Frames of Reference

Who Let the Frames Out?
Who, who, who, who, who?

h/t Baha Men

Science history is chock full of small to medium wrong turns and corrections. Occasionally science goes off track on a long bender. In such cases, we call the course correction a paradigm shift. This episode of PBS Space Time covers a topic at the heart of all theories of nature — their space and time transformation geometries required to get our bearings between reference frames. Thankfully there is a new big dog in reference frames — the absolute frame.

This 2015 episode by host Matt O’Dowd contains the solution to the universe yet requires a transformer toy re-arrangement to solve 150 years of mixup and confusion. Classic first line : “Does the speed of light actually have anything to do, … with light?!” No it has everything to do with the speed of the electric potential, which is what Matt says. A key point Matt makes is that the speed of causality determines the speed of light, i.e., photons. Now, as you will see, I think this concept of the speed of the electric potential being the speed of causality is somewhat flawed. Sure action occurs due to the potential emission fields which expand spherically at v = @, but what has been missed is that point charges can travel at speeds v > @, under certain conditions.

This begs the question of why is what Matt calls the speed of causality the same as the speed of light? These are my ideas :

  • A point charge assembly emerges that we call the photon,
  • Electric potential fields emitted by point charges travel at velocity v = @,
  • The photon “surfs” it’s own potential field, slowing in the vicinity of high mass-energy density,
  • The photon velocity approaches v = @ as a group.
  • Point charges themselves can take on velocities v > @.
  • Needless to say, this throws the whole discussion of causality for a loop.

Here are swaths from the transcript, with commentary.

So what is it about the speed of light that’s so special?
Why does the universe seem to conspire to
1) keep photons from traveling at any speed but 300,000 kilometers per second in a vacuum, according to any observer,
2) and keep anything from traveling faster than that speed?
The answer: this statement is false, or at least backwards.
The universe doesn’t arrange itself to keep the speed of light constant.
In fact, spacetime couldn’t care less about light.
The cosmic speed limit is about something much deeper.
This universal constant is, perhaps more accurately, the ‘speed of causality’

Matt O’Dowd

Matt cleverly asks why photon velocity is fixed. It is very difficult to observe any action faster than the speed of the electromagnetic field, considering we are observing with photons and we are talking about point charges which can exceed their own field speed. Is it possible that the degree of freedom for point charges to exceed the speed of electromagnetic field is essential to structure assembly and selection?

Causal connections give us the only ordering of events that all observers will agree on.
Why must causality have a maximum speed?
Why is that speed the same as the speed of light?
[Examine] two of the most important insights in physics ever.
First, 1632 — Galileo’s ‘Principle of Relativity’.
This is not Einstein’s Relativity, but, the brilliant precursor.
Not only is Earth or, indeed, any other location not special,
but Galileo posits that no velocity is special, either.
All experiments should give the same results regardless of the velocity of your non-accelerating, or inertial, frame of reference.
This Galilean Relativity is an incredible insight that Isaac Newton would later codify into his Laws of Motion.

Matt O’Dowd
  • It turns out that Galileo was wrong.
  • Absolute velocity really does matter.
  • The absolute velocity of a point charge influences the geometry of it’s electric potential emissions stream.
  • The absolute velocity of a point charge influences the action upon it from each coincident electric potential sphere and their gradients.
  • When v=0 it is a special connection to Euclidean time and space as the point charge path is fixed in space.

James Clerk Maxwell, described the electromagnetic phenomenon elegantly. Newton’s mechanics, various other awesome theories. And there’s this sense that physics might be done, except there are hints of something horribly wrong lurking in the math. The first clues to the bizarre quantum nature of reality had emerged. Maxwell’s equations had cast confusion on the sacred Galilean Relativity. In fact, we now know that even Newton’s mechanics were using assumptions that implied an infinite speed of light, which is really bad. It would imply that space and time and matter don’t exist.

PBS Space Time – paraphrased for brevity

The Liénard Wiechert potentials are described as emanating from point charges. I am proposing that if we SPLIT THE QUANTUM into equal and opposite point charges emitting Dirac sphere potentials that everything will be much more understandable. Your math will still work. Your observations will stand. However, there is much to be learned from the nature of point charges.

Once we split the quantum, now you can start thinking about velocity of the point charges above or below the speed of the electromagnetic potential. There does not appear to be a fundamental law that individual point charges have a velocity limit.

I don’t see anything in Maxwell’s equations that discusses point charges with velocity v > @ where @ is the speed of the electromagnetic potential. Just think about that for a moment. Imagine you are driving and a potential field is emanating from your car at 1 mph or 1 kph. Of course you can pass that potential field. You can drive all around on highways and side-streets and create a history that may or may not wash over you at some point. It’s weird to think about and we can’t just schmear it over as a field. Doing so loses information.

First, let me explain the issue with Maxwell’s equations.
Imagine a pony on roller blades with a monkey skateboarding along its back.
And make it an electric monkey.
Why? Well, magnetism comes from moving electric charges.
So an electric skater monkey on a rollerblading pony generates a magnetic field, obviously.
And I can figure out the field strength from Maxwell’s equations based on what I see is the monkey’s total velocity.
But what is that velocity?
Galileo and Newton tell us that total monkey speed equals pony blade speed plus monkey skate speed.

But what if this very clever pony also solves Maxwell’s equations?
She sees the monkey moving at only monkey skate speed, and so gets a totally different magnetic field.

So who’s right, me or the pony?
The key lies in what we actually measure.
We don’t measure magnetic field.
We measure its effect.
We measure force.
And the pony measures the same force that I do.
There’s a velocity-dependent trade-off between the electric and magnetic fields.
The two work together to give you the same electromagnetic — the Lorentz — force, regardless of reference frame.
This tells us that the electromagnetic force holds clues to the fundamental interplay between space, time, and velocity.
It’s going to be encoded in the transformation that will allow Maxwell’s equations to jump seamlessly between reference frames — the transformation that represents space and time in our reality.

PBS Space Time – paraphrased for brevity
PBS Space Time

But it turns out that there’s no way to write out Maxwell’s equations so
that they give consistent results under the Galilean transformation.
They aren’t invariant to that transformation.
They sort of give the right force at low speeds, but the fields are a mess.
And at high speeds — forget about it.
So does this mean Maxwell was wrong?
No, it means that Galilean transformation is wrong.
The transformation underpinning Newton’s mechanics is wrong.
The only transformation that works is called the Lorentz transformation.
And it was discovered even before Einstein’s Relativity.
But it was Einstein who realized that the Lorentz transformation tells us how space and time are connected and that it also predicts the speed of causality.
Now, you can get to this transformation the way Lorentz and Einstein did by requiring a constant speed of light. But forget about the speed of light.
This transformation is so profound that it is inevitable based on a few simple statements about the nature of space and time.
First, we’re not going to pretend that we know how velocities add.
We don’t know that, “total monkey speed equals pony blade speed plus monkey skate speed.”
Why would you assume such as a thing?
Next, no preferred inertial reference frame.
Under our new transformation, the laws of physics will work the same regardless of position, orientation, or velocity.
It doesn’t matter where the pony is, how fast it’s going, or in what direction it’s skating.
This must be true.
The Earth is whizzing around the sun, the sun around the Milky Way.
Position, orientation, and velocity are changing massively.
Yet our experiments don’t seem to care about that.
Finally, assume that the universe make sense.
Require that we can consistently transform between reference frames.
I should be able to use the same transformation to get to the monkey’s frame as I use to get to the pony’s frame just by using the different velocities.
I should be able to jump consistently through multiple frames of reference and back again.
E.g., I can go to the monkey’s frame by first going to the pony’s frame, and then going from pony to monkey.
And I can also get back to my frame by putting a minus sign on the velocities.
Essentially, we’re just requiring basic consistency in how the dimensions work.
The result is the Lorentz transformation.
It’s the only one that satisfies all of these pretty fundamental statements about the relativity, symmetry, and consistency of our universe.
It must describe our reality.
And therefore, there must be a cosmic speed limit. Why?
This absolute speed limit — let’s call it ‘c’ — is the one parameter defining the Lorentz transformation.
Through this parameter, the Lorentz transformation predicts the cosmic speed limit.
Now, the Galilean transformation turns out just to be a special case of the Lorentz transformation where c equals infinity.
And, just from the symmetry and relativity arguments that we made, c could be infinity.
But for other reasons — still unrelated to light — we know that it cannot be.
The Lorentz transformation finally allows us to write down a version of Maxwell’s equation that is invariant to transformation.
We can write down one law for electromagnetism that works in all frames of reference.
This is further evidence that our new transformation accurately describes our reality.
But it only works for a very specific value of c.
That value has to be a combination of the fundamental constants of Maxwell’s equations.
For the laws of electricity and magnetism to work,
we need a finite maximum cosmic speed, even without considering light.
But check this out: the exact same combination that gives us the cosmic speed limit also happens to define the speed of propagation of electromagnetic waves — the speed of light.
c is the speed of light. But it’s the speed of causality first.
It’s the maximum speed at which any two parts of the universe can talk to each other.
In fact, it’s the maximum speed at which any observers can see two parts of the universe talk to each other.
Because of this, it’s the only speed that any massless particle can travel.
So lights or photons, also gravitational waves and gluons, all have no mass.
And so they travel at the maximum possible speed.
Mass is an impediment to motion.
No mass, no impediment.
So massless things go as fast as it’s possible to go.
In fact, the very existence of mass and space and time tells us that the universal speed limit is finite.
Einstein’s interpretation of the meaning of the Lorentz transformation
gives us the Special Theory of Relativity — time dilation, length contraction,
and, of course, mass to energy equivalence, as described by the famous equation, E=mc².

PBS Space Time

I’m going to skip over the comments on mass because mass is poorly understood by science. Mass is merely a proxy for apparent energy. We have to consider mass in the context of point charge structures. Point charge structures come in a variety of forms, including the photon which appears massless, as well as the neutrino which has an oscillating mass. Suffice it to say that these are all easy to explain from the perspective of point charge structures.

Bakugan Tranformer Toy

The Galilean transformation imagines nature and the universe as being built upon Euclidean space and time. This was directionally on track, but largely because science hadn’t truly reached the technology level to investigate space and time at incredibly small and extremely high energy scales.

The Lorentz transformation was an advancement in effective theory, because it successfully modeled spacetime at scale. However, the ontological error is that the Lorentzian behavour actually has a root cause. It’s not just an abstract geometry. Lorentzian behaviour is a result of everything observable being based upon Noether cores (nested tri-dipoles). Since we, our instruments, photons, everything else, including spacetime aether are based on Noether cores, our perspective is distorted.

Yet it goes even deeper. Noether cores are a simple embodiment of point charge behaviour. So even in high energy reactions where Noether core dipoles might decay, nothing has really changed — nature is simply point charges responding to coincident fields from all other point charges, and in some cases, themselves.

Let’s take a brief look at the major reference frame transformation concepts and then try to build a primitive taxonomy table.

In physics, a Galilean transformation is used to transform between the coordinates of two reference frames which differ only by constant relative motion within the constructs of Newtonian physics. These transformations together with spatial rotations and translations in space and time form the inhomogeneous Galilean group. Without the translations in space and time the group is the homogeneous Galilean group. The Galilean group is the group of motions of Galilean relativity acting on the four dimensions of space and time, forming the Galilean geometry. This is the passive transformation point of view.

In special relativity the homogenous and inhomogenous Galilean transformations are, respectively, replaced by the Lorentz transformations and Poincaré transformations; conversely, the group contraction in the classical limit c → ∞ of Poincaré transformations yields Galilean transformations.


Lorentz transformations in special relativity take advantage of the fact that there is no acceleration. Thus length contraction is in only one dimension. That is why v, aka s’, is considered only one parameter, rather than three, i.e. x’, y’, z’. Also, it seems intuitive to me that there should be an upper limit to the Lorentz factor based on the Planck frequency, but I haven’t seen a treatment on that.

The Poincaré group, named after Henri Poincaré (1906), was first defined by Hermann Minkowski as the group of Minkowski spacetime isometries. It is a ten-dimensional non-abelian Lie group that is of importance as a model in our understanding the most basic fundamentals of physics.

A Minkowski spacetime isometry has the property that the interval between events is left invariant. For example, if everything were postponed by two hours, including the two events and the path you took to go from one to the other, then the time interval between the events recorded by a stop-watch you carried with you would be the same. Or if everything were shifted five kilometres to the west, or turned 60 degrees to the right, you would also see no change in the interval. It turns out that the proper length of an object is also unaffected by such a shift. A time or space reversal (a reflection) is also an isometry of this group.


In physics, the principle of relativity is the requirement that the equations describing the laws of physics have the same form in all admissible frames of reference.

For example, in the framework of special relativity the Maxwell equations have the same form in all inertial frames of reference. In the framework of general relativity the Maxwell equations or the Einstein field equations have the same form in arbitrary frames of reference.

Several principles of relativity have been successfully applied throughout science, whether implicitly (as in Newtonian mechanics) or explicitly (as in Albert Einstein’s special relativity and general relativity).


Newtonian MechanicsGeneral RelativityPoint Charge Universe and
Absolute Relativity
Base GeometryEuclidean space and timeEinstein’s spacetimeEuclidean time and space Absolute frame velocity = 0.
No specified frame origin.
No specified unit of time.
No specified unit of distance.
Positive and negative unit potential impulses (Dirac deltas).
Transformational Geometry“The Galilean group is the group of motions of Galilean relativity acting on the four dimensions of space and time, forming the Galilean geometry. This is the passive transformation point of view.”General relativity is the geometric theory of gravitation. General relativity generalizes special relativity and refines Newton’s law of universal gravitation, providing a unified description of gravity as a geometric property of space and time or four-dimensional spacetime. In particular, the curvature of spacetime is directly related to the energy and momentum of whatever matter and radiation are present. The relation is specified by the Einstein field equations, a system of second order partial differential equations.Point charges emit a spherical Dirac delta electric potential with scalar value 0 at r = 0 and 1/r for r > 0. Point charge action is determined by the superposition of all incident point charge emissions, including the self. We call these the scalar and vector potential.
Where is the geometry implementedIt seems like more of an abstraction than an implementation.

This was a long search in many fields to push the frontier of understanding down through molecules, atoms, protons, neutrons, and electrons and even into quantum mechanics much of which is done using a classical frame of reference.
It is a property of the spacetime geometry. There is no implementation.At the point of action. for all point charges in response to the superposition of all coincident electric potential Dirac spheres.

Point charge path history through time and space depends entirely on dynamical point charge geometry and causal action.
Geometry DetailHomogeneous Galilean group
+ constant relative motion
+ spatial rotations
Special relativity : Lorentz transformations
Six parameters (txyz, v, c)
Reality is in the absolute frame.

Reality is determined by for all point charges in response to the Dirac spheres from all path history.
Geometry DetailInhomogeneous Galilean group
+ translations in space and time
+ constant relative motion
+ spatial rotations
Special relativity : Poincaré transformations
a ten-dimensional non-abelian Lie group
Reality is in the absolute frame.

Reality is determined by for all point charges in response to the Dirac spheres from all path history.
Geometry DetailIn Minkowski space (i.e., ignoring the effects of gravity), there are ten degrees of freedom of the isometries, which may be thought of as translation through time or space (four degrees, one per dimension); reflection through a plane (three degrees, the freedom in orientation of this plane); or a “boost” in any of the three spatial directions (three degrees).

Composition of transformations is the operation of the Poincaré group, with proper rotations being produced as the composition of an even number of reflections.
In classical physics, the Galilean group is a comparable ten-parameter group that acts on absolute time and space. Instead of boosts, it features shear mappings to relate co-moving frames of reference.
There is a true velocity in Euclidean time and space and perhaps it can best be expressed in reference to the speed of the electric potential emitted by the charge. This makes it self-referential and again requires nothing of Euclidean time and space.

What we might think of as moving in spacetime is really moving in relation to the r = 0 potential or coordinates. This means there is such a thing as v=0 in absolution time and space.

This means that some things are not just relativity. The absolute velocity of an object is a factor.

How did we get here? In the 1920’s, quantum mechanics slammed on the brakes, screeched to a halt, and pulled up short of the goal. They detected the quantum of energy, implemented by the frequency of two opposite point charges orbiting each other. How is it possible they missed that the real quantum is the point charge, the unit positive and negative potentials? Think about that. Science racing towards the root cause of nature and the search screeches to a halt on a behaviour that we now know is caused by a pair of point charges. It turns out it took a century to discover the true quantum is defined by individual point charges.

Once the true basis of nature is understood as individual point charges it becomes clear that the absolute frame of references, Euclidean time and space, is the proper frame of nature. Sure, we can overlay other frames in cases where transformations aid the science, but in all cases those should be expressable as transformations from the absolute frame. It truly matters because describing point charge behaviour, especially in point charge structures, is the reason these other reference frames are of interest.

A more esoteric, yet relevant transformation is the AdS-CFT correspondence.

In theoretical physics, the anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory correspondence, is a conjectured relationship between two kinds of physical theories. On one side are anti-de Sitter spaces (AdS) which are used in theories of quantum gravity, formulated in terms of string theory or M-theory. On the other side of the correspondence are conformal field theories (CFT) which are quantum field theories, including theories similar to the Yang–Mills theories that describe elementary particles.

The duality represents a major advance in the understanding of string theory and quantum gravity. This is because it provides a non-perturbative formulation of string theory with certain boundary conditions and because it is the most successful realization of the holographic principle, an idea in quantum gravity originally proposed by Gerard ‘t Hooft and promoted by Leonard Susskind.

It also provides a powerful toolkit for studying strongly coupled quantum field theories. Much of the usefulness of the duality results from the fact that it is a strong-weak duality: when the fields of the quantum field theory are strongly interacting, the ones in the gravitational theory are weakly interacting and thus more mathematically tractable. This fact has been used to study many aspects of nuclear and condensed matter physics by translating problems in those subjects into more mathematically tractable problems in string theory.


This is a tragedy-comedy. In hindsight one might have said, hold on a second, if both your classes of extremely complicated theories map to each other, does that provide a clue that there may be a simple geometry that also maps to both of them? Hindsight is 20-20.

Let’s SPLIT THE QUANTUM and consider the universe from the perspective of the positive and negative unit potential Dirac deltas emitting Dirac sphere potentials. It is much easier to contemplate emergence and selection from the Euclidean perspective of absolute relativity.

J Mark Morris : Boston : Massachusetts