|Proof that the speed of light is relative and additive to the speed of the frame of
reference where it is measured.
Don E. Sprague, Copyright 2007, 2008, 2009
Every round trip measurement of the speed of light has been on a moving platform. Therefore, there hasn't
ever been two identical round trip measurement of the speed of light. Nobody can dispute the statement. The
reason is simple. While both points for the round trip are fixed relative to each other, they are moving relative
to the center of the earth and to the sun and to the galaxy and so on.
This paper has two parts. First, I show that the speed of light is relative and additive to the speed of
earth. Second, I show how the issue is addressed in the theory or relativity.
The speed of light has been measured thousands of times and it is consistently shown to be “c”. We also
know that a square has four sides of equal lengths and we can simultaneously measure the speed of light
between corners of a square and we consistenty get the same results for both measurements going different
Now consider that our square is 10 units of length per side and moves 10 units of length in the time it takes
for objects to move between A to B and between A to C. The corners of the square are labeled: “A” for the
lower left, “B” for the lower right, and “C” for the upper left.
Initial position of box relative to the ground.
For the first half of the round trip, the platform moved 10 units of length relative to the ground while objects on
the platform move 10 units of length on the surface of the platform from A to B and from A to C
First half of round trip:
In this case, one object moved 10 units of length in the box as it goes from A to B and it also goes from 1 to 3
relative to the ground. Location 3 is 20 units of length from 1 relative to the ground. The distance the object
moved is both 10 and 20 units of length depending upon the frame of reference of the objects and the
observer. The other object moved 10 units of length as it goes from A to C and it also moves 14.14 units of
length relative to the ground.
Second half of round trip:
The platform moves another 10 units of length relative to the ground while objects on the platform move 10
units of length on the surface of the platform to make their return trip to A. In this case the object moving
from B to A moves 10 units of length on the platform but remain at point 3 relative the ground. It has a ground
speed of zero. The other object moved 10 units of length as it goes from C to A on the platform and it also
moves 14.14 units of length relative to the ground. The results of this activity show: When observed from the
platform, the objects on the platform moved 10 units of length on each half of the round trip for a total of 20
units each for their round trips between A to B and between A to C.
When observed from the ground, one object moved 20 units of length for the first half of the platforms trip
then remained still and didn't move for the second half of the platforms trip. The other object moved in a
triangle from A to C to A for a total distance of 28.28 units of length. Although both objects moved the same
speed and distance relative to the platform, their movement relative to the ground has one object that moved
8.29 units of length through space further than the other in the same time frame. This shows that one object
moved further and faster than the other.
This setup for our real experiment shows that the speed of objects are relative to the frame of reference
where they are measured as well as where they are observed and calculated making them additive when
observed from a point outside the moving frame of reference.
Now we apply different albeit correct names to the platform and the moving objects. Instead of referring to
the platform, we call it the surface of the earth. Instead of referring to objects, we call it light. The earth is
spinning on it's axis and is going around the sun and the sun is moving through the galaxy and universe. Now
consider a point in space as viewed from the surface of the sun. Suppose that point in space is our point 1-A
as in the above discussion. Relative to the sun, point 1 in space corresponds to point A on the surface of the
earth. At a later time, relative to the sun, point 1 in space remains at the same place in space but point A on
the surface of the earth has moved just as point A on the platform moved.
It is accepted that the speed of any object is relative to the frame in which it resides. If a moving object
resides on train car or on a bicycle or on the surface of the earth, the speed of the moving object is relative to
the frame in which it resides and is additive to the speed of the moving frame of reference. A ball thrown from
a bicycle, or train or on the surface of the earth is additive to the speed of the bicycle or train or the surface of
the earth. A sound generated on a bicycle or inside a train car or on the surface of the earth is relative and
additive. Light is also considered to be relative thus it should be additive. So now we see that the objects in
the above experiment can properly be called light pulses that moved different speeds and different distances
in space while riding on the moving platform that we previously properly identified as the surface of the earth.
We talk about stationary objects but nothing is stationary. That is; all objects are moving in space but are
also stationary relative to other moving objects. Every experiment or measurement of the speed of light has
been done relative to the surface of a moving earth. Every measurement has shown the same results
regardless of the location or orientation of the measurement devices on earth, the moving frame of reference.
That confirms that the speed of light is relative and additive to the speed of frame of reference aka earth,
where the measurement was made. The object in the platform discussion moved in a triangle between 1 and
3 relative to a remote observation point. The same applies to every measurement of the speed of light. The
round trip is always a triangle instead of a straight line. It is safe to say that it is impossible for any two
measurements of the speed of light to begin at the same point in space and go the same distance in space.
Any point A on the surface of the earth will never occupy the same point 1 in space at any different time. It is
safe to say that at any instant in time point A and point B on earth are moving at different speeds in different
direction in space. Although the distance between points A and B are constant relative to the surface of the
earth or relative to a train car; the distance and speed an object moves in space is additive to the speed and
distance those points moved on the earth. It is safe to say that the distance an object moves between points
A and B on the earth is never the same distance in space at any two different times. Although the distance on
earth between two points can remain the same, the triangle for any round trip to measure the speed of light
has never been the same and will never be the same.
Every measurement of the speed of light confirms that the measurement obtains the same results regardless
of the size or shape of the triangle in space where the light traveled. To repeat this experiment, simply
calculate the speed and direction of movement of the earth based platform being used to measure the speed
of light. Then calculate the shape of the triangle the light traveled. From those calculations you can identify
the speed of light through space as viewed from some remote point in space. You can observe the triangle
from the sun or the moon or any planet or other remote point in space. Each will give a constant speed of light
on earth but a different speed of light depending upon the remote observation point as well as the time of day
or the location and orientation on earth where the test is conducted.
In the above I show that the speed of light is relative and additive to the speed of the earth frame of
reference where it resides. I showed that objects move in space over time. In the following I address the
assumption that simultaneous events aren't simultaneous because time and space are variable.
Einstein’s dilemma with the relativity of simultaneity
The purpose of chapter IX of Einstein’s paper was specifically to eliminate the meaning of time because of
the problem that Einstein himself described in an earlier chapter where he wrote w=c-v which means that
the speed of light is relative and additive if time does have meaning. Einstein clearly states that the person
on the train will move from the mid point of the lightning strikes and will proceed toward one strike and away
from the other. As a result, the moving observer will think the simultaneous events aren't simultaneous. As a
result of the false perception of the person who isn't at the mid point, the simultaneous events don’t seem to
be simultaneous. From that elimination of a simple fact that the person can’t observe the events as
simultaneous, Einstein claims that time has no meaning.
It took over 10 years for Einstein’s theory to be accepted. For over 100 years, many people have pondered
the issue of simultaneous relativity. Search the web and you will find papers by many experts in the world of
physics. One example is Paul Marmet. Ph. D. (Physics). In his paper: The GPS and the Constant Velocity of
Light http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/Illusion/index.html, and his paper: Einstein's Theory of Relativity
versus classical Mechanics http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/EINSTEIN/index.html, he provides detail
description and formula that address simultaneous events and problems with the theory of relativity. He and
many others made the same mistake of arguing the wrong issue. I even lapsed into the depths of the
problem since my original paper where I pointed out Einstein’s laps in logic. Einstein didn't eliminate the
meaning of time by pointing out that a person who isn't at the mid point between the simultaneous lightning
strikes won’t observe them as simultaneous. He simply replaced reality with illusion. The detail discussion,
experiments and formula are nice but not necessary. It all goes back to Einstein’s failure to eliminate the
meaning of time. There is nothing in Einstein’s paper or any other paper that eliminates the meaning of time.
Science doesn't or shouldn't accept illusion as reality because it is convenient.
Einstein goes on to claim that space has no meaning. Although I addressed Einstein’s mistakes in my essay,
let’s suppose that Einstein was correct. Suppose that space and time are variable and any method of
measuring them are variable as Einstein says. Suppose the speed of light is constant because it travels some
variable distance for some variable time. How can you claim to have a constant speed of light my multiplying a
variable distance in space by a variable duration of time. Fortunately; we can accurately measure the
movement of things as they move in space and time because space and time are constant. Until someone
proves they aren't constant, they remain constant and the speed of light remains additive as Einstein
understood when he wrote w=c-v. That is: he understood that the speed of light is additive as long as time
This discussion is reminiscent of wrong dinosaur head being accepted by the scientific community for over 100
years. Although many people in the scientific community knew of the problem, they didn't want to be the ones
who pushed to correct the mistake. It is past time to correct the problem of the theory of relativity. Perhaps
the problem has been prolonged because the theory or relativity isn't required study. It is simply accepted as
a basis for discussion of science and education. As a result, science and study are based on an illusion instead
of reality. It could be that until now, nobody has properly addressed the problem and properly explained the
illusion Einstein employed to resolve his dilemma. This short paper goes to the heart of the issue in a simple
concise way. My essay goes through all of Einstein’s paper addressing how he understood his problems and
how he used illusion to replace reality. If you can understand this short paper, you don’t need to read my
original essay or any of my other papers. If you are interested in learning more about the problems in Einstein’
s paper, go ahead and read my essay and the other papers. Relativity is compound or complex. There is an
explanation that addresses things like planet orbit ellipse. You may find the conclusion of most value because
it is concise
Click here to read the conclusion:
The meaning of time is what it's all about. The false illusion doesn't eliminate the meaning of time.
Copyright Don E. Sprague 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 All rights reserved.