WARNING: Long Post

WARNING: Some Maths (not essential to understanding)

I think its about time I wrote a semi-complete critique of the whole

Autodynamics theory. My reasons for doing this are that I think it provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the successes of the Special Theory of Relativity whilst also illuminating many of the common mistakes made by people attempting to present their own "alternative" theories. For explanations and examples of the theory I have mostly used the two main

autodynamics websites,

autodynamics.org and

autodynamicsuk.org.

If anyone has any points to add feel free to email me, the address is in my profile. I should point out that most, if not all of the points I raise were not originally raised by me, hey, the theory has been around for sixty years, people have had plenty of time to point out the obvious (and less obvious) problems. If anyone recognises anything they think they may have originally come up with feel free to claim some glory in the comments. I especially credit Tom Roberts whose "

A Physicists Refutation of Autodynamics" I came across while almost ready to post this entry, for certain mathematical explanations I have decided to use his methods, they were essentially identical to the ones I had, but were much simpler to follow. Hey I'm an Astronomer not a

Mathmagician dammit.

__History of Autodynamics__Lets start at the beginning. What is

Autodynamics? AD is the result of an error made over sixty years ago by a young Argentine Physicist studying special relativity. The physicist,

Ricardo Carezani believed that he had spotted an error in the derivation of Einstein's Special

Relativity (SR). This perceived "error" became a life long obsession for

Carezani, who set out to formulate his own theory, with which to supplant SR. Personally I would have been slightly worried if I thought I had spotted something that had eluded many of the greatest minds of twentieth century science, clearly

Carezani had a pretty good opinion of his own abilities.

Now I personally feel some sympathy for

Carezani, he was making his "discovery" at a time before most of the experiments that proved SR had been undertaken, for example the experiments that measured the energy spread in certain decays proving the neutrino existed had not been done yet. By the time these experiments had been done, it was probably too late, he wasn't going to be able to accept that he was wrong. He is after all not the first scientist to have sacrificed his career and credibility because of arrogance (I won't name names here, you probably know of a few). He has continued to work on his theory and with the help of a small band of cheerleaders led by a David

de Hilster has attempted to publicise it. More recently day to day work on the theory appears to have been ceded to

DdH, in fact it appears that

Carezani has essentially been sidelined (he is getting on

yuo know) in favour of promoting

DdHs take on the theory.

__AD In Brief__The main conclusion of

Autodynamics, is that the derivation of Special Relativity is incorrect, that there is a superfluous reference frame (don't worry we'll look at what these are later) in the derivation and that removal of this frame leads to a simpler theory. This simpler theory predicts very different behaviour for objects travelling near the speed of light, for examples see

this page. In particular while SR predicts that objects travelling near the speed of light appear to increase in mass (observed in particle

accelerators), AD predicts the exact opposite, that moving objects physically decrease in mass leading to equations for the kinetic energy and momentum of moving objects which similarly display behaviour in the exact reverse of those predicted by SR (and observed in experiment). This change in mass is supposedly what supplies the energy for motion. AD also apparently predicts that electric charge is not conserved, and that "

if a charged object decays its charge gets smaller" leading to obvious problems dealing with any particle physics phenomena. From this set of equations AD attempts to explain a wide range of phenomena, from particle interactions, gravity, motion of bodies etc.

It hardly needs stating at this point that SR as been proven time and again to be an accurate description of certain phenomena, therefore if AD is to have any usefulness it must reproduce the predictions of SR for those situations where both apply. In much the same way as SR simplifies to Newtonian Physics at low velocities, AD must predict the same behaviour as SR where SR has already been shown to be correct. As we shall see this is simply not the case.

__Autodynamics____ Treatment Of Frames And Moving Bodies__The central claim of AD is that SR includes a superfluous reference frame and that while the mathematics are correct this frame is physically meaningless. This reverse of this can be shown to be true trivially, taking the equations of SR and AD side by side we can begin to see why this is. The equations on the left are the standard Lorentz transforms used in SR, the ones on the right the simplified Lorentz equations (the so called

Carezani equations) used in

Autodynamics.

The description above deals with the results for classical Galilean mechanics, it can be shown that Newton's laws when transformed between the two systems are exactly the same, that is they are invariant, in other words there is no way to use a mechanical experiment to determine who is moving and who is at rest. This is the principle of relativity, that physical laws should be the same in all inertial reference frames (those frames where there is uniform motion), note it does not apply if there is an acceleration acting on one of the frames, this is the root of the infamous twins "paradox".

This was the situation until the mid 1800's when Maxwell formulated his equations describing the behaviour of electromagnetic fields. It was soon noted that Maxwell's equations did not appear to obey the principle of relativity, they were not the same in

Moes frame as in

Joes, this of course was a major problem. It was H. A Lorentz who first worked out that the transformations on the left side of Figure 1. would allow one to transform Maxwell's equations whilst preserving relativity, an interesting consequence of which was the observation that light appears to travel at exactly c (3x10^8 m/s) no matter how fast the observer or emitter is travelling. This leads to the first problem with AD, the Lorentz transforms are the only mathematically allowed transforms that preserve relativity for

Maxwells equations. We know

Maxwells equations are observed to be true in any reference frame they have been measured, therefore AD must be wrong. This would be a pretty short critique of AD if we ended there however, plus there is plenty of bad (and good) science/history left to be described.

Einstein took the observations of Lorentz and postulated that it wasn't just electrodynamics that these transforms applied to, but mechanics also, and that by replacing the m in Newtons standard equations with m = m0 /

SQRT(1 - u^2/c^2) then the new theory of Special Relativity could be reconciled with the older laws of mechanics. An important point regarding the implications of special relativity is that differences between SR and classical mechanics only appear when objects move very close to the speed of light. In other words at the low speeds (v

lt c) we are used to in everyday life then the SR equations reduce to the simpler Galilean ones we expect.

SQRT(1-u^2/c^2) only becomes measurably different from 1 when u approaches c.

So now for another glaring problem with

Autodynamics, it is the one that essentially kills of the theory at the start. It can be shown that the standard Lorentz transforms form what is known as a group, if you successively perform the transformations you produce another transformation. What this means physically is that there is some mathematics that different observers can apply so that they can bring their observations into agreement. This is essential, relativity means that no two observers will ever measure exactly the same event exactly the same way, but there is at least mathematically some way that both observers can agree that the same physical laws have applied to the phenomena. Without this property Physics and its ability to explain the Universe is impossible, different laws of physics apply to different observers and there is no way that they can ever be reconciled. We can show here that the AD equations do not form a group, that different observers of a phenomenon if they use AD can never agree on what they have observed, not even in principle.

Starting with AD equations 1 and 4 which we will renumber 1 and 2. x and t are measurements in reference frame F (i.e Joe), x' and t' are in reference frame F' (Moe), u1 is the velocity of F measured from F'.

To have any real physical significance it must be possible to introduce a third observer, after all the Universe wouldn't limit us to only two possible frames from which to observe any event right? Well of course not, think of any real life situation and you can see that there are essentially an infinite number of possible reference frames to choose from. So we can introduce a third observer to the system, this observer (Bo?) has reference frame F'', their reference frame must have some relation to the two others, in fact it can be shown that it is simply related in the following way:

where u2 is the velocity that F'' (Bo) measures for F' (Moe). This equation must hold true for any arbitrary choice of u2. There must also of course be some way to convert between reference frame F (Joe) and F'' (Bo) directly, it can simply seen that this situation is described by the following equations, where u3 is the velocity that F'' (Bo) measures for F (Joe).

This also should hold for any choice of u3. Now substitute 1 and 2 into 3 and 4. Giving us:

For the transformations to form a group equations 7 and 8 must be the same as equations 5 and 6, due to repeated transformations leading to transforms that are also group members. So we simply equate the two sets of equations to get:

Substituting 9 into 10 leads to:

Now Substituting this back into 10 gives us:

Which can be rearranged to solve for u1 to get:

Oops. We started out with an arbitrary choice of velocities u1 and u2, but have still ended up with u1=0, this is mathematically a contradiction and shows that the AD equations do not satisfy the conditions of being a group. The composition of any two AD equations does not produce another transformation, falsifying the theory as a practical theory describing real world events. Its is impossible for two observers to agree on anything they see or do using

Autodynamics except in the rather boring case of u1=0, i.e both at rest. Needless to say this is not a problem that afflicts SR, I leave it as an exercise for the reader to attempt a similar procedure using the SR equations.

Now how do the

ADherents deal with this pretty damning problem? In one of two ways, the first was simply to ignore it, looking at the discussion forums where this type of problem was pointed out to

DdH is quite illuminating. After first being made aware of this problem he produced a new newsgroups policy for the

SAA (Society for the Advancement of

Autodynamics) which prohibited discussion of AD in forums by members, he or one of his sock puppets would then occasionally post some message

extolling the virtues of AD whilst refusing to discuss the problems (in an attempt to attract new converts). I have only seen one argument from the

ADherents disputing this type of analysis which is simply to claim that the

Carezani equations are not transformation equations and that they never claimed that they were, this however spectacularly fails the credibility test when they use them exactly as transformation equations when deriving their equations for kinetic energy (and others) you can see some examples

here (specifically where they go from equations 19 to 21). I could essentially end the discussion here, theory disproved end of story, but there are plenty of other examples of poor science to find in AD, some of which are quite amusing and instructive on how not to formulate a theory.

Figure 3. Illustration of the velocity sum.__Velocity Sum__A simple example of where AD predicts something obviously incorrect in real world situations can be seen by how AD relates the summation of velocities. We will use a simple example here to demonstrate the problem. Imagine we have a situation similar to the one described above, where we have someone on a moving body, say a train, the train moves with velocity V1, the person then throws a ball in the direction the train is moving, with as he sees it velocity V2. The question is, what velocity does a second observer, one stationary on the side of the tracks see? What velocity do they measure for the ball? Well in simple Galilean physics the answer is simple, the velocity observed by the person at rest is the sum of the velocity of the train and the ball. In SR the answer is similar, the derivation is trivial but I'll omit it in the interests of brevity, the SR equation for the velocity sum is:

As we can see an extra factor has appeared V1*V2 / c^2, this factor means that it is impossible for anything to appear to travel faster than the speed of light. Try it, if you pick a velocity for the train of 0.55c and one for the ball of 0.55c, the velocity of the ball observed by someone at rest is only 0.845c not 1.1c. The important point however is the behaviour of this formula at small values of V1 and V2 like we see during our normal lives, in this regime where V1,V2 lt c, the equation above reduces to the simple case V = V1+ V2 exactly as is seen in everyday life. Things are not so rosy in AD land however, their equivalent to the equation above for V1,V2...Vn lt c is:

So in our simple example above, the ball appears to anyone at rest to be travelling at SQRT(10^2 + 10^2) = 14.14 m/s. Oops. Clearly this is nonsense, it contradicts simple experiments you could do yourself at home.

The people at the SAA have many reasons for this problem, none of which is actually true, the real reason seems to be that they derive this relation using the assumption that kinetic energy (the energy due to the motion of an object) is invariant. Of course kinetic energy is not an invariant quantity, how much energy you measure an object to have depends on the relative motion between you and the object. This is another major contradiction in AD, it claims that only the motion between an object and an observer matters then ignores the fact that other observers will have a different relative motion and therefore measure a different kinetic energy for the object. Clearly we can again see that the supposed greatest strength of AD (its single reference frame) is actually its greatest weakness.

__E=mc__^{2}Perhaps the most egregious and obvious contradiction in all of the AD literature (read website) is the way they treat Einstein's most famous equation E=mc^2, which relates the amount of energy contained in mass to the speed of light squared. Throughout much of the website they consistently denigrate E=mc^2, for example check out the poster for DdH's much delayed documentary about AD:

Notice that it says that E does not equal mc^2. Which is good because in AD, E does not equal mc^2. Unfortunately for AD, in the real Universe E does equal mc^2.

Now E=mc^2 is not something that was chosen by Einstein to fit observations, it falls out naturally of SR, the fact that the relation has been measured to be correct time and again is pretty good, because it again provides yet more evidence that SR is right. The problem AD has is that we know E=mc^2 (or something so close we can't tell the difference) is true. For AD to be correct it has to be able to derive E=mc^2 from its own principles. It seems it can't do this, the changes they have made to the Lorentz transforms make this impossible as far as I can tell. To try to hide this fatal problem the ADherents try several tricks such as saying things like:

Carezani is working with some ideas (slowly and sporadically) with energy equal to E = moc^3. (See here.)

and

So, does the famous equation "E=mc^2" survive in Autodynamics? The answer is, currently, yes. Carezani discovered the Autodynamic equations using the same steps as Einstein, simply with a correction. He assumes this equation to be true for now. It may be that the equation for energy and mass equivalence is something different where E = m K where "K" is some constant other than c^2. But for now, it is assumed to be correct. (Here.)

You can't do this! It so obvious its crazy but they still try and get away with it. E=mc^2 is a natural result of SR, AD cannot reproduce it so if AD is correct then E=mc^2 must be wrong, but its not, we know from any number of experiments that it is true. You cannot say you have a theory that replaces and improves on SR and then say that your theory cannot predict how mass and energy are related so you'll just use the result from the theory you have supposedly disproven because you don't have anything better!

But it gets worse, they actually do just this, using E=mc^2 whenever they need to relate mass to energy, they then claim that AD manages to match observations! Its not AD, its SR that's doing any matching!

You may wonder as I have done why after 60 years no one has managed to come up with an AD relation for mass and energy, its certainly one of the most obvious things to do, the answer I suspect, is that they ran into the same result I did, I have had a very brief try at deriving an AD mass energy relation and ended up with a result that appears to be physically meaningless, which could be down to either my maths (hey, astronomer) or the fact that AD is physically meaningless. I will let the reader decide which is more likely. I suggest a challenge to those of mathematical abilities beyond mine (i.e. 12 year olds), can you produce a derivation for the relation between mass and energy in AD? I tend to think that if one existed that wasn't meaningless Carezani would have it by now, without having to resort to laughable guesses like E=mc^3.

NOTE: Thanks to CMB for pointing out a

blindingly obvious problem with E having any dependence other then mc^2 is shown by dimensional analysis. The SI unit of energy is the Joule, which happens to have dimensions of kg m^2 s^(-2) which of course is exactly the same dimensions of mc^2. Carezani's guess of E=mc^3 is of course dimensionally impossible proving yet again how ignorant of basic physics the people at AD are.

This I think is where AD is most easily seen to fall into the crank theory bracket, making one of the most fundamental mistakes you can make in a theory, contradicting yourself. Stating that something is not true (or knowing that it cannot be true according to your theory), then using the fact that it is true elsewhere because you don't have anything better or even worse because you know it is in fact true from experiment. If AD wants to be taken seriously it has to be able to derive E =mc^2 or something like it itself, if as Carezani claims, AD is formulated similarly to SR then it should be simple to show that E=mc^2 is either true or false in AD, why hasn't any of the ADherents done this?

__The Neutrino__Ah the poor neutrino, most innocuous of all the ADherents figures of hate. Yes that's right the ADiots really have it in for the poor neutrino, why? you may ask. Well because the neutrino was first postulated by Pauli to explain beta decay, where a neutron decays into a proton and an electron (and neutrino). It was observed that the energy contained in the observed decay products (electron and proton) did not add up to the amount of energy contained in the neutron, so Pauli postulated that an unobserved particle (the neutrino) must be carrying away some of the energy.

It seems that the irrational

hatred of the neutrino shown by the SAA is a historical hangover of the formulation of AD. AD was originally claimed to have been formulated to explain beta decay without the need to postulate a neutrino. Unfortunately for Carezani the neutrino was first observed in 1956 about ten years after he came up with AD, the neutrino is now convincingly detected everyday in dozens of different experiments leaving the ADiots with one of two routes, to accept that the neutrino exists and try to salvage their theory or the route that they have (after much deliberation I'm sure) chosen, to stick their fingers in their ears and go "la, la, la I'm not listening to you". They ignore all of the vast quantities of data that clearly and convincingly show that neutrinos exist, instead claiming that the detections of neutrinos are either mistaken or fraud. This is of course laughable and ludicrous, some of the experiments done with neutrinos are incredible, they have been detected from

the Sun (if you're wondering what that shows, its a picture of neutrinos from the Sun that have passed

through the Earth), from nuclear power plants, particle accellarators and even

supernovae in other galaxies for Jebus' sake.

Explain this to the ADiots and they simply claim that all detected neutrinos are other misidentified particles, this just doesn't hold water. Especially since experiments such as

MINOS, in this experiment neutrinos produced in a particle accelerator are detected at two locations, one very close to the source of the neutrinos, the other 735km away and 716m underground. Guess what, if you turn off the particle accelarator beam, the signal stops, at both detectors, so what could travel 735km through solid rock without interacting with anything? Hmm, also very fast, near the speed of light, hmm, oh yeah and has the correct properties of spin (as in particle physics spin), charge and lepton number, predicted by looking at the reactions that create the particles? Oh yes thats right the Neutrino.

In simple laymans terms, evidence for the neutrino is now incontrovertable, the fact that AD can apparently explain the energy of one particle reaction, beta decay, without the neutrino must therefore be seen as yet another nail in ADs coffin. This is without even needing to go on and point out that without the neutrino most of the conservation laws of particle physics (spin, lepton number) would not be valid and the entire of particle physics would come crashing down, damn looks like I did point it out.

__Conclusion__So there you have it, only a few of the myriad of ways that Autodynamics fails to reproduce anything that even remotely matches observation. We haven't even touched on the rank hypocrisy of its ADherents yet, accusing SR of inventing particles that don't exist (the neutrino which does), then inventing

two of its own (pico-graviton and electro-muon which don't). Any visitor to the AD literature will see many examples of fuzzy logic, misunderstanding of SR, downright contradiction (repeated statements that AD only applies to decay cases, then an entire page on how everything can be thought of as a decay case). To me the theory stands out as the most complete of crank theories, but crank theory it is.

AD probably made some sense back in the 1940s, if you ignored the fact that it is physically meaningless in the real Universe, its unfortunately a theory that has far outlived any possibility of it being of any use, existing now as far as I can tell only to sell more copies of

books on the subject or

memberships to the SAA.