Einstein’s theory of relativity is now obsolete?!?

Ok, I recieved some stupid email refering me to this site: http://www.thevortextheory.com/ So, it says that a team of scientists have prove that qauntum mechanics and theory of relativity are now obsolete. Wtf?

An excerpt:

“A scientific study undertaken to determine how time is created reveals a blockbuster discovery. Contrary to historical and scientific belief, time is not a fundamental principle of the universe. Instead, time is found to be a function of motion; an illusion created by motion!”

Interesting, but I don’t know whether to believe that site is just a scam to get ppl to buy the e-book or is it some real discovery? What do you think?

I’m not a physicist or anything, but that time is not a fundamental principle of the universe but a function of motion sounds pretty similar to what relativity says.

I also took a quick look at the site, and it doesn’t seem all that serious. It looks like a huge ad, not a scientific thesis.

Einstein’s theory will never be obsolete. Most people think it’s a special-case approximation of a more general (and still unknown to us) Grand Unified Theory. In the same way, Newton’s Laws turned out to be an approximation of Einstein’s theories. Newton’s Laws are only applicable for slow-moving objects, but it’s still a very useful approximation to use - definitely not obsolete. I’m not going to take the time to debunk someone who refers to relativity as “fundamental principle of the universe.”

Really quick non-physicist run down.

Classic Newtonion physics turns out to be not so correct. The rules and formulas give a good impression of how the world works, and let us do lots of nifty things, but there were nagging questions.

Einstein came up with good answers to these questions including the nature of gravity which he attributed to the idea that gravity is a consequence of geometry. That is the shape of the universe is such that matter tends to converge in a way that Newton’s law of gravity approximates fairly well for most purposes.

Then comes quantum mechanics. Very basically everything is in discrete steps and there are no continious things (ie there are smallest units of everything, including space). This leads to some problems with regards to relativity as a final explanation.

Now what is being sought is a quantum theory of gravity. That is a theory that incorporates what we know about quantum mechanics and gravity and gives a good explanation of everything.

Despite all this relativity and classic mechanics are still powerful and good ways to look at the world for different things. Science doesn’t just produce sets of predictions but ways to understand the world and thus even when not entirely correct we get something out of the attempt.

Err as a clarification that has just occured to me post posting when I said non-physicist run down I meant that I am not a physicist.

After giving that site a quick glance, it looks like Just Another Sad Attempt At Revolutionizing Something… essentially, they say “Such-and-such is wrong, but ours is right!”, and then they go on to give their cutesy-named theory the exact same properties as the one it supposedly replaced.

In other words, they just want to change the NAME of the “theory of relativity” to “the Vortex theory” without changing any of the details. Similar to the movement to have “black hole” changed to “gravastar”.

There is not a single mathematical treatment in the entire site. It seems like the type of unsubstantiated schizophrenic guff Justhink and Hiryuu used to spout here.

Incidentally, Newton is not wrong, merely incomplete. For “real life” it is absolutely correct. Einstein only modified Newtonian mechanics for speeds approaching light in vacuo.

Hijack time. Is this strictly correct? Isn’t it more true to say that Newton is indeed wrong, but at speeds significantly lower than c his faults are so small as to be totally insignificant?

There is no difference between “correct” and “being flawed in the 20th decimal place” if you are working to less than 20 decimal places.

Pretty much the same thing. His time didn’t have speeds that high. :slight_smile:

The site reads like a spoof.

In the science world there are movements looking to improve on GR and SR - but never do they seek to replace them. Einstein’s ideas are not wrong - simply potentially incomplete, as were Newton’s later proven to be.

So I’m nitpicking. Sue me. What if I want to work with 25 decimal places? Then Newton would turn out to be slightly incorrect, right? So, as I said, while Newton’s equations are in fact wrong, they are close enough to correct to suffice in any day-to-day situation. Correct?

Ah - sorry - just noticed that the site is selling e-books for $20.

Guess the peer-review process just looked to complicated…

Hm? Time is not an independent entity in Relativity. It is part of space-time, a 4-dimensional construct.

OK, that is a scam…

But what is interesting is that there actually are a new set of theories out there that extend Einstein’s relativity theories (that’s what I thought this thread was about), called Doubly Special Relativity.

The name sounds like something Douglas Adams might have come up with, but the theory itself (at least what I could glean from NewScientist) seems to have some promise. I don’t have time to lay out all of the theory here and I can’t link to the archive where the article is unfortunately. Let’s just say that the implications of these theories (there are more than a few that might be applicable) may finally build a bridge between quantum and relativistic scales and who knows what else. They even introduce a variable speed of light and take the Planck length as the new invariant scale. (I think)


If any dopers here know of these theories I’d love to hear another person’s perspective on them.

It’s a little too early to be calling Einstein obsolete though, even if these new theories bear out they won’t change anything Einstein predicted on the scale where it is applicable. Einstein extended Newton’s equations, he did not refute them.

There’s been more than one such theory in New Scientist, all trying to tweak different elements of relativity.

What personally fascinates myself most is the notion of challenging the speed of light as an incontravertible upper limit. The signs from the quantum world suggest that this cannot be so in the quantum universe - notably on the issue of entanglement.

I’ve got some radical “potential insights” on the issue, but I’m trying to keep them all in a specualtive fiction novel I’ll be submitting to publishers this June. Besides, darn hard to explain off the cuff.

Vortex Theory eh?
sounds a bit Spinning Disk AntiGravity Podkletnov to me
Is there something about Russians and rubbish science?

Bad link - the article is about the issue of whether a meteor striking the moon was witnessed by mediaeval monks.

Not quite on topic… :wink:

here it is!
but the monks were interesting, anyway…

When come back bring phi.