Chief Jim Jacobson, Lead Survey Technician for NOAA, sets up a staff. As Jim Jacobson prepares the Tide Staff and Wave Meter staff, we can glimpse at low tide the only means to routinely and accurately measure wave height. There are fancier methods, but nothing as routine and sturdy and accurate, day-to-day, as the meter stick firmly embedded in a solid rock or dead coral reef. Immovable from our standards.
Is there a similar method of measuring the gravitational “waves” of colliding black holes or neutron stars as we can tides and waves on Earth? Where would we attach the Wave Meter Staff?
There is no place, of course. Because it is spacetime itself that is in motion and emitting energy. Spacetime does emit quantized energy as it moves. We call this a quantized, “Gravitational Signature.”
The first time Einstein took up the gambit of General Relativity, he believed this was too far-out, and could not reconcile spacetime motion with increasing energy. Thus for him, gravity could not carry energy.
The father of quantum wave mechanics, Schrödinger, immediately contradicted Einstein in a tight letter submitted a few months after Einstein’s ground breaking paper on gravity motion, Stating, that the gravity did carry energy, but could not resolve this conundrum with any form of physics known at the time.
Finally, at the end of 1916, Einstein consolidated his Theory of Gravitation and Spacetime in friendly competition with many physicists, most especially Prof. Dr. Hilbert and his student Noether [pronounce NUR-tuh in German].
Emmy Noether was a young Jewish applied physical mathematician with incredible intelligence and ability. She was set the task by her Professor, Hilbert, to investigate this conundrum:
‘Both Herr Prof.s Dr.s Schrödinger and Einstein now believe that gravity carries energy, yet our Laws of Physics demand that as a body of mass speeds up, it looses energy. The great professors have not solved this problem. That while mass must be conserved by our laws, the mass is gaining energy as the mass increases in speed.’
True fact: Emmy Noether started to work right away, and in a matter of a week outlined a mathematical attack only on faith in Herr.s Schrödinger’s and Einstein’s incredible physical insight. In so doing, she discovered something very amazing in this competitive and unforgiving environment at Göttingen.
She proved by inventing a new form of algebra consistent with the previous forms, that wherever a Law of Conservation between observables exists, there is a corresponding Law of Symmetry between what is observed, and in that system. For Einstein’s four dimensional space-time, a law of symmetry exists. Therefore, a law of conservation must exist. It was predictable. All she had to do was find it!
She went back to the data then. She knew that Schrödinger’s Wave Equations rested for proof on their correspondence with the quantum mechanical matrices, the first formulation of quantum mechanics.
She was able to show that ‘if we look, not at mass alone, or not at energy alone, but together a law of conservation arises as it must.‘ Today, that formulation is termed the “energy-stress tensor,” and in a constrained, one-dimensional equation, expressed as E = mc^2. Also known as the energy-mass equivalence.
So, it was not mass being conserved at all! Nor energy! It was mass AND energy. Energy was a function of mass! Somehow…
How might we tell a right-winger right-away? He quotes QUORA ad naseum on Feynman being a “brilliant mathematician”, but he knows nothing of Emmy Noether, the greatest mathematician of the 20th Century. He is a misogynous to boot!
Emmy Noether was a brilliant Mathematician. Richard Feynman was a brilliant Physicist.