[Original research to make physics understandable to We The People.]
A reason for the stall of theoretical physics in the last 40 years? Physicists have not enough intuitive understanding of physics (in particular, of what is important in physics). The phenomenon affects both Relativity and Quantum Physics. Both Twentieth Century fields are more philosophically subtle than vulgar physicists think. One needs more context than the usual credo has it.
Here is my intuitive proof of the famous relativistic mass formula. It explains intuitively an observation made late in the Nineteenth Century (19C): when particles are accelerated, they augment in mass, rather than speed.
Buridan contemplated “impetus”, which we now call “momentum” = MV. When A Force Is Applied Indefinitely, V, The Speed, Stalls, While M Keeps On Augmenting.
I reveal that: The basic reason for the augmentation of “relativistic mass” is that FORCE GETS DILUTED BY LOCAL TIME… DILUTION. (This apparent play on words reflects exactly what’s going on!)
The fundamental fact of The Theory of Relativity is TIME DILATION. Time Dilation says that, when something moves fast, time there runs slows. Time Dilation is shocking to those who do not understand where it comes from (I will treat it in another essay). Time Dilation in a moving frame is not an axiom in physics, because it can be easily demonstrated theoretically, or experimentally. It comes from the constancy of the speed of light (locally, in any frame of reference).
Relativity compares physics in the frame at rest R, with physics in the moving frame, M. (So Relativity is relative, but not as relative that some physicists, in particular Einstein, have made it sound. See my future “Time Dilation”.) Say v is the speed of M relative to R (as usual, c denotes the speed of light).
Time in the moving M slows down relative to time in the resting R:
Time of M = (Time of R) [Square Root (1- vv/cc)]. This is Time Dilation.
The Local Time Equation (Middle) Implies Both the Local Length Contraction Equation, and the “Relativistic Mass: Equation
What is a force? Anything which changes momentum. Say the force F consists into a flow of particles (a bit like quanta, in a way). Let’s call it the STRAFING. The particles have all equal mass, and the same momentum, they arrive at equal intervals, and they travel perpendicularly to the trajectory of the mass m.
If m was standing still, at rest in R (the “rest reference frame”), F would progressively accelerate m (BURIDAN law). Now suppose m is moving at rest in M, that is at v, relative to R. Now in M, time runs slow. This means that m gets hit a lot more by the STRAFING.
Because visualize this: the STRAFFING (= the application of the force F) is launched inside R, the “rest frame”. But it is received in M. So the frequency of hits in M is lower by [Square Root (1- vv/cc)]. That means the force on m, in M, is lower by that amount. In other words, m in M, viewed from R, behaves exactly as if its inertial mass was not m, but m/[Square Root (1 – vv/cc)] . Here is my little theory in a drawing (the text below will explain the details):
The application of force in the moving frame Is DILUTED by Time Dilation. So Inertial Mass appears larger by as much as Local time is dilated.
In the drawing above, I depicted the force as applied transversally. But it could be applied from any direction: the transmission of momentum impulses would still be diluted by slow local time. Also the assumption that momentum would be quantified is no different from, say the Riemann Integral in mathematical analysis: from F = d(mv)/dt, the Buridan equation (a generalization of Newton’s Second Law), one can view the integral of the action of F as the sum of these little impulses (understanding fully may require a familiarity with integral calculus).
Questions are welcome, and let’s recap: time runs slow in the moving frame, so force applies slow. Thus mass appears huge. In the end, time dilation blocks completely the application of force F, so the particle never reaches the speed of light. The explanation is transparent, from first principles.
It could be presented in a cartoon for primary school children, and be understood, the way all fundamental physics should be.