The Light Clock vs Ring Gryo
The Article on Light Clocks describes a ring laser gyro, in which the
"time unit" of the clock varies depending on which path around the circle light
is taking. The author seems to be completely ignorant of this basic technology, and the
Sagnac experiment performed in 1913 upon which such gyros are based.
Dr. Siepmann responds:
I appreciate Curt Renshaw's concern as others may confuse the concept of
the light clock1 with a laser ring gyro. Actually the concept in the paper
"The Light Clock: A New Method for Measuring True Time," goes far beyond the
basic assumptions of the laser ring gyro. For those who are not familiar with the laser
ring gyro, it is basically an enclosed structure with a number of mirrors which reflect
the laser in a closed path of 360 degrees (which is why it is often referred
to as a
"ring"). The beam is detected by a photo diode and then the rate of the object's
rotation is calculated by a signal processor. The laser ring gyro has become increasingly
popular with the the aerospace industry and the military over the last two decades with
the use of high speed jets and spacecraft and there are dozens of patents on it over the
last two decades.
The only similarities between the two devices is that they both use light
in a closed path. That's where the similarities end. The laser ring gyro assumes the based
upon the speed of light being constant (though not an essential component
as it mainly uses
light frequency variation) but the light clock uses the new concept that the speed of
light is not constant for a distant observer in a different frame of reference.
The light clock uses the laser only to measure the time needed to travel a
set distance and thereby deriving time (c/d=t where "c" here equals the
objective speed of light2) whereas the laser ring gyro uses the variation in
frequency to determine the rate of rotation. The light clock does not need a single
frequency source like the LRG. The light clock is used to measure time whereas the laser
ring gyro is used to determine rate of rotation. Though the light clock would make a good
timepiece normally, its importance is in determining whether the speed of light is really
constant and if the speed of light is indeed relative then (while time really is
constant), then the light clock will be accurate under any relativistic situations or
frames of reference. If true as I expect it will be then the light clock is quite a
remarkable concept and invention.
Contrary to common assumption, there have been no experiments to prove
that the speed of light is constant under relativistic circumstances to a distant
observer. Also the handful of experiments which seem to show that the time is relative
have had some major design flaws (i.e.. that length contraction does not affect the
mechanics of the clock on an atomic level1,2; that light is one-way isotropic3).
Dr. JP Siepmann
1. Siepmann JP, Journal of Theoretics, Vol. 1 No.1,
Clock: A New Method of Measuring True Time."
2. Siepmann JP, Journal of Theoretics, Vol. 1 No. 1, "The Laws of Space and Observation."
3. Jones BD, Journal of Theoretics, Vol. 1 No. 1,
"A Method for
Determining Distant Simultaneity and Whether Light is One-way Isotropic."