erm... if you look at it in that situation, the light looks like it's changing. but if you're in that `inertial frame`, then lightspeed is indeed constant. The idea behind relativity is that the universe changes based on the situation you're in relating to the constant which is the speed of light.

Here's another way of looking at it: Imagine space to be filled with blocks all packed neatly, back to back, all fair and square, like a childs solid pile of bricks. Now, you can measure the speed of light by stating that speed in terms of the number of bricks it crosses per second, call it C bricks per second. This value is constant. However, bring up gravitational field and the bricks in vicinity of the gravitational source all shrink slightly and hence that neat construction of bricks starts to warp. Near the source of the field, light STILL traverses C bricks per second, although from the outside, because space is "compressed" near the source of gravity, it appears to travel slower. However, if you are INSIDE the field with the beam of light all your standards of length measurement shrink along with the "brick structure of space" and so from the INSIDE of a field you still measure C.

The foregoing, which hopefully gets the idea across, nevertheless omits the effect on time: As space "shrinks" in the presence of gravity, so time, in a kind of complementary relationship, "expands". This complicates things a little further, but for myself I find the above picture helpful. Hope you do.

Well, as you have started talking about “i”, relativity and gravity in the same blog I might as well go the whole hog now.

This business with time stretching out (i.e. “slowing down”) as space compresses (i.e “shrinks”) in the presence of gravity is a big hint that leads the way to a method of bringing gravity and quantum mechanics together.

It’s like this: In the presence of a gravitational field the “shrinkage” in space is in effect compensated by a corresponding “lengthening” of time. It’s a bit like looking at a metre rod whose full length is in front of you stretched out on the x-axis and then having the rod slowly turned so that it seems to get shorter, but in actual fact some of its length now occupies the z-axis which is running away from you. In a word, rotating a rod has the apparent effect of shrinking it in one dimension but increasing it in another. A similar thing seems to be happening in gravitational fields: As the space dimension shrinks in the presence of gravity it is effectively “rotating into” the time dimension. (Velocity has a similar effect – special relativity and all that)

Now this is where “i” comes in. Multiplying by “i” is a mathematical way of achieving rotations in “the complex plane”. So perhaps there is some link here with gravity, which also involves some kind of rotation. You bet there is a link: Quantum Mechanics, whose equations involve multiples of “i”, are the most likely suspect for the production of these rotations, and it turns out that one can find here the link between gravity and QM.

These ideas are speculative and may be wrong, but don’t bother to write a book on the subject, someone has been there, done that and got the T-shirt: “iGravity”! Nearly as bad as having “Sick mind” on the front your T-shirt and with no “Receiving Treatment” printed on the back!

PS Ben: When are you getting “Holier than thou” on your T-shirt?

I want a tshirt with the periodic table of elements. Originally I wanted it tattood on my back but that's aparently expensive and La says I'll have to sleep forever on the sofa if I tried :(

## 14 Comments:

At 2:13 PM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

hurr

What do you call a pea with an unreal value? ipod

At 2:15 PM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

what do you call a rainproof jacket with an unreal value?

imac

At 2:15 PM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

what do you call a song with an unreal value?

itune

At 2:16 PM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

what do you call a robot with an unreal value?

irobot

At 2:16 PM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

what do you call a philosophy with an unreal hypothesis?

ithink therefore iam

At 2:18 PM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

I'm priceless

At 4:49 PM, Carl said…

I'm sure I read somewhere that the speed of light has/might change.

At 7:19 PM, Paul said…

It does, in the context of a blackhole doesn't it?

At 2:06 PM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

erm... if you look at it in that situation, the light

lookslike it's changing. but if you're in that `inertial frame`, then lightspeed is indeed constant. The idea behind relativity is that the universe changes based on the situation you're in relating to the constant which is the speed of light.Linky Link

At 2:57 PM, Timothy V Reeves said…

Here's another way of looking at it: Imagine space to be filled with blocks all packed neatly, back to back, all fair and square, like a childs solid pile of bricks. Now, you can measure the speed of light by stating that speed in terms of the number of bricks it crosses per second, call it C bricks per second. This value is constant. However, bring up gravitational field and the bricks in vicinity of the gravitational source all shrink slightly and hence that neat construction of bricks starts to warp. Near the source of the field, light STILL traverses C bricks per second, although from the outside, because space is "compressed" near the source of gravity, it appears to travel slower. However, if you are INSIDE the field with the beam of light all your standards of length measurement shrink along with the "brick structure of space" and so from the INSIDE of a field you still measure C.

The foregoing, which hopefully gets the idea across, nevertheless omits the effect on time: As space "shrinks" in the presence of gravity, so time, in a kind of complementary relationship, "expands". This complicates things a little further, but for myself I find the above picture helpful. Hope you do.

At 2:28 PM, Timothy V Reeves said…

Well, as you have started talking about “i”, relativity and gravity in the same blog I might as well go the whole hog now.

This business with time stretching out (i.e. “slowing down”) as space compresses (i.e “shrinks”) in the presence of gravity is a big hint that leads the way to a method of bringing gravity and quantum mechanics together.

It’s like this: In the presence of a gravitational field the “shrinkage” in space is in effect compensated by a corresponding “lengthening” of time. It’s a bit like looking at a metre rod whose full length is in front of you stretched out on the x-axis and then having the rod slowly turned so that it seems to get shorter, but in actual fact some of its length now occupies the z-axis which is running away from you. In a word, rotating a rod has the apparent effect of shrinking it in one dimension but increasing it in another. A similar thing seems to be happening in gravitational fields: As the space dimension shrinks in the presence of gravity it is effectively “rotating into” the time dimension. (Velocity has a similar effect – special relativity and all that)

Now this is where “i” comes in. Multiplying by “i” is a mathematical way of achieving rotations in “the complex plane”. So perhaps there is some link here with gravity, which also involves some kind of rotation. You bet there is a link: Quantum Mechanics, whose equations involve multiples of “i”, are the most likely suspect for the production of these rotations, and it turns out that one can find here the link between gravity and QM.

These ideas are speculative and may be wrong, but don’t bother to write a book on the subject, someone has been there, done that and got the T-shirt: “iGravity”! Nearly as bad as having “Sick mind” on the front your T-shirt and with no “Receiving Treatment” printed on the back!

PS Ben: When are you getting “Holier than thou” on your T-shirt?

At 10:25 AM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

I want a tshirt with the periodic table of elements. Originally I wanted it tattood on my back but that's aparently expensive and La says I'll have to sleep forever on the sofa if I tried :(

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous said…

well if u love pi, i so much u will love 'eulers identity'! it states e^(i.pi)=-1. Quality huh?!

At 1:49 PM, Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

that's beautiful!!!

so much more impressive than 7/5 or whatever gay thingy programmers like to use

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