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Twin Paradox Resolved in Relativity, in Absolute Terms
That two reunited clocks show a disparity in their recorded time
is proof that the two clocks experienced actual differing clock
rates while in differing states of uniform linear motion. If the
disparity one can see at the same place moment is a reality, then
so too is the notion of actual differing clock rates a reality.
Those two realities are inseparable. They are one and the same reality.
Probably ninety nine percent of commentators on relativity will simply state,
without qualification, that there is no absolute frame of reference.
What they are referring to, is our inability to determine whether
any particular inertial frame might be at rest with respect to
an absolute frame of reference, such as the universe itself.
Relativity, developed in absolute terms, is not only completely
compatible with Einstein's special relativity, but in fact subsumes it.
There are more solid common sense reasons to believe in the
underlying reality than one can shake a stick at. Conversely,
without such concept of an absolute frame of reference, one
is left with confounding "explanations" of both the twin paradox
and the symmetrically mutual assessments across inertial frames
as we know them in relativity.
One should never suggest (as they so often do) that there was
some sort of "jump in time" involved with the change of inertial
frame (meaning at the turn-around point). The simple act of
starting a clock as an inbound astronaut passes an outbound
astronaut cannot possibly create a "jump in time". (Remember,
the outbound astronaut hands off his clock reading to the
One should do a search on Einstein's clock synchronization,
and its bearing on spacetime diagrams. He or she will find
that the notorious "jump in time" is built into that clock
synchronization, because it gets instantly replaced with a
different synchronization when a new inertial frame is adopted.
Since there is no jump in time on the earth clock (or a jump in aging for
the earth-bound twin), the suddenly returning astronaut's perception
(identically "calculation") of a "jump in time" for the earth clock is in
fact a misperception (identically a "miscalculation") forced by Einstein's
convention for synchronizing clocks.
All the measuring results as we know them in relativity can be derived
independent of Einstein's clock synchronization. In fact, Einstein's
clock synchronization can easily be diagrammed, and thus seen for what
it is, against the absolute frame of reference.
It is because clocks do actually slow down and aging does actually slow
down, that two reunited clocks show an actual disparity in their readings
and two reunited twins do show an actual disparity in their aging.
The time contraction formula [t' = t * sqr rt of (1 - v^2)] is not linear.
That is why the party who changes frames to bring the two parties back
together will register the least amount of time on his clock with the
symmetry of the situation preserved.
The actual distances relative to the universe and actual speeds relative to light speed will vary
depending on which party changes frames, but the parties involved
cannot possibly detect that. That is in keeping with the postulates
and deductions of special relativity.
Time-keeping, distance and speed are interminably bound in one equation.
Therefore, actual differences in clock rates implies actual length
contraction dependent on actual speed relative to light speed. Actual
length contraction works in combination with actual time-keeping
contraction to preserve the symmetry of measures across inertial frames.
There is clock functioning at every level, dependent on actual light speed,
at even the atomic level. Our observations and measuring paradigms of
every nature are constrained by the speed of light, as is our "synchronizing"
Special relativity can be charted out in actual terms (absolute terms), where
light speed is constant in an actual sense. All the results of special
relativity, including the consistent measured speed of light,
fall naturally into place when charting these actualities against the
rest state of the universe.
Actual time-keeping and length contraction arise naturally from the fact
that all phenomena are dependent on the speed of light, which is itself
invariant in actuality, being massless.
Consider that A.P. French writes on page 150 of Special Relativity:
"Note, though, that we are appealing to the reality of A's acceleration,
and to the observability of the inertial forces associated with it. Would
such effects as the twin paradox exist if the framework of fixed stars and
distant galaxies were not there? Most physicists would say no. Our ultimate
definition of an inertial frame may indeed be that it is a frame having zero
acceleration with respect to the matter of the universe at large."
In Mach's Principle, an object is affected by a change in motion relative
to the matter of the universe at large. But such effect cannot occur
unless the object is in a relationship with the matter of the universe at
large regarding its state of unaccelerated motion to begin with.
Remember, an effect due to a change in motion is not simply an "either or"
effect, rather it is an effect of degree based on "degree of change". No effect
of degree stemming from a degree of change can occur unless there is an effect
based both on initial state of motion and final state of motion. Put another way,
a change in motion in the context of the universe is not meaningful without
motion itself in the context of the universe.
himself regarded the matter of the universe at large to be an actuality,
and the effect on the object to be actual. We can't have it both ways.
If the matter of the universe at large is a reality which has an actual
relationship with an object concerning a change in motion, then so too is
it a reality which has an actual relationship with an object concerning motion
itself. (And again, our observations (measures) are something fundamentally different
from the underlying reality, a reality which generates our observations (measures),
which can occur only at light speed.)
In SR, Einstein was able to make an absolute frame of reference
superfluous by postulating only the constant measured speed of light.
In GR, he made Mach's Principle superfluous by again holding to only a
postulated measured speed of light.
One can relocate oneself relative to ones house can one not, by traveling from
the living room to the kitchen? Can one not relocate oneself relative to the
universe by traveling through it?
A spatial seperation between two objects can actually be achieved,
rather than merely seem to be achieved.
Thus, there actually is relative motion.
My house actually exists, even though it is not perfectly rigid.
I can actually move relative to my house, despite the fact that
all the elements of which my house is comprised are moving about
relative to the overall structure of my house. I can actually
travel from one end of my house to the other end. And in so
doing, I affect the motion, relative to my house, of each individual
element of my house.
The universe does actually exist, rather than merely seems to exist.
Thus, there actually is motion relative to the universe.
After all, how can you agree that there is actually relative motion,
agree that there actually is a universe, but not agree that there is
motion relative to the universe.
All the elements of the universe are moving about relative to the
Also, one obviously does not need to be at the barycenter of
the universe to be at rest with the sum total of the universe.
You don't need to be at the center of your house to be at rest with
your house, do you?
Light, being massless, has a constant and maximum speed as it moves through the
universe, and all objects move at some fraction of that speed, the speed by which
all other speeds must be defined. If the speed of light is real in a real
universe, then the speeds of objects are real in a real universe.
I have other documents online which expand on this topic:
Twinparadox.pdf includes a table of an analysis of the
incrementally building time differential of the Twins Paradox.
Relativitytrail_abstract.pdf discusses the absolute
version of Einstein's postulates.
A Twin Paradox animation. Light rays and traveling
twins are diagrammed in absolute terms against the
(experimentally undetectable) rest state of the universe.
Twins Paradox Explained
Relativity Trail, with 210 pages, 65 diagrams and 75 illustrations,
will provide you with complete detailed arithmetical derivations of all the
kinematical effects of special relativity. Everything is charted out in
absolute terms against the rest state of the universe for perfect clarity
as well as soundness of theoretical basis. It is the totality of the
universe that imparts the inertial properties of clock rates and lengths
which generate the effects of relativity. This is explained in detail in
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