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Thread: Perceptual Acceleration?

  1. #1 Perceptual Acceleration? 
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    This notion is so obvious, I'm sure it's been thoroughly discussed; I just can't find it anywhere. Please help me and read this all the way through. I have no pride of authorship and am simply looking for an authentic discussion.

    What happens as I walk and consider my body at rest (as any body can). My surroundings move past me while rotating in a very specific way; to the left, clockwise and to the right, counterclockwise. Further, objects appear to speed up as I approach them and slow down as I move past. All of this motion appears to follow very specific and simple math relative to the orientation of the objects to my direction of movement (walking). These forms of apparent acceleration can be quantified if I simply consider myself at the center of a circle with the 0/360 degree set exactly at my direction of motion. Every object then speeds up/slows down both in terms of linear motion and rotation based on my speed (of walking) the objects position on the circle at any moment. Try it, it's obvious.

    Here's the gist of my question: If I consider myself at rest, aren't the objects that move past me while they rotate accelerating according to the classic definition of acceleration (speeding up, slowing down and changing direction)? They clearly appear to be changing speed of linear motion and rotation throughout, and, of course, rotation itself is acceleration.

    It seems to me that these accelerations occur with any motion, however slight; just moving my head while considering it still engenders the same object movement. I also wonder about any non-aware (rock) object moving in the same way. It seems at first that awareness is irrelevant, but I can never know for sure. As soon as I attach some kind of measuring device to the rock, or measure the motion of the rock, I've included awareness in the process. I am, however, very certain of the experience when observed.

    I hesitate to speculate further, I suspect that my reasoning is flawed and am just waiting for someone to point this out. I have considered the situations that involve multiple moving observers and my motion relative to still observers and the same kind of acceleration derives. Is this a zero sum process? If, in fact, this acceleration exists, what then of the accompanying classical gravity?
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  2. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakemitch44 View Post
    This notion is so obvious, I'm sure it's been thoroughly discussed; I just can't find it anywhere.
    It has indeed been thoroughly discussed; the notion has a name: Relativity.

    If one presumes that the laws of physics are everywhere the same, one is free to choose a reference frame (the one "at rest") arbitrarily, although certain choices may lead to more complicated maths than others, depending on the situation. For example, the earth may be treated as stationary, in which case the sun and other bodies undergo rather elaborate motions, relative to the stationary earth. Simpler maths emerge if one treats the sun as the center of the solar system.

    Galileo was the first to express the notion of relativity. Einstein picked up the ball and ran with it, first with the special (limited) theory of relativity (no gravity included), then with the general theory (gravity included).
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  3. #3  
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    Another point is that motion at a constant velocity is relative: it makes no difference whether you consider yourself moving or the other objects. But acceleration is not relative. If you are in an accelerating car, you feel yourself pushed back in the seat. If you watch a car accelerate, you feel no such force.
    You can do everything right, strictly according to procedure, on the ocean and it'll still kill you, but if you're a good navigator at least you'll know where you were when you died.
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  4. #4  
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    Thanks Strange, but I wonder. Consider Einstein's elevator. If there is nothing in it to be affected by acceleration is there still gravity due to acceleration? Seems to me that whether it's a rock stuck to the floor (and "experiencing" gravity due to limited motion) or a sentient being experiencing the feel of gravity or nothing - gravity in the elevator is a consequence of acceleration.

    What if gravity is simply a result of acceleration? Think about the relationship between mass and gravity - is this a consequence of an aggregation of all the acceleration (and the attendant tiny bit of gravity) of all the particles, wavicles, photons making up the mass? Obviously, the greater the mass, the greater the aggregated gravity due to the increasing number of acceleration events. This notion also works when considering the inverse squared relationship between the distance between particles and their attendant attraction. Gravity is reduced dramatically over distance, but does it ever go to zero? Gravity results from the acceleration of every particle (meaning every phenomenon that has any particle like behavior) with every other particle in the universe.

    I don't know what's happening to "particles" making up an object as I walk by and I never can know. But I'm quite certain the the objects appear to be accelerating on many axes relative to framing myself as still. As I suggested above, just because there's nothing in a frame to directly experience gravity doesn't mean it's not there. In fact, it must be there and a consequence of acceleration. Now think of massive objects at a distance. They exhibit gravity proportional to the acceleration events occurring in their immediate space, defined by the aggregation of all "particles" restricted to that space.These planets, stars, clusters, galaxies are all accelerating relative to each other as a consequence of the aggregated gravity in each system. It seems to me that this would also create additional gravity on a grand scale, and it does.

    In essence, acceleration becomes a consequence of acceleration. Gravity wrinkling space/time is more fundamentally acceleration wrinkling space/time. Could dark matter and dark energy also be a result of the aggregated acceleration of every motion in the universe from quantum mechanical to cosmological?

    I'm trying to noodle the maths that would apply to this idea. Unfortunately, the variables are virtually infinite and the approximations that would need to be made to diagram the interactions of accelerations would probably render the outcome invalid. As always, I'm just kicking it around here. I look forward to other points of view.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakemitch44 View Post
    What if gravity is simply a result of acceleration?
    In GR that is the case.

    I'm trying to noodle the maths that would apply to this idea.
    Einstein beat you to it!
    You can do everything right, strictly according to procedure, on the ocean and it'll still kill you, but if you're a good navigator at least you'll know where you were when you died.
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