Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pseudo-Astro: Black Holes and Other Relativity Denial

Stuart Robbins @ Exposing PseudoAstronomy has a recent podcast on relativity denial.  Check out:

Podcast Episode 125: The Black Hole Conspiracy

In this podcast, he covers the mis-information distributed by various individuals on the existence (or non-existence) of black holes.

General relativity has always been a rather popular topic on this blog, especially combined with Biblical geocentrism.  A number of the threads receive a lot of viewing traffic, but that appears to be predominantly from 'fanboys' of some particular claim or claimant stalking the thread for traffic.

I do get a large number of comments on the topic of relativity, but many are posted under radically different topical posts which makes them more like spam.  I'm reluctant to release them on the off-topic posts since some cranks subsequently insist on posting page-after-page of cut-n-pasted content in these off-topic threads.  I usually just mine those comments for possible topics for future posts.

One of the recent off-topic comments in a post stated:
"It's a fallacy that GPS needs relativity. Hell, GPS doesnt even need a CLOCK on the receiver!! One simple implementation of GPS needs a few geostationary satelites that send out signals at the same time, from that the reciever can easily calculate the distance from the difference in time they arrive."
In addition to just posting their comment on a general pseudo-science thread instead of one of the many GPS threads on this blog accessible in the 'Labels' sidebar, they didn't even bother to check that I had written about the flaw in this particular claim already:
Relativity Denial: The GPS 4-Satellite Solution
The short answer is the fourth satellite just provides a fourth equation that allows us to solve the system of range equations for the receiver time in addition to the three-axis coordinate position.   That receiver time calculation must still include a relativistic correction.

Another recent claim from some relativity deniers stated that the "Engineering Manager for GPS" says that relativity is not needed in the GPS system and that only correction to the timing involves the gravitational potential "which has nothing at all to do with GR".  I've never quite found out who the 'Engineering Manager for GPS' actually is, as those using that claim never provide a clear reference.  I deal with that claim here:
Relativity Denial: The Importance of Dimensional Analysis

I also cover how the how the 38 micro-second per day accumulation of difference between the ground and GPS clocks actually accumulates into an 11 kilometer per day error accumulation in the system.
Relativity Denial: A response to more comments about GPS

In addition, one of the comments mentioned a relativity 'controversy' of many decades ago, involving the science philosopher Herbert Dingle (Wikipedia).  I am in the process of reading many of these papers and hope to post on it in the future.


Jeffrey wolynski said...

Ignoring GR/black hole theory does not harm future scientists and their studies of the stars.

That is unless you can name me one example in which someone studied the stars, and their ignoring of GR/black holes has adversely affected their career?

Seems to me their acceptance resembles the concept of God in seminary. Believe in them or you shall not pass! LOL!

-Jeffrey Wolynski

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To Jeffrey Wolynski,

My response is posted under Relativity Denial: Career cost?.