'll see to it later.

mlodyfizyk.blox.pl

[Scroll down to the very bottom to see the latest entries from the December this year]
gumishu 11 | 5,012
6 Dec 2011  #12
can you describe this ball vs thin slat thought experiment £ągiewka had envisioned - I don't quite imagine it
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
6 Dec 2011  #13
The device is a primitive converter of translational motion to a rotational one. It consists of a weightless lever simply supported at its centre

| O (m 0) => (m u)
|
|
|
x
|
|
|
| <==O (m v)

There are two balls, which are actually suspended on weightless twines, thus forming two pendulums. This is made so in order to eliminate effects of possible friction. The top ball is at rest, barely touching the lever. The bottom one strikes the bottom part of the lever. What happens now?

The claim is that after the collision the initial energy E=mv^2 is equally divided between both balls, and that the conservation of energy holds true:

E = 1/2 m v^2 = 1/2 m u^2 + 1/2 m u^2
where u is a velocity of any of the balls.
Hence
v^2 = 2 u^2
and u = v / √ 2
But that leads to violation of conservation of momentum:
m v = m u + m u = 2 m u = 2 m v / √ 2
hence
1 = 2 / √ 2, which is nonsense
Ergo, £agiewka and Gumuła claim that the conservation of momentum is broken in this "experiment".
gumishu 11 | 5,012
6 Dec 2011  #14
Ergo, £agiewka and Gumuła claim that the conservation of momentum is broken in this "experiment".

if you assume that the slat is really a solid thing and there is no friction between the slat and it's axis and they still fit perfectly to each other there is no way the interaction between the balls and a slat influences the 'broader' environment (this what I imagine) - now that the conservation of momentum describes only solid objects it is pretty tempting to say that the conservation of the momentum is broken - I don't think you could draw a complete analogy between the experiment with a ball and a wall with this experiment in that - simply in ideal conditions any vector of translation of the slat is purely tangential to its axis - so no force is there on axis from the slat

what I think there is simply a missing link between the rule of conservation of momentum and the rule of conservation of the angular momentum - that they should be linked somehow (I am not aware of such equation that links both)

ok - after some thinking - it looks like we can't say if the conservation of momentum is fulfilled because we can't really deduct one of the momentums from the other because they are not attached to the same point - the absolute value of the momentum is retained but this is not what the conservation of momentum equation requires AFAIK
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
7 Dec 2011  #15
the conservation of momentum is fulfilled

I was out partying a bit and I am going back there in half hour or so.

By providing the simple example of elastic collision I was trying to show - and I hope I did it quite convincingly - that perceived violation of physical laws are more often than not the outcome of a poor reasoning. And I am sure the same applies here to the lever/balls example.

Here is a quick sketch - untested and not tried.

The conservation laws only apply if there are no external forces or torques acting on the system. If there are some, nothing is conserved - meaning no physical quantity is constant and it should not ever remain constant. No constant energy, no constant angular momentum, no constant momentum. Example being - a free fall of a body in gravitational field where nothing is conserved. In this case, there is one external force - the reaction force at the axis of rotation.

If you break the entire problem into two subsystems: one - a striking ball, and two - the upper ball and the lever - you can look at it this way, for example:

Step 1: Model the action of the bottom ball by an external impact force F, applied to the bottom of the lever, of possibly rectangular or triangular shape, with a given height and width (microseconds). This is how we often model seismic data, or impact of certain type of machinery, such as presses or forging hammers. You can play with various parameters to match the real response of the system. Impact acceleration (or force) are available for various types of materials, relating speed and mass with impact forces for various Young elasticity modules of the interacting bodies (steel with steel, steel with bronze, etc).

Step 2: Free the "upper system" from bonds of the support, by introducing instead a reaction force R at the support. This is a standard approach to solving equations of classical dynamics of the rigid bodies, with bonds.This way the system is being converted to something like this:

| O
|
|
|
x==> R
|
| r = half arm of the lever
|
| <==F (impact force)
In general case 6 Newtonian scalar equations (or two 3D vector equations) are needed to solve a rigid body problem. Here the system will be reduced to two scalar equations (in the worst case -could be three, but I think two are adequate). Either a translational or angular acceleration could be then calculated, after the reaction force R is eliminated from one of those equations. From that the dynamic equation would need to be integrated (either analytically via Laplace method - because the force is impact type) or via numeric integration, to compute a function of velocity and displacement vs. time.

The bottom line is: this approach does not refer to conservation laws at all, because momentum, angular momentum and energy will likely change with time, so they are not conserved. But that does not mean that the conservation laws have been broken.

As I said - this is just one way of doing it. I'll think of possible simple ways tomorrow.
ZIMMY 6 | 1,601
7 Dec 2011  #16
The Cern/Gran Sasso Laboratory experiments will almost certainly be found to be in error. The follow up experiments using fewer neutrinos than the original tests have seemingly verified the initial 'faster than light' theory but the scientists used the same clocks so any systematic errors would be the same. I suggest using new and refitted clocks and lets see what happens.

As an aside our universe (or at least what we know to be our universe) is already expanding faster than light, at least that's what the Hubble constant tells us. Of course hyper inflation caused by a probable Big Bang expanded our universe into 'nothing' as we currently theorize it so that may be outside Einstein's theory. Exciting isn't it?
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
7 Dec 2011  #17
Corrections to my previous post about £agiewka problem
Slip of the tongue :

No constant energy, no constant angular momentum, no constant momentum. Example being - a free fall of a body in gravitational field where nothing is conserved.

Actually the total energy, kinetic + potential, is conserved here. I was thinking about kinetic energy only. And obviously the momentum is not conserved; it changes with time.

The overstatement:

The conservation laws only apply if there are no external forces or torques acting on the system. If there are some, nothing is conserved - meaning no physical quantity is constant and it should not ever remain constant.

Actually I should have been more precise: If there are external forces then the momentum is not conserved, if there are external torques then the angular momentum is not conserved, if there are both forces and torques then neither the momentum nor the angular momentum is conserved.

Simplified approach, based on the elastic collision problem
The sketch of the solution I presented yesterday is still OK, but it is needlessly complicated, as I suspected yesterday. Here is another approach, but for a bit different setup involving three balls, rather than just two. This way I can reason within a category of elastic collisions. You may assume that balls m2 and m3 are affixed to both ends of the weightless slate. In this case the velocities u2 and u3 will be the same value-wise.

Before the collision:
O (m3 0)
|
|
|
|
x R ==>
|
|
|
|
O (m2 0) <===O (m1 v1)

After the impact
O (m3 u3) ==>
|
|
|
|
x ==> R
|
| r
|
|
O <==(m2 u2) O (m1 u1) =>

Since there is the reaction force R present, the momentum is not conserved. But there are no torques here, so the angular momentum (calculated with respect to the support) is conserved:

r m1 v1 = - r m1 u1 + r m2 u2 + r m3 u3

Kinetic energy is conserved:
1/2 m1 v1^2 = 1/2 m1 u1^2 + 1/2 m2 u2^2 + 1/2 m3 u3^2

Simplification assumption: m1 = m2 = m3
Velocity constraint: u2 = u3
Hence:
v1 = -u1 + 2 u3
v1^2 = u1^2 + 2 u3^2
Two equations, two unknown.
Solution: u1=1/3 v1; u2 = 2/3 v1; u3 = 2/3 v1

Conclusion: Contrary to what £agiewka and Gumuła said (long time ago), no rule of conservation of momentum is broken here at all. The momentum is simply not conserved here since it changes with time, due to existing reaction force R. So this is what they originally missed. I hear that they have withdrawn this early "thought experiment" of theirs from the web now.

Interesting modification of this problem would involve a spring inserted under the mass m3. The dots shown here are just space fillers, so that the balls m1 and m2 appear aligned. The hash signs represent a spring.

........................................O m1

m3 O=======x=======O m2
#
#
---------------------------------------

For this case the approach outlined in the previous post would have to be taken. The transient natural vibrations could be rather easily computed using Laplace transforms.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Dec 2011  #18
without proper drawings I don't really know what you are talking about - but as you mention reactionary force at the support I just can just say that it is a pretty arbitrary of you to introduce any reactionary force (in my opinion in an ideal situation (perfectly round, smooth and fitting surfaces of both the slat and it's axis) there is no reactionary force as all what happens is tangential (so in a way a latteral translation)
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
7 Dec 2011  #19
True, it is a pity we cannot draw easily here.
But let me explain it the other way. This is nothing arbitrarily in adding reaction forces to systems with bonds ("systemy z więzami"). Based on the 3rd Newton theorem, such systems can be made bonds-free by removing the bonds and introducing instead reaction forces and torques, whenever applicable. In Polish this is called "uwalnianie się od więzów", and this is part of any course on classical mechanics - starting with statics and continuing to dynamics.

There are precise rules how to select direction of the reaction forces, or how many components a reaction force supposes to have in your system of reference.

Rule number 1: friction-less reaction force. No matter how smooth two bodies are, if they interact there is always a reaction (action=-reaction, remember?). But if we know that there is no friction involved than there is no tangential component present. In this case: the friction-less reaction force is always normal to the surface of the bonds.

Imagine a bead sliding over a wire of any shape you want. If there is no friction, the reaction force is always normal (perpendicular) to the wire at any given point.

Imagine a beam, supported on a wedge of a triangular section. the wedge is positioned on some bearings, so it slides over the support surface without friction. We call this kind of support "simply supported", or a "roller". The reaction force is directed normally to the beam (if you imagine the beam drawn as a horizontal line, the support as a little triangle with two rolls underneath) you can then erase the support and replace it by a vector R directed upwards.

A "pinned" support is again represented by a little triangle, but without rolls underneath, but kind of slashes //// instead (representing a floor; the support is embedded in the floor). Well, now the friction is a part of the game and the reaction force is no longer normal; there is also a tangential component present. In 2D cases (beams) you usually represent it as two mutually perpendicular components, in 3D cases - 3 components. I will stop here, you can find more in any standard book on classical mechanics, or internet of course :-) .
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Dec 2011  #20
Imagine a bead sliding over a wire of any shape you want. If there is no friction, the reaction force is always normal (perpendicular) to the wire at any given point.

the reaction force is only there because there is the gravity force which has a non-zero component that is normal to the bead/wire interface (if we talk about pure geometrical mechanics and don't take any intermollecular forces into account) - in the case of a slat turning around an axle there is no such force that has a component that is normal to the slat-axle interface I believe (the gravity force is completely tangential to the slat-axle interface)
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
7 Dec 2011  #21
in the case of a slat turning around an axle there is no such force that has a component that is normal to the slat-axle interface

Yes it is, but forget the gravitational force. It is immaterial here. We could turn this device any way around and eliminate gravity if it causes us some problems. But the axis of rotation resists the impact of the striking ball and it "feels" some force acting upon it. To make it clear and obvious I suggested to reduce this problem to a problem of a beam simply supported, loaded with a mass at one end, and excited by sudden impact force.

But I suggest you to go first to my second solution - the one for a model of three balls - because it is simpler and clearer. Direct dealing with impact forces is much harder, because a proper modelling needs to be undertaken first.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Dec 2011  #22
But the axis of rotation resists the impact of the striking ball and it "feels" some force acting upon it.

ok let's suppose it does (we know there is some gravity between the axle and the slat) - but if you exclude intermolecular forces there is no force that oposes the movement of the slat around the axle in my view - just draw it for yourself (my thought model is: a non-zero diameter axle and non-zero thickness slat with non-zero mass)

Rule number 1: friction-less reaction force. No matter how smooth two bodies are, if they interact there is always a reaction (action=-reaction, remember?). But if we know that there is no friction involved than there is no tangential component present. In this case: the friction-less reaction force is always normal to the surface of the bonds.

- this is all because the reaction force is caused by gravity - in the friction less model there is no force oposing the translation of the beam against the ground (as there is no tangential component as you observed) the same as the slat-axle interface
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
7 Dec 2011  #23
- this is all because the reaction force is caused by gravity - in the friction less model there is no force oposing the translation of the beam against the ground (as there is no tangential component as you observed) the same as the slat-axle interface

No, no, no - gravity does not need to be present for reaction forces to appear. I already explained it. But let us try again.

...............................................|
...............................................| F(t), impact force, modelled as a gate ∏ of given height F0 and given duration T
m ..........................................\|/ (forget those filler dots, alignment problem)
O------------------x-------------------
......................./|\
........................| Reaction R, normal

F(t) can be defined as a difference of two step functions = F0 [u(t) - u(t-T)] or directly as
F(t) = 0 for t < 0
F(t) = 1 for 0 <= t <= T
F(t) = 0 for t > T, where T is a duration of the impulse

We could add gravity force at location of mass m, but it does not matter: imagine that all is turned 90 degrees around the slat and it lies flat on the table. The gravity would be then perpendicular to R and F, and it will be in static equilibrium with another reaction force, G say, the reaction of the table: G = mg. Therefore G would be immaterial. But the force R responds to F(t), not mg.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Dec 2011  #24
No, no, no - gravity does not need to be present for reaction forces to appear. I already explained it. But let us try again.

either I don't get something or you have your mind too much fixed because of too much training in solving problems in physical mechanics - your model here clearly omits important features of an axle-slat interface
OP boletus 30 | 1,366
11 Dec 2011  #25
No, my model does not omit any important features, and you probably do not get something. As to my "mind too much fixed because of too much training in solving problems in physical mechanics" - this sounds really funny, like if you wanted to tell me that my mind is fossilized and I am narrow minded, but you were too gentle to say it straight on. :-)

I was about to let it go, because I do not need to win any brownie points. Remember, it was you who drew me into the discussion about £ągiewka, starting with this:

gumishu: the problem with modern scientists is they have their Holly Cow - Einstein - simple experiments by Mr Lucjan £ągiewka that show that some basic physical laws are not actually always valid were instantly dismissed by many Polish physicist as violating one of the Einstein's relativity theory (I can't remember which one)

My explanations were not satisfactory to you for several reasons - one of them being the poor presentation in the text mode we use. Assuming that you were not just obstinate and you really wanted to learn something I took a risk and spent some time preparing a PDF file with plenty of sketches and formulas. I present there several variants of £ągiewka experiment, using alternative approaches - proving all the way that no conservation law was ever broken there. I also comment on the £ągiewka book "Energetyczna Natura Mechaniki".

This 771KB file, 21 pages, is stored in pdf-archive as collisions.pdf and is publicly accessible. They claim that their site is safe to use.

pdf-archive.com/2011/12/11/collisions/
j.drozdzynski
20 Jul 2013  #26
Before publishing my paper in J. Modern Physics I have send the manuscript to about ten specialists in many countries.
No one could find any errors. If you can find, please let me know.
Recently I have published a much better paper in Physics Essays; 2013, No2, p.321, under the title: A revision of the principle of relativity.

Sincerely
Prof. Janusz Drożdżyński, D.Sc.

janusz.drozdzynski@chem.uni.wroc.pl
j.drozdzynski@upcpoczta.pl
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
20 Jul 2013  #27
Please post a link, and I'll have a quick look to check and make sure you got most of it right.

;o)


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