Bulletin Board
Rants, Raves, Interesting Science & Awful Puns
July 30, 2002

Relativity Queries

Two Principles Contradicted by GPS

I've received several queries recently concerning the items that I post from time to time suggesting that Relativity might not be as firmly based as we're confidently assured it is. The most frequent request is for further information on the subject. Well, as a reminder, I posted a selection of suggested starting sources in a piece called QUESTIONING RELATIVITY -- Some places to Start, dated May 17, 1999. We are in the process of converting the web site to be supported from a database, after which this kind of thing will be far more easily retrievable via the Site Index.

In the meantime, I received several interesting papers by Ruyong Wang at St.Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, discussing how the observed operation of the Global Positioning System violates two of Special Relativity Theory's (SRT) fundamental principles.

Basically, GPS equations show that (1) Signal speed is independent of the sources translational motion relative to the Earth-Centered Inertial (ECI) frame if the receiver is stationary. (2) Speed is dependent on the receiver's translational motion relative to the ECI frame if the source is stationary. (3) Speeds are different for reference frames moving uniformly relative to the ECI.

Therefore, the ECI frame is a preferred frame near the Earth, contradicting the principles of there being no preferred frame, and of the constancy of the velocity of light. (In line, however, with alternative models described in the sources above, in which the Earth's gravitational or magnetic field in face constitutes a local "ether" that the speed of light is constant with respect to.)

The papers provide designs for experimental tests based on the GPS equations, which the author predicts will falsify the two principles of SRT. If confirmed, this would provide the basis for a new form of inertial navigation from measuring speed relative to the local preferred frame directly.

Ruyong Wang. "Successful GPS Operations Contradict the Two Principles of Special Relativity and Imply a New Way for Inertial Navigation C Measuring Speed Directly." Proceedings of IAIN World Congress in association with the U.S. ION Annual Meeting, June 26-28, 2000, San Diego, CA., pp. 90-99

Ruyong Wang. "Re-examine the Two Principles of Special Relativity and the Sagnac Effect Using GPS's Range Measurement Equation." Proceedings of IEEE 2000 Position Location and Navigation Symposium (IEEE Catalog Number: 00CH37062), San Diego, CA., March 13-16, 2000, pp. 612-619

Ruyong Wang. "From the triangle Sagnac experiment to a practical crucial experiment of the constancy of the speed of light using atomic clocks on moving objects," Europhysics Letters, 43 (6), pp. 611-616, September 15, 1998

Dr. Wang tells me that he would be happy to receive any further queries directly. You can visit his Web site, or send e-mail to him at RUWang@stcloudstate.edu.

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