Einstein versus your smartphone

Einstein’s theory of special relativity contradicts how your smartphone tells time. You are forced to decide whether to trust Einstein or to trust your cell phone, since they contradict one another. If you trust Einstein then you should throw yous smartphone in the trash.

Einstein’s TSR (theory of special relativity) indicates that events that are simultaneous from the viewpoint of one observer, will not be from the viewpoint of another in a different inertial frame. Your smartphone tells time based on the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) established by an international treaty called the CCDS in 1980 coming out of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in St. Cloud, France. They establish the scientific measures used throughout science, and in 1980 their definition of “one second” was based on the idea of absolute simultaneity, meaning all observers will agree on the simultaneity of events. They established a “universal time” that is closer to Isaac Newton’s “absolute time” than it is to Einstein’s lack of simultaneity and lack of meaning of time itself.

Thus your cell phone and Einstein tell time based on opposite assumptions. It is instructive to draw a contrast between the Minkowski manifold (i.e. “spacetime”) in the first diagram.

The Minkowski manifold is incompatible with our smartphones, because the time on our smartphones is the UTC which assumes absolute simultaneity, meaning that no one in any inertial frame (on earth or in orbit around the earth) is living in the future. Everyone is living in the time called “right now.” The Minkowski manifold (right) needs to be replaced with a diagram consistent with the UTC, namely “absolute simultaneity” (below).

Needless to say, if all smartphones agree on the UTC (i.e a UNIVERSAL time), it is displayed to humans in 24 time zones depending on longitude. The UTC is very close to what Isaac Newton called “absolute time.”

It comes down to a question of trust. Do you trust the time displayed on your smartphone, or not. If you do, then you are living in the diagram  immediately to the left, sort of a flattened Minkowski manifold after an elephant stepped on it.

If on the other hand you trust Einstein’s ideas about time from the theory of special relativity, then you are endorsing the Minkowski manifold (top) and you should throw your cell phone away, since it tells time by a method incompatible with your beliefs about time.

Franco Selleri (1936–2013) was an Italian physicist who developed a robust theory of relativity based on Absolute Simultaneity, which is the assumption made by all cell phones and cell towers today, and we have adopted his perspective here. He points out that the whole Minkowski manifold and the misconception of a “spacetime continuum” arose from a mistake Hendrik Lorentz made in 1904 when he included the variable “x” in an equation for time dilation, and never even explained why he did something so illogical: time dilates with velocity and gravitation, but not with distance (“x”).