October 6, 2015
Magic Wand, Gamma Factor, The Original Sin, Wonderland, Mass increase
Things behave differently in Wonderland and, to make sense of experiments made over there, they must be conveniently processed by some kind of artifice in order to make sense in the real world. In Wonderland there are no fixed reference frames and therefore it becomes very easy to choose a wrong model in trying to describe a given physical phenomenon. In a confused landscape you never know for sure where you are located and how to move about. One can eventually build a working description of a natural phenomenon starting from a wrong model, however at the cost of subsequent application of some ugly prostheses or patches as required to make the freak viable in real life. An emblematic example has been the ancient description of the astronomical orbits through the "epicycles" created by Aristotle and Ptolemy where they arbitrarily chose the Earth as a universal reference frame. It was not much different in the case of the many experiments of the Michelson and Morley type that also started up putting the Earth as the reference frame to build a model for a theory of the ether and light, a model that had to be patched by the physicist Hendrik Lorentz to justify its final outcome. In this case, that prosthesis became a magic wand in the hand of physicists to explain other phenomena related to the speed of light in space such as the relativistic time dilation and the relativistic mass increase, also to be revisited in this paper, which, as it happens, are also flawed concepts...