Эйнштейн 3

Why did Einstein make a mistake in interpreting the red shift

Experiment, Gravitational Redshift

When I realized that within the general theory of relativity, light flies out of the field of attraction WITHOUT LOSING energy and frequency, I decided to find out what the general relativity proponents think about this. Gradually I got to the source. This is an article by Albert Einstein “On the influence of gravity on the propagation of light”, published in 1911. Here are two pages entirely from the Russian translation of this article (pages 170 and 171, volume 1 of the famous four-volume book):

Эйнштейн 1

Эйнштейн 2

Here is the essence. First, Einstein applies the equivalence principle to a gravitational field and concludes that there must be the redshift effect. This conclusion is correct, and subsequently it was confirmed experimentally. Then Einstein analyzes this conclusion and comes to a new conclusion: time slows down in a gravitational field. This conclusion is erroneous. Let’s see Einstein’ reasoning.

First he exclaims, “How can the frequency change?” (first underscore on page 171)

It becomes clear that Einstein imagines light as an ordinary classical wave. The frequency of an ordinary classical wave does not really change with motion. For example, someone knocks on the drum 1 time in 1 second. Anyone who hears this sound should hear it with a frequency of 1 Hertz. It’s clear. Even if the energy of a classical wave is weakened a thousand times, its frequency will remain the same. The light is a different matter. Imagine an electromagnetic wave that moves from the Earth to the Moon. The vectors of electric and magnetic fields are connected with this wave. These vectors rotate in a plane perpendicular to the direction of motion. The frequency of this rotation is the frequency of light. Nothing prevents these vectors from spinning faster or slower. Moreover, energy of the light wave depends directly on the frequency of rotation. Therefore, if the light flies out from a gravitational field, it loses its energy, and its frequency MUST decrease.

Thus, based on an incorrect analogy, Einstein concludes that time slows down in a gravitational field.

We can add that in 1905 Einstein suggested that light is a stream of particles – photons. It was for this discovery that he received the Nobel Prize in 1921. If light is a stream of particles, then it is clear that this is not a classical wave. However, Einstein “forgets” about his discovery and uses the ideas of crests and minima (second underscoring on page 171).

The error of Einstein is forgivable. No one in his time knew about the surprises of quantum objects and about their strange behavior. All scientists thought in terms of classical waves. But now quantum mechanics has appeared. Scientists realized that light consists of photons. The photon frequency is directly related to its energy. How did they react to Einstein’s conclusion after that?

I’ll tell about it in the next publication.

Leave a Reply