Back to Newtonian Time?

From Natural Philosophy Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Scientific Paper
Title Back to Newtonian Time?
Read in full Link to paper
Author(s) Thomas E Phipps
Keywords Relativity, Inertial Transformation, Neo-Hertzian Electromagnetism, Proper Time, Collective Time, GPS Time, Newtonian Time, Invariance, Covariance
Published 2009
Journal Physics Essays
Volume 22
Number 2
No. of pages 20
Pages 124-134

Read the full paper here


An alternative approach to relativistic physics is reviewed, based on an invariant formulation of electromagnetic field theory due to Hertz. Both electromagnetism and mechanics are shown to be subject to reformulation whereby true invariance replaces ?universal covariance.? The invariant feature of Einstein's theory, proper time, is retained, but is supplemented for convenience in describing many-body motions by a generalized form of frame time termed ?collective time? (CT), patterned on Global Positioning System (GPS) time. CT resembles Newton's absolute time in regard to environmental independence, but is shown to satisfy a form of relativity principle. A crucial experiment is described involving accurate measurement of stellar aberration at second order by means of the Very Long-Based Interferometry (VLBI) system. This would decide definitively between the Hertz and Maxwell-Einstein formulations of electromagnetism. Another experiment that I proposed earlier,3 involving in-orbit light speed measurement, is disavowed, since I now recognize it as not crucial. This paper sums up a half-century of my dissident thinking in physics and forms a concluding testament.