## Empirical Data Does Not Match Special Relativity Time Dilation

** Introduction:** As reviewed in my prior blog entry, the Twin Paradox debate showed that Special Relativity’s time dilation equation could not logically be discussing “proper time” – i.e., it could not logically be directly describing what was happening physically. To repeat, as Dingle, and not a few other prominent physicists, have argued, “

*the theory [Special Relativity] unavoidably requires that A works more slowly than B and B more slowly than A –which it requires no super-intelligence to see is impossible.*” However, Dingle’s (and others’) irrefutable logic has had no impact on the relativists. But now a hopefully inescapable avalanche of empirical data will open some minds. This blog entry summarizes the mismatch between Special Relativity and empirical data from GPS and other sources

__Historical background__**:** Before Einstein wrote his 1905 paper deriving time dilation, Lorentz derived his clock retardation equation which can be written as T = T_{o}/(1 – v^{2}/c^{2})^{1/2} and which said that as absolute velocity (velocity with respect to a unique frame) increased, clock rates would decrease. This was an asymmetric equation based on absolute velocity and addressed clocks that were in inertial and non-inertial (e.g., accelerating, rotating) frames. If one wants to compare the rates of two clocks that are not at rest in the preferred frame using the Lorentz formula, **one uses the velocity of each clock relative to the preferred frame** to determine how much each clock has slowed relative to a clock at rest in the preferred frame and then computes the ratio of those rates to compare the two clocks that are NOT at rest in the preferred frame.

Subsequently, Einstein derived his time dilation equation which looked very much like Lorentz’s clock retardation equation except that absolute velocity was replaced by the relative velocity between the two clocks being compared. Hence, Einstein’s time dilation equation was inherently symmetric as it was based on **relative **velocity. Also, Einstein’s time dilation equation was said to be limited to comparing clocks at rest in inertial frames. Since Special Relativity’s version of the formula is symmetric, clock A “measures” clock B to be slow AND clock B “measures” clock A to be slow, so that would presumably indicate that Special Relativity’s time dilation is NOT describing (asymmetric) physical clock slowing.

In Special Relativity’s version of the formula referenced at the start of this section, T represents the amount of proper time accumulated by the observer’s clock. And T_{o} represents the amount of accumulated time in the **observed’s** frame – at least from the observer’s perspective. So in Special Relativity, clock A “measures” clock B to be slow AND B “measures” clock A to be slow.

Special Relativity describes how each observer “measures” the world and each observer, using Special Relativity, “measures” his own clock as the fastest (and his own meter stick as the longest). Special Relativity time dilation uses relative velocity between A and B to compute how much clock A will “measure” clock B as running slow and how much clock B will “measure” clock A as running slow. It was NOT derived to be used by a **3rd party** to compare clock A and B as the results will vary widely depending on the state of the 3rd party. For example, if one has observer C at rest in the ECI (Earth Centered Inertial) frame at the origin of some arbitrarily selected axes and one has A going along the positive x-axis at velocity u with respect to C (and the ECI) and B going in the opposite direction along the x-axis at velocity -u with respect to C, then, using Special Relativity, C will compute that A and B have slowed equally with respect to C’s own clock and, hence, will compute that they are running at the same rate. In contrast, when either A or B use Special Relativity to compute time dilation using their relative velocity, each computes the other as having the slower clock and, hence, both are in sharp disagreement with the preferred frame clock retardation methodology and with computation done by a 3rd party at rest in a 3rd frame.

__The Empirical Data__**: **The empirical data shows that absolute velocity causes a change in the proper time accumulation rate of clocks. This is a physical, asymmetric, absolute effect and affects clocks in inertial and non-inertial (e.g., accelerating, rotating) frames. Special Relativity’s time dilation equation is a function of relative velocity and, as such, is inherently symmetric and observer dependent and cannot be the cause of asymmetric decreasing of proper time accumulation rates. Relative velocity which is inherently symmetric does not cause asymmetric effects.

Special Relativity’s time dilation is a function of relative velocity squared. Hence, whatever it says about clock A compared to clock B, it says the exact same thing about clock B compared to clock A. In other words, if Special Relativity predicts that A will observe clock B to be 37% slower than his own clock A, then it also predicts that B will observe clock A to be 37% slower than his own clock B. Some relativists contend that the meaning of Special Relativity’s time dilation is not just that both clocks will be observed to be slower than the other, but that both clocks will actually run slower than each other. This seems like a rather bizarre claim: however, whichever interpretation the relativist chooses, the equation predicts symmetric results whereas the data is asymmetric.

The earliest data on time dilation just measured that A observed “clock” B rates to be slower than his “clock” A rates – however, what B would observe was NOT measured. These one way measurements were consistent with Special Relativity and were interpreted as confirming Special Relativity. However, subsequent data that directly measured both the A and B perspectives has shown that clock rate differences as a function of velocity are NOT symmetric as Special Relativity predicts, but rather are asymmetric. The data shows that when clock rate B is observed to be slower than clock rate A due to velocity, then clock rate A is observed to be faster than clock rate B and clock A is not only observed to be faster, but clock A actually is faster (i.e., clock A accumulates proper time at a faster rate than clock B). Furthermore, this difference in clock rate due to velocity is __not a function of relative velocity, but is a function of velocity with respect to a unique frame__.

** The Details – GPS: **GPS uses a physical model built on physical asymmetric clock retardation as a function of velocity with respect to a unique frame, namely, the ECI (Earth Centered Inertial) frame. As described above when discussing Lorentz clock retardation, GPS uses the velocity of the satellite clocks with respect to the ECI frame and the velocity of the earthbound clocks with respect to the ECI frame to determine how much each clock has slowed relative to a clock at rest in the ECI frame and then computes the ratio of those rates to compare the expected satellite clocks rates to the earth clock rates.

^{1}As discussed above, even though one is using an equation that looks like Special Relativity time dilation and one is using velocity “relative” to the ECI frame, one is NOT actually using Special Relativity time dilation. If one actually just used Special Relativity and measured the relative velocities of the GPS clocks, one would NOT get the same output as GPS gives. Furthermore, if all available, relevant, relative velocities were used, one would get multiple conflicting estimates. Data on “time dilation” from GPS that is a function of velocity with respect to the ECI frame has shown:

- if one looks at the data from the perspective of the satellite clock, then one sees that the effect of velocity is that the earth clock accumulates proper time FASTER (NOT SLOWER as one would expect if one used Special Relativity’s time dilation equation and relative velocity). While the prior point is sufficient to show that Special Relativity does not explain the data, note that even if one wanted to ignore that part of the data and just look at the data from the perspective of the earthbound clock, it’s clear that the effect is about asymmetric clock rate changes and, hence, cannot be explained by the inherently symmetric (“just observed”) Special Relativity time dilation effect.
- such “time rate differences” have been unambiguously shown to be physical, asymmetric clock retardation and to definitely NOT be symmetric special relativistic time dilation – in other words, the earth clock/instruments observe the satellite clocks to be slow due to the velocity effect and the satellite clock/instruments observe the earth clocks to be fast due to the velocity effect
- to compute the velocity effect on clock rate, GPS uses the Lorentz Relativity method and not the Special Relativity method. The two methods give different answers. If GPS used the Special Relativity method, it would produce significantly less accurate results.

Hence, trying to use Special Relativity would not only, in general, give the wrong answer for GPS, but it would also give multiple, contradictory answers depending on what set of clocks and relative velocities one chose to use. Note that GPS synchronizes all the clocks on the earth’s surface and then adjusts the satellite clock rates so that they all have the same proper time accumulation rate as the set of earth bound clocks. However, as the satellite clocks orbit the earth, their relative velocity for the various individual earthbound clocks varies depending where they are in orbit and varies differently for different earthbound clocks. If Special Relativity was the correct model for velocity dependent effects, then these variations in relative velocity should show up in the GPS data. They don’t. All of this is straightforward and readily understandable to anyone not wedded to Special Relativity, yet it goes unheeded. As is the case with many new ideas in physics, it can take a very long time to accept. GPS does not use Special Relativity, but instead uses the construct of velocity with respect to a single, preferred frame.

__Confirmations__**: ** This is NOT just the idiosyncratic view of this author. The following are in agreement with the above assessment of GPS. The conclusions of those below and of the author were all derived independently of one another:

o Ron Hatch (30 GPS patents) knows the GPS design, algorithms and data in great detail. He has reviewed and agrees with the comments above regarding GPS and Special Relativity.

o Tom Van Flandern was a technical consultant on GPS. He wrote that GPS does not use the Special Relativity model for velocity effects, but instead uses the Lorentz Relativity model.

o Tom Phipps, in his book about Special Relativity said:

– “For anyone who respects experience, experience with the GPS can have a decisive bearing on the fundamental issues of relativism. Empirical data from multiple sources are now available showing timekeeping asymmetry to be an objective physical fact.”

– “Hence it is in direct disagreement with fact to assert reciprocity, as Special RelativityT [Special Relativity] does, such that *symmetry* prevails between the earth clock which “sees” the satellite clock slowed and the satellite clock which “sees” the earth clock slowed. [Instead] The satellite clock must see and measure the earth clock not as slowed but as continuing to run fast. … To repeat there is an objective real*asymmetry* ..”

– “In summary, the Special RelativityT tale of seeing or measuring time keeping symmetry is a myth. Manifestly, there is a real, measurable asymmetry of physical clock rates.”

__The Details – The Hafele-Keating Experiment__**: **Like GPS, the Hafele-Keating experiment used a physical model built on physical asymmetric clock retardation as a function of velocity with respect to a unique frame, namely, the ECI (Earth Centered Inertial) frame. As described above when discussing Lorentz clock retardation, the Hafele-Keating experiment use the velocity of the airborne clocks with respect to the ECI frame and the velocity of the earthbound clocks with respect to the ECI frame to determine how much each clock has slowed relative to a clock at rest in the ECI frame and then computes the ratio of those rates to compare the expected airborne clocks rates to the earthbound clock rates. As discussed above, even though one is using an equation that looks like Special Relativity time dilation and one is using velocity “relative” to the ECI frame, one is NOT actually using Special Relativity time dilation. If one actually just used Special Relativity and measured the relative velocities of the airborne clocks, one would NOT compute what the data results were.

Some allege that the Hafele-Keating data was fudged. If that’s true, then the experiment does not confirm Special Relativity. On the other hand, if the Hafele-Keating data is valid, it confirms Lorentz clock retardation and refutes Special Relativity time dilation.

__The Details – Particle Accelerator Data__**: **Early particle accelerator time dilation data was looked at from the perspective of *“Did it confirm Special Relativity?”* – it was generally ignored that the data was also consistent with preferred frame theory and it did NOT specifically validate Special Relativity’s symmetric time dilation – there was no data supporting the assumption that an observer traveling with the accelerated particle would OBSERVE time dilation for the accelerator frame. Nevertheless, the physics community interpreted the (partial) data as showing that Special Relativity was confirmed to high precision (e.g., “to nine decimal places”) This may help explain why when future asymmetric data showed a glaring inconsistency with symmetric time dilation, relativists chose to ignore the portion of the data that was inconsistent with their strongly held belief system

__The Details – Muon Decay In The Atmosphere__**: **The earthbound observer sees muons created in the upper atmosphere as byproducts of high energy cosmic ray proton impacts with atomic nuclei. Due to the thickness of the atmosphere and the very short half-life of the muon, very few such muons would be expected to reach the earth’s surface (only 1 in every 10^{138}). However, a great quantity of muons do reach the earth and even penetrate 100s of meters into the earth. This experimental result is interpreted as proof of Special Relativity’s (symmetric) time dilation, but this is not a logically consistent interpretation. It’s claimed that time dilation, in effect, gives the muon’s “clock” much more time for the “high speed” muon to decay and that gives the muon more time to traverse the depth of the earth’s atmosphere.

Either the muons are traveling at greater than the speed of light in the earth frame, which is not consistent with Special Relativity, or their half-life has been physically and asymmetrically extended between the event of being created in the upper atmosphere and the event of reaching the earth.

** All Clocks At Rest In A Specific Inertial Frame Have The Same Clock Rate: **The data shows that for each specific frame, all identical clocks at rest in that frame (other things like gravitational potential being equal) have the same clock rate. The data, for example from GPS, also tells us that different frames have different clock rates. Hence, there must be a hierarchy of frames which is ordered by clock rates. Further, the data from GPS (and possibly Hafele-Keating) and other sources, indicate that that hierarchy of frames ordered by clock rate are also ordered by velocity with respect to a unique “preferred frame”. Special Relativity is not a preferred frame theory and, hence, is at odds with the data.

__Summary:__** **Special Relativity time dilation requires that the data be symmetric between the two frames being observed. Lorentz clock retardation requires that the data show asymmetric, physical clock retardation as a function of velocity with respect to a unique frame. Empirical data from GPS, Hafele-Keating, muon creation in the atmosphere and half life data from accelerator experiments show that the data is consistent with Lorentz clock retardation, but not with Special Relativity. Other data from particle accelerators, which only show the data as observed in a single frame, can be thought of as consistent with both Special Relativity and Lorentz clock retardation.

Much of the material in this entry is from the author’s web site at http://twinparadox.net/ and additional info on this topic and all the references can be found on the home page of that website.

Great article Nick! Continue your work! I’m a big fan and supporter of all your efforts over the years.

Unfortunately this conclusion is incorrect. The problem is that the simple time dilation formula can no longer be applied in accelerated frames, as would be required for describing the viewpoint of orbiting satellites. It is an incorrect use of SR to calculate clock rates simply on relative velocities, this formula applies only in inertial frames. A more detailed approach is required for describing accelerated frames, as described in the context of General Relativity. The result is that everything is working out consistently, showing that Special Relativity gives the correct results for GPS.

Clifford Will the GPS expert, claims both Special and General Relativity is taken into account for things like GPS satellites. In fact even on the International Space Station, this is the case.

http://www.bourbaphy.fr/will.pdf

“It relies on clocks that are stable, run at the same or well calibrated rates, and are synchronized. However, the difference in rate between GPS satellite clocks and ground clocks caused by the special relativistic time dilation is around -7,000 ns per day, while the difference caused by the gravitational redshift is around 46,000 ns per day. The net effect is that the satellite clocks tick faster than ground clocks by around 39,000 ns per day. Consequently, general relativity must be taken into account in order to achieve the 50 ns time transfer accuracy required for 15 m navigation. In addition, the satellite clocks must be synchronized with respect to a fictitious clock on the Earth’s rotation axis, in order to avoid the inevitable inconsistency in synchronizing clocks around a closed path in a rotating frame (called the Sagnac effect). For a detailed discussion of relativity in GPS, see [48];”

Clifford Will is not particularly expert on GPS. His expertise, and ego and identity and income, are all committed to contending that SR & GR have been proven by experiment. He simply assumed GPS used SR like virtually all of the physics establishment. Will has never addressed the obvious flaws raised in the main article as well as at http://twinparadox.net/ . Quite a few other claims by Will on both SR & GR suffer from this flaw. Those like Van Flandern and Hatch who really are experts on GPS have written extensively on this and have shown in detail the flaws in Will’s claims

Take a look in this post:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/304711/thread/1433828921/last-1433831276/Display+error+of+a+broken+clock.

Matthias, thanks for posting your thoughts – this is what science is about, namely, openly discussing alternate views. I was trying to show that GPS was not using Special Relativity when dealing with the time dilation/clock retardation effect that resulted from moving clocks. You wrote, “The problem is that the simple time dilation formula can no longer be applied in accelerated frames”. Hence, you seem to agree with my assertion.

You write, “A more detailed approach is required for describing accelerated frames, as described in the context of General Relativity.” For the velocity/motion effect, GPS does not use General Relativity, but instead they use Lorentz Relativity (erroneously thinking they are using Special Relativity) and it works with the highest precision. Further, there’s tons of data from accelerators that shows that the velocity/motion effect is a function purely of (instantaneous) velocity and those effects are independent of acceleration per se.

Thank you Nick for agreeing to engage in an offline discussion. I am very sure about all points I am making, and that GPS does not contradict relativity. Our discussion should help bring clarity to subject matter, and we should jointly make the results of our discussion public, trying to explain all points as clearly as possible.

For a complete discussion of GPS the general theory of relativity is needed that includes both velocity clock effects and gravitational clock effects. Technically speaking the ECI is not an inertial frame due to the presence of gravity, but it can be treated as such as an approximation.

It is correct that acceleration has no effect on clock rates, but that is not how clock effects in accelerated frames come about. I hope to give you some detailed explanations about this. To give a quick summary, clock rates in generally express how proper times elapsing on clocks running at their natural rates relates to readings on reference clocks of the frame. Clock effects in accelerated frames are a result of choices for synchronization and rate adjustments made for those reference clocks. From the viewpoint of an outside observer in an inertial frame it remains true that acceleration has no effect on clocks running on at their natural rates.

Was this published to the scientific community alongside an alternative hypothesis that better explains what you believe to be special relativity’s shortcomings?

Of course it wasn’t. If it was, you wouldn’t need a blog. The subject matter would be saturating our textbooks and physics curricula in accredited universities the world over.

Time Dilation

Plane waves of a star light are coming from just above (frequency is constant). And these are hitting the roof of two passenger cars. In front of an observer, one is at a standstill, the other is moving horizontally.

Number of waves hitting the two cars per unit time is the same. There is no time dilation.

Sorry, I cannot receive E-mail. I do not have PC.

http://www.geocities.co.jp/Technopolis/2561/eng.html

I agree with you that Einstein and relativity are incorrect and there is NO “time dilation” – as an accurate understanding of the Twin Paradox clearly shows! (See above), However, there is “clock retardation” as a function of absolute velocity – in your example, absolute velocity is velocity with respect to the ECI (Earth Centered Inertial) frame. Since the cars have different absolute velocities , they, according to (correct) Lorentz relativity (and NOT (incorrect) special relativity) will have different clock rates. Hence, they will differ on their OBSERVATIONS of the frequency of star light – both will be wrong above their view of the frequency because both cars have absolute v with respect to the ECI. However, each will observe that light hitting the “standstill” (with respect to the road) car and the light hitting the “moving” car have the same observed frequency. This has been shown to be valid empirically over and over again.

Special relativity is indeed about relative motions and hence time dilation and other effects are symmetric. It is true that clock rates appear to change from one inertial frame to another but it must be mutual and symmetric. The absurdity of conventional relativists is to claim that clocks do physically change, violating the relativity principle which is at the heart of the theory. Further, no one has ever explained what physical force(es) is there to actually change the mechanics of a clock which is in constant motion with respect to another inertial frame. Something is not quiet right with these interpretations and experimental data.

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Thanks for your kind words!

Lorentz contraction

Plain waves of light (wavelength is constant) are coming from the upper right 45 degrees. Two bars of the same length are moving to the right and the left at the same speed. The number of waves hitting the bars is the same. Lorentz contraction is unthinkable. And also, time dilation will be denied.

Excellent point! Thanks!