The Clock Condition in Spacetime and Einstein’s Relativity

Originally published on 25OCT2019 by Dr. Kenneth M. Beck. All rights reserved.

In the singular work, GRAVITATION, Nobel Prize recipient Kip Thorne gives a basic definition of time at the outset in the practical, pragmatic sense that is always a hallmark of General Relativity, in terms of a “good clock,”

“Good clocks make spacetime trajectories of free particles look straight.”

[Misner, Charles W.; Thorne, Kip S.; Wheeler, John Archibald. Gravitation (Page 26). Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, (1971)]. This particular definition by Kip Thorne was proven with both GPS and the twin LIGO’s discovery of ‘gravity waves.’

It defined clocks in terms of all elements of spacetime and with real events by which to test them, not as idealized representations.

How does this differ from Lamport’s Clocks?

(a) Lamport defines a “space-time” where, a priori, one event must occur before another event. Not that any particular event must, but within his “space-time” we must assume that one undefined event precedes another. This is nothing other than the classic world of Isaac Newton.

In General Relativity, we have the opposite definition. We cannot assume anything, a priori, let alone causality of events. That is the position of Einstein and Thorn’s pragmatic thinking.

(b) Lamport defines his clocks independently of any physicality. His clocks are not physical, they are ideals of ‘themselves’! This is pure and simple idealized time, independent of space, like Isaac Newton.

(c). Lamport’s asserts that symmetry is broken,

“Note that we cannot expect the converse condition to hold as well, since that would imply that any two concurrent events must occur at the same time…” – Leslie Lamport

He negates not only all of Einstein and Emmy Noether (even E = mc2), he negates his own conditions of an a priori symmetry:

We must affirm symmetry and conservation before we even begin not negate them.

Again, if symmetry exists, then the quantities we can measure in spacetime are conserved. If we find that some quantity is conserved, then the system must be symmetric. Emmy Noether’s famous test for symmetry and conservation gave us E= mc2 as energy equivalence is conserved in the 4D spacetime, but not mass independently as Newtonian mechanics asserts. Without this validation, we have no right to even ask a question of spacetime. Seriously.

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