Onety, Twoty, Threety

by Ira Mark Egdall

Late one night while trying to fall asleep, counting sheep or goats or something — a crazy thought popped into my head. The names we give our numbers are illogical. In fact they’re idiotic, merely the result of the evolution of the English language. “Why do children have to suffer the learning of number names that are inconsistent?” I asked myself. It’s hard enough to learn to count on your fingers (which I still do when no one is looking).

So I’m thinking: The numbers zero through nine are OK. Admittedly, the names representing the first nine integer values are arbitrary, but there are no logical inconsistencies. But there’s a big problem with the number ten. It is the first two-digit number in the series. This — I learned in high school math class — is because we use the base ten counting system (derived from having ten digits on our hands). I propose renaming the number ten as the number onety.

Say good-bye to eleven, twelve, and thirteen through nineteen. They are now simply onety-one, onety-two, onety-three, onety-four, onety-five, onety-six, onety-seven, onety-eight, and onety-nine. Think of it, no more “teenage” years and all the angst associated with that term. In telling time, what we now call “fifteen minutes after ten” would be “onety-five minutes after onety”. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? And it’s logically consistent.

So what should we call the number twenty? Why twoty of course. Continuing, we have twoty-one, twoty-two, twoty-three, twoty-four, twoty-five, twoty-six, twoty-seven, twoty-eight, and twoty-nine. Simple, huh! Imagine the fun you’ll have asking for “Twoty-two tutti-frutti ice cream cones, please.”

Then there is, of course, threety, threety-one, threety-two, threety-three, etc. Followed by fourty. Sounds the same, but the spelling is now consistent. Fourty-one through fourty-nine complete the string.

What’s next? That’s right, fivety. Followed by fivety-one through fivety-nine. Continuing, it’s simply sixty through sixty-nine, just as before! Seventy through seventy-nine follow. Oh, thank goodness, no more changes. Not quite. Eightty through eightty-nine follow. Sorry, two t’s for constancy. Ninety to ninety-nine complete the two-digit integer number set.

After that, I see no reason to change the number names one hundred, two hundred etc., and one thousand, one-million, one-billion, one-trillion etc. There is no logical inconsistencies here, as far as I can tell.

Cinderella looks up at the clock. It is onety-one threety-five. She dances with the Prince for twoty- five more minutes. Suddenly she runs out of the grand ballroom, and down the stairs, a glass slipper falling from her foot, as the clock strikes onety-two.

Just think about it. Wouldn’t it be better to use a simple, consistent system for something so important and used as often as the names of our numbers? Sure it would be an adjustment for the present generation. We have already learned the old-fashioned illogical names. But children would adapt to the new system very quickly, and within a generation or so, the improvement would be permanent. From then on, once a child has learned to count to onety, she/he will be able to count to one hundred and beyond with ease. Some of you may be saying that the author has too much time on his hands, but you must admit it is a good idea.

Hold on, there’s more. There’s more? Unfortunately yes. In thinking about it further, we also need to rename first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight, ninth, tenth etc. to oneth, twoth, threeth, fourth, fiveth, sixth, seventh, eighth, nineth, onetieth etc. (At least after the oneth three numbers, there are only spelling changes – that is till you get to onetieth.) Thus we are now living in the twoty-oneth century. So simple!

“Mama, my two loose teeth fell out today. Can I put the oneth one under my pillow tonight for the tooth fairy?”

“You can put both teeth under your pillow”

“The twoth tooth too?”

“Yes, the twoth tooth too!”

And what about once, twice, three times, four times, etc. Can we resist leaving these number names alone? Of course not. Why, after all, are “once” and “twice” not one time and two times, just like three times and four times, etc. Sitting down at night by a child’s bedside, we would say “One time upon a time there were four and twoty blackbirds sitting on a fence”. It may sound funny, but it is logical!

So take up the cause. Write the President, e-mail your Senators, text your Congressperson, and tweet your Governor — demanding the logical renaming of numbers!

I’m done. No cheering (or booing) please. I need to take a nap. Maybe this time I’ll count psychiatrists.

Disclosure
: After I wrote this madness, I did a Google search of “onety, twoty threety”. It yielded some one hundred and twoty entries. So like pretty much all the junk floating around in my head, the idea is not wholly original with me. (In fact it sounds like a Victor Borge routine.) Apparently saying onety for ten, twoty for twenty, and threety for thirty is quite common in young children. This is surely a reflection of my level of maturity.

I welcome all comments. pro and con.
My website: marksmodernphysics.com

Global Warning III

by Ira Mark Egdall

The ultimate test of a scientific theory is its ability to make predictions. In his article “After the Deluge” in the December 2011 issue of Scientific American, John Carey lists a number of human-induced global warming predictions that have now been confirmed.

For example, measurements show average night time temperatures are rising — as predicted by climate change models. Other confirmed predictions include rising heat and drought across the American Southwest and in the Middle East, as well as more frequent heat waves in higher latitudes (e.g. the American upper Midwest and Russia).

In addition, there is a fourfold probability of an increase in heat waves in Europe over pre-industrial times. And, Carey points out, “ten of (New Hampshire’s) fifteen biggest floods since 1934 have occurred in the past fifteen years” — another indication of global warming.

It seems to me the case for human-induced global warming is becoming more and more compelling. And climate models predict things will only get worse. We ignore the consensus of the experts and their predictions at our own peril.

I welcome all comments — pro and con.

My website: marksmodernphysics.com

Source:

Carey, John A., “After the Deluge”, SciAm Vol. 305, No. 6 (Dec. 2011), pp. 72-75.

Ultimately Wondrous

By Ira Mark Egdall

Our current understanding of the laws of nature allow us to peek behind the veil of human perception — and catch a glimpse of reality.

The revelation is unexpected, difficult to accept, yet ultimately wondrous.*

The strange tenets of modern physics shatter our most deeply held beliefs. Yet mountains of empirical evidence support their mind-bending predictions. They must be telling us something about reality.

Special Relativity:

Special relativity tells us the speed of light is absolute — it is the same value no matter what the (uniform) motion of the observer. From this, it predicts time and space are flexible — time slows and space shrinks with relative motion. Thus, as Einstein put it, “past, present and future are only an illusion”.

And per E=mc2, mass and energy are equivalent.

General Relativity:

General relativity is even wilder. It tells us mass/energy warps space and time, that this so-called spacetime curvature is gravity. (The warping of space and time due to the Earth’s mass/energy is holding me down in my chair as I write this.)

Einstein’s masterpiece also predicts phenomena so bizarre even he initially rejected them — black holes which trap light and stop time, wormholes which form gravitational time machines, and a universe where space itself is continually expanding.

Quantum Mechanics:

The predictions of quantum mechanics are the wildest of all. There is an inherent uncertainty in nature which no amount of measurement accuracy can overcome. As it travels from place to place, a single particle spreads out like wave — yet is detected only locally like a particle.

The act of observing changes experimental results.

In “empty” space, virtual particle pairs constantly appear and annihilate each other. The universe is “non-local” — the act of measurement instantly correlates the random properties of two particles, no matter how great the distance between them.

Cosmic Creation:

These modern theories of physics have led to what I believe is the greatest achievement in human thought — the first scientific theory on the creation and evolution of our universe. It tells us some 13.7 billion years ago our universe was created in the ultimate cosmic event — the Big Bang.

How strange. How mysterious. How I struggle to understand and explain not just the mathematics of these “laws” of physics, but the reality they reveal. It is an odd journey — with fleeting glimpses, sudden insights, and revelations beyond my wildest dreams.

Ultimately wondrous indeed!

* (These words came to me one night as I was drifting off to sleep. I think they are original. If you have seen them before, please let me know.)

Dark Energy and the Future of the Universe

by Ira Mark Egdall

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

– T. S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”, 1925

The first hints that the universe is expanding came in 1917 when Albert Einstein applied his general theory of relativity to the universe as a whole. (In those days, the known universe consisted of just our Milky Way galaxy.) To Einstein’s surprise, his field equations showed a universe which was either expanding or contracting. Since there was no evidence for such a thing, Einstein added his famous cosmological constant to model an eternally static universe – one that has always been and will always be the same size.

Then in 1927, Belgian priest and physicist Georges Lemaître — based on his solutions to Einstein’s original field equations, published redshift data, and Edwin Hubble’s distance determinations — proposed the universe is actually expanding. Faced with this compelling evidence, Einstein dropped the cosmological constant from his equations.

Dark Energy

Some seventy years later two independent teams led by Saul Perlmutter and Brian Schmidt discovered the expansion of the universe is speeding up. (See Hubble, Keck, and the Nobel Prize below.) The mysterious cause of this acceleration has been dubbed “dark energy”.

Einstein had called his cosmological constant “the greatest mistake of my life.” But now a much larger magnitude cosmological constant appeared necessary to model this accelerating expansion. It seems Einstein is such a genius that even when he makes a mistake, he turns out to be right after all – sort of.

The Future of the Universe
(see Freedman, Kaufmann, Universe)

Assuming dark energy continues to exist in the same amount in the future (a big assumption since we have no idea what it is), cosmological models for a flat universe including a cosmological constant predict the expansion of the universe will continue to accelerate. As a result, some 100 billion years from now all but the closest galaxies will be receding from us faster than the speed of light, making them impossible to see.

In a trillion years, generation after generation of stars will have finally used up all the hydrogen and helium gases in the universe. With no more nuclear fuel, stars will no longer form, galaxies will go dim, and matter will consist of dead stars, cold planets, and spent meteorites.

In a billion billion years, random collisions of stellar objects will eventually drive many stars to lower galactic orbits. As they circle the black holes at their galactic center, they will give off even stronger gravitational waves. Over time this loss in energy will drive stars closer and closer to the black holes, eventually to be absorbed. Galaxies will then consist of enormous black holes surrounded by dead stars.

But be not dismayed — there is still some hope for our universe.

The End (or the Beginning?)

In an estimated 10^97 to 10^106 years (that’s some billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion years), black holes will finally evaporate due to Hawking radiation. And per Hawking’s theory, during the final moments of evaporation, these black holes will become white holes, “pumping new matter into the universe in an unpredictable fashion.” So at least theoretically, our universe will continue to exist in some strange new way.

However, predictions for the future of our universe are a very much a work in progress. There are still major questions to be resolved — like what dark energy actually is. Current physics research, including yet to be substantiated theories such as string theory, has the potential to shed new light on both how the big bang came to be as well as the ultimate fate of our universe. But until our understanding of dark energy improves and/or a new theory replaces general relativity and quantum mechanics, the future of the universe remains speculative at best.

Stay tuned.

1) Michael Way, Harry Nussbaumer, Letters, Phys. Today, Aug. 2011, p. 8.
2) B. Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, p. 301.
3) R. A. Freedman, W. J. Kaufmann III, Universe, 6th Edition, p. 661 (including “pumping” quote).

I welcome all comments — pro and con.

My website: marksmodernphysics.com

Hubble, Keck, and the Nobel Prize

. . . something mysterious is at work in the universe
– Physicsworld.com.

When I had a real job (at a company called Itek Optical Systems), I had the privilege of working on the Hubble Space Telescope studies and the W. M. Keck telescope primary mirror fabrication proposal. As a young engineer, I was so excited to be involved, even in a small way, in the initial stages of these new “eyes on the sky”. I wondered what great mysteries these instruments might some day reveal. Now I know.

In 1998, using data from Hubble and Keck (and other telescopes), physicists Saul Perlmutter of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University, and Adam G. Riess of Johns Hopkins University made the most significant cosmological discovery since the Cosmic Microwave Background in 1965. For this, they were awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics.

Like so many, their discovery came as a complete surprise.

Per cosmological models, physicists in the late 20th century believed gravity should be slowing the expansion of the universe. What was needed was observational data to confirm this theoretical prediction.

So in 1998, two independent teams led by Perlmutter (the Supernova Cosmology Project), and Schmidt/ Riess (the High-Z Supernova Search) tried to measure exactly how much the expansion of the universe is being slowed by gravity. And by measuring this “deceleration parameter” they hoped to also get a better indication of the total amount of matter/energy in the universe.

The idea was to utilize Hubble, Keck, and other telescopes to examine the brightness and redshift of some one hundred or so type 1a supernovae:

Hubble and supernova brightness – The 2.4 meter Hubble Space Telescope in low Earth orbit was involved in the measurement of the brightness of these type 1a supernovae. Why type 1a? Because physics predicts these supernovae all produce about the same luminosity. (Luminosity is the amount of light an object gives off.)

Just like car headlights, a supernova appears dimmer the further away it is. So by measuring its apparent brightness as seen from Earth and comparing it to its luminosity, the physicists determined how far away it was, i.e. its distance from us.

And since light from a supernova explosion travels at the speed of light c, knowing its distance from us told them how long ago the supernova light was emitted — or when each supernova explosion occurred.

Keck and supernova redshift – 13,600 feet high on Mauna Kea in the big island of Hawaii, the ten-meter Keck telescope and its LRES spectrometer were involved in the determination of the redshift of these type 1a supernovae. This told the physicists how much the universe has expanded since the supernova explosions.

Say a supernova is 10 billion light-years away. This means it takes 10 billion years for its light to reach us here on Earth. During that time, the universe has expanded — stretching the wavelength of the supernova light as it makes its journey to us. So the supernova light arrives at Earth at a lower frequency — shifted towards the red end of the spectrum.

Thus the amount of redshift reveals how much the universe has expanded in the time it took the supernova’s light to travel to the Earth.

Together, the data from Keck, Hubble, and other telescopes told Perlmutter, Schmidt, and Riess when each supernova was born and how much the universe has expanded since.

The results were shocking, to say the least. Distant supernovae were dimmer than expected. This meant they were further away than initially thought. So their light must have taken longer to get here. Thus these supernovae were born earlier in time than expected.

Therefore the measured expansion amounts (redshifts) associated with these distant supernovae occurred earlier than expected. So the universe must be expanding faster than expected.

To see this, imagine the surface of a balloon expanding as you blow it up. You expect it to be a certain size at a certain time. But when you measure it, you find it reaches that size sooner than you thought. So, you conclude, the balloon must be expanding faster than you thought.

From all this, Perlmutter and Schmidt/Riess concluded the expansion of the universe did slow at first — but for the past 5 to 7 billion years, the expansion of our universe has been speeding up!

Later observations of over two hundred type 1a supernovae confirmed this analysis — the expansion of the universe is indeed accelerating. Data from the Wilkinson Anisotropic Probe (WMAP), the Two-Degree Field (2DF), and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) support this conclusion.

What causes this acceleration? Physicists have no idea. Some postulate our entire universe is filled with a kind of repulsive energy dubbed “dark energy”. Exactly what this so-called dark energy is remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of modern physics.

For details, see Perlmutter’s article: http://supernova.lbl.gov/PhysicsTodayArticle.pdf

I welcome all comments — pro and con.

My website: marksmodernphysics.com

1) Imagine the Universe! http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/mysteries_l1/dark_energy.html
2) B. Rosenblum, F. Kuttner, Quantum Enigma, p. 196.
3) B. Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, p. 297.
4) “Dark Energy”, Physicsworld.com, May 30, 2004. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/19419

We the People . . .

By Ira Mark Egdall

At a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners in 1962, American President John F. Kennedy said “This is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

In thinking about Jefferson, I wondered what the principle author of the Declaration of Independence (and other founding fathers) would say about our current political climate — particularly the tendency of some politicians to be anti-science.

“Science has liberated the ideas of those who read and reflect, and the American example has kindled feelings of right in the people.” Jefferson wrote to John Adams in 1813. “Reason and free inquiry,” he also stated, “are the only effectual agents against error.”

“There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature,” George Washington declared in an address to Congress in 1790, “Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”

James Madison, the “Father of the American Constitution” wrote “Philosophy (science) is common sense with big words.”

Benjamin Franklin was a scientist and a prolific inventor (amongst many other things). He was the first to label electricity as positive and negative — and the first to discover the conservation of charge.

America’s founding fathers were children of the Enlightenment — the 18th century Age of Reason with adherents such as Newton, Locke, Spinoza, Voltaire, and Rousseau. The beliefs of John Locke in particular regarding people’s “inalienable” rights provided the foundation for the governing philosophy of the United States. Enlightenment scholars considered free scientific inquiry and rational thought as the highest form of human activity.

Today we find certain politicians challenging evolution, the big bang theory, the age of the universe, and the age of the Earth. These scientific findings are based on rational thought and supported by substantive empirical evidence. They are overwhelmingly accepted by experts in the field as our current best understanding of how nature behaves.

Perhaps politicians argue against these tenets of established science because of their beliefs or to court votes. To them I say: I respect your right to say what you will. But your anti-science views are not the principles upon which our great country was founded. Please do not pretend otherwise.

I welcome all comments — pro and con.

My website: marksmodernphysics.com

Lessons from Uncle Albert

By Ira Mark Egdall

I’m doing my Einstein survey dressed as Einstein and this little boy comes up to me and asks “Are you Santa?”

Then an eight-year-old girl says “I know who you are. I studied Einstein in school.”

“He’s smart – they examined his brain.”

Her comment made me think. We are taught that Einstein’s intelligence is what led to his great accomplishments. This is only partly true.

Einstein spent ten years thinking about the nature of light and time (starting at age 16!) before he finally came up with his theory of special relativity in 1905.

It was another ten years before he came up with his new theory of gravity. From 1912 to 1915 he worked on nothing else, driving himself to exhaustion to produce his life’s masterpiece — general relativity.

“I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted,” Einstein once said. “All I have is the stubbornness of a mule . . . I think over and over. Ninety-nine times I am wrong, the hundredth time I am right.”

Einstein’s epic struggles and magnificent triumphs are a life lesson. They show it is persistence and strength of will even more than prodigious talent which ultimately leads to success. That is what they should teach in school.

My website: marksmodernphysics.com

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

by Ira Mark Egdall

If you happened to be on Hollywood Beach in Florida the other day, you may have come across a wild-looking man with flying white hair, a white mustache, an old-fashioned pipe dangling from his mouth, a tie with E=mc2 on it, and a sign on his back saying: PLEASE TAKE THE EINSTEIN SURVEY – FOUR EASY QUESTIONS. No it was not Mark Twain. That was me dressed up as Albert Einstein.

Ya see, I’m writing a popular science book on Einstein’s sublime theories. In it I try to explain his great ideas in everyday language, so the average person can truly understand them. Ever wondered how he came up with his theories of relativity? If your answer is yes, then this is the book for you.

Anyway, it turns out that it’s real hard to get a non-fiction book published these days unless you are somebody famous. You know, like Sarah Palin or some other great American icon like Paris Hilton or Snookie from Jersey Shore. Have you ever heard of a nerd named Mark Egdall who thinks relativity is cool? Didn’t think so.

So I get the bright idea to make up a survey. If I can get say 1000 responses, maybe I can convince a publisher that there is a market for my book. I keep it to a few simple questions. Like how much you know about Einstein’s theories and whether you would be interested in a book like mine. Hey, I figure there must be lots of people out there who are fascinated by this stuff, just like me. (I’m a dreamer.)

When I retired, I moved to beautiful South Florida and settled in Hollywood. I loved the informal atmosphere and especially family-oriented, quirky Hollywood Beach. I also got to fulfill a lifelong dream — to teach. I do this at Lifelong Learning Institutes. And I love it.

What’s a Lifelong Learning Institute? It’s a place where people age 50 plus can take personal enrichment courses like mine. Attendance is voluntary for these non-credit courses — so I am surprised when people actually show up for my classes, and even more surprised when they continue to show up!

I had difficulty finding the right book on Einstein’s theories for my students, so I decided to write my own book on relativity. One that is comprehensive, entertaining, and most of all, understandable. I’m almost done. It’s a lot harder than I thought. But trying to get it published – well that’s the really hard part. So I concocted the survey.

I decide to take the crazy route. “I think I’ll buy a wig and mustache and dress up as Einstein,” I tell my dear wife Pat. She gives me that look only a married man knows — a combination of oh my God I actually married this fool and deep sympathy for the mentally deranged.

So here I am trying to look like Einstein, walking down Hayes Street to the beach, and feeling ridiculous. I wonder if Stephen Hawking had to dress up like Isaac Newton to get his first book published? Nah. He was already famous. And much, much, much, much smarter than me. (Not enough muches.)

Pat tags along, walking behind me. It’s not deference to my exalted position — she just doesn’t want to be seen with me. Still she feels the need to maintain a protective eye — me in my delicate condition. I pass the dog at the cycle rental shop. No reaction. So far so good.

I’m on the broadwalk. Hey people are smiling. Most walk by with bemused looks on their faces. Then someone comes up to me. “Can I take the survey,” she asks. My first customer. Despite the tickle from the mustache and the heat from the wig, I am beginning to feel comfortable. A former chemistry teacher takes the survey. A few tell me they are writing their own book. Someone says his grandmother was a cousin to Albert Einstein’s first wife Mileva Marić. Some guy tries to sell me an “original” photo of Albert Einstein at the Grand Canyon for the bargain price of only \$15,000. Another says his son is an engineer and would love a book like mine. Hey, hey, hey (with apologies to Fat Albert), I’m getting into the swing. Even Pat is now making eye contact with me.

So if you see me on the beach, humor me — wave and say hello. If you care to, take my survey. Four easy questions. And tell me your story. There’s a million of them.

Interested in my book? Please go to marksmodernphysics.com and take the Einstein survey.

(The above article appeared in the Spring 2011 Hollywood Cahoots Quarterly newspaper.)

Global Warming II

By Ira Mark Egdall

From Physicsworld.com, Aug. 30, 2011:

Climate scientist cleared of research misconduct.

“Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) climate scientist Michael Mann has been cleared of research misconduct following an inquiry by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The OIG agreed with the conclusions of a previous investigation by the university last year that ‘cleared [Mann] of any wrongdoing’ and has now closed the case.”

Aha. So Mann has been exonerated, and the so-called “Climategate” issue dispelled. Some sceptics had charged Mann and colleagues with “falsification and destruction of data.” Feeding on this, some politicians declare human-influenced global warming is a hoax based on climate scientists manipulating data.

This is an old lawyer trick. If you can’t dispute the facts, challenge the integrity of the source. Please don’t fall for it. Will these pundits and politicians now announce that Michael Mann has been cleared of any wrongdoing? I doubt it.

It is all so sad. This should not be a political issue. It is a science issue. CNN reports that 97 percent of climatologists agree that global warming exists and that humans play a role (see link below). I am not a climate expert, but this overwhelming consensus scares the hell out of me. As one of my friends put it, if you were told by 97 out of 100 doctors that you, God forbid, had cancer — would you do nothing about it?

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-19/world/eco.globalwarmingsurvey_1_global-warming-climate-science-human-activity?_s=PM:WORLD

My website: marksmodernphysics.com

Just a Theory

By Ira Mark Egdall

My cousin sent me this quote from a religious site and asked me what I thought of it:

“Gravity is a theory, not a proven fact.

“The effects of gravity can be explained by other theories. An example would be the acceleration theory which asserts the earth is actually moving ‘upward’ at a constant rate of 1g (9.8m/sec^2). This produces the same effect as ‘gravity’.

“See there are different theories for the same phenomena – and none are facts, they are just theories.”

Oh boy. There is such misunderstanding on what a theory is and is not. First of all, a theory in physics is a “model” using mathematics to try to describe physical behavior. And no scientific theory is “proven”. You would have to test it against all possible scenarios, which are infinite in number. All you can do is rate the usefulness of a theory — how well its predictions agree with measurements and observations. The theory of gravity (here I assume they are talking about general relativity) is considered superb in its usefulness. Volumes of empirical data from a number of independent sources confirm its predictions to extraordinary accuracy.

As someone said; to say “it is just a theory” is like saying it is just science.

Per Einstein’s Equivalent Principle, acceleration produces the same physical effects as gravity. This is no doubt the source of the argument above. But the Equivalence Principle (EP) does not tell the whole story. A quick summary: the EP only takes into account the warping of time by a mass/energy. But mass/energy also warps space. So the effects of gravity and acceleration are not truly equivalent. Thus an accelerating Earth at 1g would not produce the exact same effects as gravity. Obviously, the writer has read some popularizations, but does not know the subtleties of the physics. (The Devil is in the details).

I didn’t know any of this until I did the detailed research for my book on Einstein and relativity. Sorry for the rant, but the quote above got me all excited. And these days, I get my thrills wherever I can find them.

Note: I read about rating the usefulness of physics theories in Roger Penrose’s book The Emperor’s New Mind, Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics, p. 152-155.