Saturday, April 07, 2007

They're Back - 8 - The One In Which Mark Totals Up The Scores So Far

The "debate" with the followers of Autodynamics has been going on for a while now, so I thought it would be time to reflect on the successes of the two contending theories, Relativity and Autodynamics. I think that the best way to do that is to simply list those phenomena that each theory can adequately describe. I'm not going to get into arguments about causative effects here, so gravity counts as a success for GR because GR can more than adequately describe the behaviour of gravity, even if it does not have an explanation for what causes it (i.e. what causes mass to bend space/time). So onto the lists, lets start with the accepted theory first.

Maxwell's Equations - through these the behaviour of all electromagnetic phenomena, including everything happening in the computer you're reading this on is explained. I could write pages and pages about what this ability means, but I don't have the patience or the time, needless to say everything in the modern world depends on our understanding of electromagnetism and electromagnetism is a fully relativistic phenomena.

Gravity - General Relativity accurately predicts how mass will influence motion due to gravity to incredible levels of precision. From the motions of the planets to the behaviour of pulsars.

Motion Of Objects - Often overlooked relativity also deals with how moving objects behave, such as the observed appearance of mass increase in moving objects. An important point being that relativity describes correctly the behaviour of objects at low velocities as well as high, its just that this behaviour is exactly the same as predicted by Newtonian mechanics at low velocities.

Particle Physics - Almost anything to do with particle physics requires a deep understanding of relativity, the fact that objects moving near to the speed of light appear to increase in mass means that particle accelerators are set up differently than they would be if this didn't occur.

Nuclear Physics - The fact that the Sun shines, that atomic weapons and fission reactors work can all be traced back to the very relativistic equation of E=mc^2, an equation that drops out naturally any number of ways from special relativity.

There are many others, however most of them would tend to fall within the larger topics above so I'll leave them out, if anyone thinks that I have missed anything out feel free to let me know. Needless to say regardless of DdH's claims to the contrary relativity is essential to basically any piece of technology used in the world, save perhaps the windmill.

(Think of tumbleweed bouncing down a desert road, with the slight sound of a breeze in your ears.)
No really there must be something it can be used for. Wait for it, wait for it, got it:

Time Dilation - Autodynamics has caused this student to lose a large amount of time over the previous several months.

And...Well that's it actually, there is nothing from the list of things that relativity adequately explains that AD can, and as far as I can tell nothing AD can describe that relativity cannot, save perhaps where all my time went, sigh.

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