Einstein discovered the first compelling explanation of how a constant speed of light c can be valid across observers who are in motion relative to each other – a contradiction-in-terms at first sight. He assumed one light cone, two cuts through it, and sacrificed global simultaneity. This superhuman feat he accomplished in 1905.
Two and a half years later, however, he saw himself forced to conclude that in a situation described by the very same theory – special relativity with its global c –, c is no longer globally constant. An illogicity.
For three-and-a-half years he would thereafter drop his favorite topic. He only took it up again after he had become a Professor ordinarius at Prague. But he could not repair the damage: Eventually the self-contradictory result that he had shied away from became part of the theory of general relativity three more years later.
The latter theory nevertheless is done with so much care that its root – special relativity – remains palpable. This follows from the fact that the most important solution to the final Einstein field equation, the Schwarzschild metric, can be written in a form which obeys c-global. This new result got accepted for publication in 2007, was put on the web in 2008 and appeared in print in 2012.
So far no one has been strong enough to write down the global-c transform also of the full Einstein equation itself. This feat will be most rewarding to achieve because it will unify general relativity and quantum mechanics – the holy grail of physics for 90 years.
Now the two little drawbacks attached to c-global: (1) No cosmic expansion and no Big Bang any more. This is not a counter-argument for once since an independent result – cryodynamics, the new sister discipline to thermodynamics – has already rehabilitated Zwicky’s “tired-light theory” of 1929. This loss of the most popular scientific paradigm does not help to make c-global the most best-selling finding. (2) Black holes become voracious at all sizes. The giant black holes at the centers of galaxies now form only the end of a ladder which begins with the smallest specimens that were previously believed to “Hawking evaporate.” c-global thus extends the exponential growth law of black holes inside matter down to the smallest specimens. Einstein’s popular successor in the second half of the 20th century is therefore challenged by the return to the young Einstein.
Two popular scientific paradigms (Big Bang, Hawking evaporation) being challenged in one stroke by the return to the young Einstein: This makes for two reasons to ignore c-global, does it not? Under ordinary circumstances, this advice could be given: Why not wait and see? Scientific revolutions are rare and far between and the future has a long breath.
Now my excuse why this story is brought to the attention of the reader: If c-global is correct, as Einstein hoped to be true until mid-1911, then a certain currently running terrestrial experiment is counter-advisable. You can guess that it is the biggest and most prestigious experiment ever: the one which attempts to produce artificial miniature black holes down on earth.
This experiment is the most expensive peace-time experiment ever with ten thousand actively participating physicists, in an international institution endowed with sister status to the United Nations itself, and with Germany as the strongest member. This experiment has already won a Nobel Prize for the discovery of the Higgs boson. No better credentials ever existed for an experiment-in-progress.
Only one blemish sticks: The experiment’s latest Safety Report (compiled by the LHC Scientific Assessment Group LSAG) is out of date by seven years by now – long before c-global was published. It is maximally daring because it is producing for 2 ½ months by now a growing number of events in which twice the energy density of the hottest event ever on any celestial body in the whole cosmos is realized – on earth.
Humankind is justly proud of this uniquest of achievements in cosmic history: the 14-TeV LHC experiment near Geneva. CERN could draw more public appreciation from this uniqueness: they are the cosmic champions at ten times above the Higgs level.
The historical fact that the experiment’s ten thousand scientists voted for or agreed to non-renewing the 7 years old Safety Report before doubling the cosmic-record resident energy density only underlines the historical dimension of this most impressive peace-time effort of humankind since the Egyptian pyramids.
Only the fact that it is Einstein’s – the less than 32 years old Einstein’s – theory which calls for a renewal-in-time of the experiment’s outdated Safety Report can be adduced to justify the fact that the present historical account can be published on the web at a maximally remote corner to date.
I apologize for having so clumsily summarized the most dramatic scientific detective story of history for you. It is absolutely understandable that the media have made up their mind to put a globe-wide curfew over this story. In particular the prediction that even the most miniature black holes grow exponentially once stuck inside matter could stir the public’s imagination at a time when collective fears must be kept from an unruly planet.
If the planet possessed a right to hear the above detective story, it would also have the right to hold global elections on the web in the footsteps of the South-African constitution. No war would from then on be possible any more. This although the standards of living would not – apart from the rescued poorest – change fast over the foreseeable future much as in South Africa. The honesty achieved would thus not be paradise but it would be the beginning of a wonderful future. Potentially earth-killing experiments would then no longer need to be kept from public awareness. And who knows: Maybe the elder Einstein was really smarter than the younger one after all? Everyone is waiting for the renewed LSAG safety report in the hope that it will reveal the answer to this existential question.