On the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s discovery of Relativity it is debunked.
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s discovery of Relativity, it’s hard to recall the mixed greeting it received.
True, The New York Times proudly reported: “Planck Compares Einstein to Copernicus, Ignoring Mustache.” But the National Enquirer headlined, “I Bore Einstein’s Baby, Then Helped Him Understand Planck’s Constant,” while the 1908 Republican Party Platform (Plank 5) proclaimed: “Don’t Ask Us, We’re Not Scientists.”
However, this lukewarm reception quickly became full acceptance. This is unfortunate, because even the most simplistic observations, such as my own, easily disprove both Special Relativity, which concerns high-speed motion in a vacuum, and General Relativity, which concerns high-speed vacuums in motion. (Ha-ha. Just seeing if you’re paying attention. General Relativity actually concerns motion near a massive object, such as a star, planet or Song of Ice and Fire novel.)
The math behind Einstein’s theory is fairly complex, involving – according to a mathematician acquaintance – things like equators and Bouillon algaebras. However, when all is said and done, the main implications are: (1) simultaneity cannot be proven (nor easily pronounced); (2) objects traveling at light speed would attain infinite mass; and (3) something about twins. Yet all three postulates are readily disproved by common-sense thinking and careful analytical observation, such as I engaged in one recent evening aided by my friend Margarita. To wit:
- Simultaneity is Provable
Observations from my own personal life prove that many events occur at what is known, in strictly scientific terms, as “the same time.”
Example 1: Often just when a guy finally gets the courage to lean over and kiss his date, she simultaneously averts her head so that he kisses her chignon. This has happened to me dozens of times. Indeed, decades later I still have strands of my wife’s hair caught in my incisors.
Example 2. If a relative decides to “help your image” by buying you some trendy clothing, you can bet the fashion will vanish immediately. This happened to me in sixth grade, when my mom bought me a sports coat without lapels. Whether this was a bona fide style, or some clothier’s mistake, I’ll never know, because the day after I got one BOOM, those blazers disappeared (except mine: I had to wear that collarless jacket until I outgrew it two years later – God bless French fries and milkshakes).
- Objects Cannot Attain Infinite Mass, And I Don’t Care What Einstein Says
This is easily proven by applying seductive reasoning to Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2, which demonstrates that energy and mass are really the same (no wonder they’re never seen together!), except you make more money generating energy.
Although the math gets fairly complex, involving – according to an accountant acquaintance – things like fractures and decibels – the formula entails that an object traveling at light speed would attain infinite mass. Call this hypothesis “H” (where “H” stands for the hypothesis we’re calling “H,” like I just said, except sometimes Hydrogen or even Planck’s Constant). Now let’s see what happens when we apply syllogistic logic:
Socrates is a man.
No man is an island.
THEREFORE, Socrates travelling at light speed would not be an island but would attain infinite mass.
Someone of infinite mass doesn’t need to diet. (This follows from the a priori truth that if something infinitely massive lost a few points, it would still be chubby.)
THEREFORE, any person traveling at light speed would not need to diet.
BUT (here’s the key) some people always have to diet. (No names, but remember the star of Cheers and Look Who’s Talking?)
THEREFORE, an object traveling at light speed is not Socrates, may possibly be an island, and would not attain infinite mass.
- The Twins Paradox
A final disproof of Relativity comes from careful study of the Twins Paradox, which federal regulations require must be used to illustrate Einstein’s theories. (If Einstein got a royalty every time an expounder used twins to explain Relativity, he would be a rich man today, though probably still dead.)
The paradox, said to follow from Relativity, is this: Suppose you have a twin with whom you’re nearly identical: same age, waistline, receding hairline, magazine subscriptions, etc., except you wear a blue ascot. Now suppose your twin boards a rocket that will take him on a round trip to Arcturus (coach class), 33 light years away, at almost the speed of light.
Traveling at 99+% c (where “c” represents the speed of light plus certain water-soluble vitamins), all time processes within the rocket will have slowed greatly, similar to what happens when you visit grandparents. As a result, when your twin returns 66 years later (your time), he will have aged only a day! Thus, predicts Relativity, your twin will be younger, more virile and (despite having the bone density of a jellyfish) get the good women. Yet that can’t be right, because you have the blue ascot! So again, casual observation disproves Albert’s supposedly revolutionary theory.
What does this tell us about Relativity, Einstein or dieting? Little, I fear. Einstein himself remains an enigma – as Churchill noted, a “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside a pashmina.” In his youth Einstein seemed destined for mediocrity, until he devised a theory that stimulated bold new thinking about astronomy, mathematics and twins. Yet, depressed over learning that he wasn’t Albert Schweitzer (“No wonder we’re never seen together!”), he squandered his prime seeking a “unified field” that would combine gravitation with electromagnetism and enable him to coin a word to outdistance “antidisestablishmentarianism.”
A sad ending for the man who, single-handedly, made “mushroom cloud” a household phrase. Or was that “mushroom soup”?
An earlier version of this essay appeared in Amazing Stories (Vol. LXVI, No. 11).