Letter to Elon Musk (sent through SpaceX personnel) regarding an On-Board Clocks Special Relativity Time dilation Test.

Such High Speed Test Could Topple (or confirm) Space Travel and Time Foundations.

To: Elon Musk (sent through SpaceX personnel)  

Sent: November 2023

Subject: Request SpaceX to Perform Key Objective Two-Clocks Space Travel Test of Special Relativity

(Dear [SpaceX Executive] – Please forward to Mr. Elon Musk. Mr. Musk has a deep interest in first principles, matters related to physics and space travel, and an Oct 28, 2023 tweet shows a particular interest in the nature of time. Though the clocks experiment I suggest would be outside normal operations, it could help decide the first principles of space travel, by deciding whether time itself dilates. Thus it may be of interest to Mr. Musk and SpaceX. I am therefore requesting that you bring this letter to Mr. Musk’s attention.)

Dear Mr. Musk,

This is regarding Special Relativity and an objective test of its Time Dilation. It would be important to settle this for both physics and space travel: does time itself dilate, irrespective of the clock mechanism, with the time dilation value being equal for all clocks? The time dilation equation of the Lorentz transformations of special relativity requires that all clocks in the same (inertial) frame, irrespective of mechanism, have the same time dilation; this is because it represents a dilation of time itself.  This effect would include time dilation of the biological age of people in any far-traveling Starship; so accepted is this belief that decades of science fiction books incorporate time dilation in space travel and other scenarios.

While being repeatedly confirmed in atomic clocks, special relativity has experienced experimental time dilation failures in some other clocks, thus bringing into question its philosophy that time itself dilates. There is a controversy regarding cosmic clocks (quasars and gamma-ray bursts), in telescopic observations, with some studies showing zero time dilation. SpaceX would have the capability to carry out a test using a pair of on-board clocks having diverse mechanisms, and seeing if they stay in sync, as predicted by special relativity, or go out of sync.

Please see my letter to the European Space Agency (ESA), https://churchofphysics.org/lorentz-time-dilation-derivation/. ESA and others have not pursued the objective testing needed using diverse clock mechanisms, but have been testing only on one type of on-board clock mechanism: atomic clocks. There seems to be a bias of traditional science media and those in authority in physics against other clock mechanisms. SpaceX can cut through all this at your direction, and do this needed key objective test of the nature of time that others have not been doing.

In October 1971 Joseph Hafele and Richard Keating performed their famous successful test of time dilation of special relativity (and general relativity) using atomic clocks. Their atomic clocks had an accuracy of about 1 second in 3000 years, and were flown on regular scheduled airliners going at a speed of about 800 km/h.

The major requirement for an on-board clocks special relativity time dilation experiment is high speed and suitable craft, which SpaceX already has. This test would need a pair of accurate clocks with diverse mechanisms. An Atomic clock and quartz clock pair could be placed together in one craft. Sophisticated quartz clocks – OCXO – now have an accuracy of 1 second in 600 years. The other part of the time dilation measurement is speed. The higher the speed the greater the time effect available for measurement; the larger measurement value means that uncertainty resulting from the limitation of the accuracy of the clock becomes less significant.

I predict that this test will topple the time dilation of special relativity by showing that time itself does not dilate, with the clocks going out of sync. The atomic clock will show the time dilation predicted by relativity but the quartz clock will not. Time itself not dilating (with the value depending on the clock mechanism) would bring down the spacetime foundation and much of other modern physics.

Special relativity is the time foundation that needs to be tested. General relativity is foundationally built on the spacetime of special relativity. However, with high speed space travel linking with height, time dilations from both theories get involved, as they did in the Hafele-Keating experiment.

The biggest controversy with this test would be the attacks on its validity when the quartz clock does not show any time dilation whatsoever; the rebuttal from physics authorities will be that the quartz clock did not have enough accuracy to capture the time dilation. The quartz clock manufacturer must clearly demonstrate that the clock can read time to the accuracy of needed nanoseconds, and this accuracy testing must be well documented to rule out skeptics. It may also be better to have more than one quartz clock.  

This experiment could topple the foundations and change the course of physics overnight. Thus it is worth your time and consideration. (The other possible result is confirming that time itself dilates, as predicted by relativity, and this would be the first confirmation using diverse clock mechanisms; even this would be a famous experiment).

Thanks and regards,

Ashish Sirohi


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