Albert Einstein, the dishonest Newton ?!
Copyright 2006 Vincent Wilmot
Newton's black-box physics.
>From laws of force and motion in mechanics, Isaac Newton
developed laws of orbital motion around 'centres of force' and
saw gravity as governing the motions of the celestial bodies as
well as apples falling from trees. But despite using the 'force'
terminology perhaps more readily associated with mechanics,
Newton concluded that gravity might be due to unseen signals
acting across empty space in line with William Gilbert's physics
theory, or might be caused by the impact force of unseen ether
matter in line with Rene Descartes physics. But Newton saw his
laws of science as correctly predicting natural events without
the need to know why things happened, in the manner of 'black
box' behaviour laws that related only inputs or stimuli to
outputs or responses. Newton considered hypotheses regarding
unseens like 'gravity signals crossing space' or 'ether matter
filling space' as matters of philosophy or logic and not
science, but as not easily disproven by science. Newton's
physics was about what the universe did, but explicitly excluded
explanations of why.
Up to Albert Einstein's time, physicists and astronomers had
been almost all agreed that the physical universe followed
basically simple laws of behaviour, and that their observations
and experiments showed that. But technology and experiments
became more sophisticated and seemed to be showing that the
physical universe followed more complex laws of behaviour,
perhaps even defying logic, and so Einstein developed his
Einstein's space-time physics.
Einstein's view of gravity involved a substantially different
kind of Descartes 'ether matter' filling space. Einstein
concluded that there existed a space-time continuum whose local
metrical qualities differ in the environment of different points
of space-time, being partly conditioned by the matter existing
outside of the territory under consideration. This space-time
variability of the reciprocal relations of the standards of
space and time, required that "empty space'' in its physical
relation be neither homogeneous nor isotropic and its state be
described by ten functions (of the gravitation potentials g) -
space not being physically empty. This 'ether' of Einstein's
general theory of relativity is a medium which is itself devoid
of all mechanical and kinematical qualities, but somehow helps
to determine mechanical (and electromagnetic) events.
What is fundamentally new in the ether of Einstein's general
theory of relativity as opposed to the ethers of Descartes or
Lorentz consists in its state at every place being determined by
connections with the matter and the state of the ether in
neighbouring places which are amenable to law in the form of
differential equations. And in Einstein's space-time continuum,
time itself becomes variable. There hence can be no space nor
any part of space without gravitational potentials; for these
confer upon space-time its metrical qualities, without which a
space-time continuum cannot be imagined at all.
Einstein being dishonest to himself ?
In Einstein's general relativity physics bodies impose curves on
his time-space-gravity continuum, and the continuum imposes
motion on bodies. Although push-physics analogies such as
rubber-sheets are often used to 'explain' this, the theory does
not involve any push-physics mechanism and indeed does not
specify any clear mechanism for this. Gravitational forces of
any kind are completely abolished as controlling the motion of
planets or other bodies, and somehow space-curves do this -
logically by pushings yet seemingly without having any push
properties since the continuum is non-material ?
Einstein concluded that "the ether of the general theory of
relativity is a medium which is itself devoid of all mechanical
and kinematical qualities, but helps to determine mechanical
(and electromagnetic) events." But if this leaves the improved
maths of Einstein's theory with no realistic explanation of why
the universe works as it does, then his theory must be basically
taken (as Newton intended his theory to be taken) as a blackbox
theory of what happens with the real why explanation an unknown.
Yet Einstein did repeatedly allow of 'rubber-sheets' type
anologies for his theory's supposed why explanations - when it
actually has no why explanation. He was perhaps not being
intentionally dishonest to the world, but almost certainy was
being dishonest with himself in not fully facing his theory's
chief weakness - its being basically an improved Newton
black-box physics and not more than that ?
The maths of Einstein's theory certainly seems to predict better
than the maths of Newton's theory in some areas, but that in
itself is perhaps no proof of Einstein's theory of what the
universe is and does - and still less of any explanation of why
it works ? Albert Einstein's theory of relativity even he
considered to be at least incomplete, and perhaps also giving no
real explanation, and now it perhaps is chiefly supported by
cosmologists and astronomers. But despite modern quantum physics
development like string, loop and other quantal theories that
seem supported mostly by 'particle physicists' using field and
particle-wave duality ideas, it can perhaps be said that nobody
has yet successfully published any physics theory better than
Einstein's still limited theory ?