Relativity [was incorrectly: Quantum Mechanics]

Steve VanDevender (
Sat, 25 May 1996 00:55:19 -0700

Mike Wangsmo writes:
> Since this really has *nothing* to do with Linux, maybe we should
> find an alternative list for this thread?? Any ideas there?

There must be a "bad-physics" mailing list out there somewhere.

> A beam of light that travels from a point on the edge of the outer
> diameter of the base of the cone through the center is affected so
> strongly by the massive gravity that it is slowed dramatically as it
> finally escapes the forces of attraction from gravity. However an
> object that travels around the base of the cone (thus avoiding the
> massive gravity) has no noticable reduction in velocity due to
> gravity. In essence according to Einsein's theories, the object
> could travel at say 99.9% of speed of light (as measured on Earth)
> and reach the far side of the base of the cone before the light beam
> that left the same place and at the same time.

Light doesn't speed up or slow down when it passes through a
gravitational field. It may gain energy or lose energy or change
direction, but it doesn't change speed. You can arrange to emit two
photons in different directions from the same point and have them both
pass through another point at different times by having one pass through
a region of greater spacetime curvature, but that doesn't mean one
photon traveled faster than the other -- it means one traveled farther
than the other. Both traveled at the same speed, and all observers will
measure the same speed for both photons.

You need to read and understand a good book on relativity theory. I
suggest _Spacetime Physics_ by Taylor and Wheeler for an introduction.
If you are then able to understand _Gravitation_ by Misner, Thorne, and
Wheeler you will be doing better than I am.