Physics Maths Engineering

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Robert J Buenker Buenker

Robert J Buenker Buenker

Institution: Faculty of C-Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Bergische Universität Wuppertal,

Email: rjbuenker@gmail.com

© attribution CC-BY

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A number of the most often cited results of relativity theory deal with the relationships between energy, momentum and inertial mass. The history of how Einstein and Planck came to these conclusions is reviewed. It is pointed out that considerations of how the speed of light is affected by the motion of the Earth played a determining role in these developments. After the Michelson-Morley null-interference result became available, Voigt introduced a new space-time transformation by amending the classical Galilean transformation so that the speed of light in free space has the same value of c regardless of the state of motion of both the light source and the observer. This led to the Lorentz transformation which has been the cornerstone of relativity theory for the past century. A thought experiment is presented which proves, however, that there are many situations for which the measured speed of light is NOT equal to c. Furthermore, it is pointed out that the rate of an inertial clock cannot change spontaneously, which result is perfectly compatible with Newton’s First Law of Kinetics (Law of Inertia). This result contradicts the space-time mixing characteristic of the Lorentz transformation and leads to the conclusion that events which are spontaneous for one inertial frame will also be so for every other one. The uniform scaling procedure is a generalization of this result for all other physical properties than elapsed times. Its application shows that the commonly accepted relationships between energy and momentum are only special cases in which it is assumed that the observer is stationary in the rest frame in which force has been applied to cause the object’s acceleration