From WikiWorld

Jump to: navigation, search

The Case of the Electron Collision

You and I are traveling separately through space, each at rest with respect to an electron. You can think of the electron as cold and dark, because it has no kinetic energy.

You see me coming at you at high speed, my electron is hot with kinetic energy and shoots a photon at your electron and blows it off into oblivion.

Then I sue you for coming at me like a bat out of hell and your hot electron blowing my electron off into oblivion.

The judge rules it to be a no fault collision. No photon went either way. The simple fact was that the two electrons simply excluded one another. Space was manifest between them imparting a velocity between them. All distant witnesses that saw us approaching one another agree. We are both judged liars and found guilty of perjury.

Which way did it go?

Now wait a second. If the speed of light is constant, shouldn't we be able to say which way it went?

No, it is constant for you and constant for me, but it has no absolute direction at all. It depends on your window of observation. All observers that we can conceive of in our epoch of the universe agree on the direction most higher energy photons on ordinary and larger scales. Usually we can say definitely with way it was and anyone who disagrees is not in our observable universe.

Doesn't that imply that you can go back in time following the reverse photon? No, the time separation of things in space is always positive and proportional to distance, d/c.

This thought experiment is key to understanding how to model the emergence of the classical from the quantum. To consider an unpreferred observer we are not concerned with the perspective of the microcosm participants, but instead with the composite effects manifest to the outside world.

The LightCones of you, me, and the distant observers disagree. This disagreement manifests independent ReferenceFrames.

Personal tools