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Introduction

I've been reading a book called PsychoPhysics, part of the "Illuminati God Series" by Mike Hockney (a pseudonym). Without getting into too much detail, they basically believe that the theory of relativity is wrong.

From the marketing blurb:

One hundred percent of scientists think that Einstein’s special theory of relativity is correct. One hundred percent of scientists are wrong. Isn’t that astounding? Why is it so hard for scientists to see the blatant errors in Einstein’s logic?

I am not here to argue this statement however! (I assume that most people on this site would blatantly disagree, and I am definitely not trying to be a troll here. Indeed, I am a skeptic myself).

Question

However, what I am interested in finding out is if anyone can refute one of the concrete predictions made by this "illuminism" model. They believe that any length contraction due to traveling close to the speed of light is an actual absolute contraction experienced by the person moving near light speed, and is not just an "illusion" as perceived by the person at rest. From Kindle location 725:

Take two objects, one travelling through space at 0.866 of light speed and the other at 0.5 of light speed....These respective speeds are associated with absolute, not relative length contraction and time dilation. A person travelling at close to light speed through space would be physically contracted, and die. They could not regard themselves as stationary and non-contracted, as Einstein claimed.

In other words, if we could simply take a person, or some macro object like a cat, an insect, or possibly even a protein molecule, accelerate them close to the speed of light (say 0.5c), and if that object is literally crushed, then this would back their theory and refute relativity. If the person lived, then even they admit it would 100% refute their theory.

Caveats

At first I thought there should be plenty of macro objects that meet this criteria. However, keep in mind the following:

  • Atomic particles don't count since they're not composed of constituent parts, and thus, cannot break apart.
  • While there are objects as large as galaxies that are known to be receding from us and at speeds actually greater than the speed of light, this is due to the fabric of spacetime itself stretching and not due to "real" relative motion.
  • I would think that any macro-molecule accelerated to a significant portion of the speed of light due to falling into a black hole wouldn't count, as any breaking up could be explained by Spaghettification from gravitational tidal forces.

Ideally, I would think a star or planet that we know to be moving quickly relative to us, but not due to red-shifting of space, would be a good answer.

However, even here, this would be problematic as:

  • A star is composed of gas and could be compressed without harm (?)
  • A planet would be great, but we wouldn't be able to see it.

Conclusion

I was unable to come up with something that matched the criteria. It would be best if we could just simply perform the experiment directly, but the closest we have is the CERN collider, and my guess is that only accelerates atomic particles.

Can anyone else think of something? Once again, I'm not interested in arguing the merits of relativity, or the lack of merits of this theory, just any sort of concrete object that would refute this model. The validity of Relatively, from the scientific perspective, is beyond doubt in my opinion, so need to argue about that.

Many Thanks

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  • $\begingroup$ A star is more fluid than gas though. And there have been sightings of stars zooming around at high speeds. I cannot provide a citation since I myself forgot where I read it from. $\endgroup$ – Horus Oct 1 '15 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ If one exerts a force to the back of an object large enough, then it is possible to kill the. If one where to exert a force uniformly across the body however, then there should be no problem at all. $\endgroup$ – Horus Oct 1 '15 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ How are atomic particles not composed of constituent parts? Atoms consist of protons, neutrons and electrons, and even protons and neutrons are made up of quarks. It's the same thing (kind of), only stronger binding forces. That's exactly what they're breaking up in particle accelerators. $\endgroup$ – Lu Kas Oct 23 '15 at 15:28
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The fastest star we have found in our galaxy is moving at about 745 miles per second. This pretty much eliminates our ability at the present time of observing macro objects not stars or galaxies moving at a significant fraction of light speed. The fastest stuff observed outside of a particle accelerator is a proton jet from a blazar clocked at 99.9 lightspeed.

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A person traveling at 0.86 $c$ would not contract in his own frame. He would not contract at all. His body would be the same as if he were traveling at 0.0 m/s. He would not be crushed.

Distant galaxies are receding from us at relativistic speeds. They look just fine. Their internal physics is the same as for our own galaxy.

Throw that book in the trash.

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  • $\begingroup$ But isn't the distant galaxy phenomenon due to space time stretching physicsforums.com/threads/… $\endgroup$ – vt5491 Oct 1 '15 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ Well, that does make the issue a little less clear. Addressing the link you cite: The distance now between galaxies is growing faster than the speed of light, where "now" means that the same amount of time has elapsed since the big bang as measured by clocks on each galaxy. However, the light we see from galaxies ... and hence the physics we observe ... originated a long time ago, often billions of years ago when they were much closer. When we observe them today, we observe that they are receding from us at less than the speed of light. $\endgroup$ – garyp Oct 3 '15 at 0:45
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    $\begingroup$ Note also that special relativity is tested millions, probably billions of times every day at particle accelerators around the world. There has never been a deviation detected. You may recall recently that the result of only one potentially contrary experiment that showed that neutrinos might travel faster than light made headline news around the world. (That result has since been attributed to experimental error) There's no reason at all to abandon S.R. The properties of the very fast particles produced in those devices is exactly the behavior that they exhibit in their rest frames. $\endgroup$ – garyp Oct 3 '15 at 0:51
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Yes, As the following article explains jupiter sized objects at speed close to light

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  • $\begingroup$ This articles talks about a Jupiter sized object traveling at 1200 km/ sec. Speed of light is 300000 km / sec. Thus the object is moving at less than one percent the speed of light. It does talk about gas being ejected at close to light speed, but gas is not a solid object, so it could never be "torn apart" $\endgroup$ – vt5491 Oct 1 '15 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ Gas molecules get torn apart all the time in the plasma in your fluorescent light bulb. $\endgroup$ – garyp Oct 3 '15 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ hmm, that's an interesting point. I never thought about about the possibility of an atom being reduced to a plasma. Or for that matter, a gas like 02 that is composed of two oxygen atoms being separated. And certainly we know that gas molecules, at close to the speed of light, are not torn apart, so that would refute their theory. However, I don't know if the book authors would qualify this as "big" enough. They don't go into much detail other than to say a human being would be compressed. I'm not even really quite sure why they feel absolute space would lead to compression. $\endgroup$ – vt5491 Oct 6 '15 at 4:55

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