On Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 1:56:43 AM UTC-3, Thomas Heger wrote:
Post by Thomas Heger Post by JanPB Post by Richard Hertz
Henri Poincaré versus Albert Einstein – SR Priority Question
Wolfgang G. Gasser
Post by Thomas Heger Post by JanPB
You are not qualified to reach any conclusion in this matter.
Actually I'm qualified, even if I don't speak enough French.
I'm quite familiar with text of Einstein ('On the electrodynamics of
moving bodies'), because I wrote about four-hundred annotations into it
and know it almost by heart.
Post by Thomas Heger
But possibly another person, who speaks better French than I do and who is more familiar with the complex math of Poincare can
join into the analysis of these similarities.
Post by JanPB
We've seen countless examples already of your near total
misunderstanding of how science (physics) works and esp.
how ideas develop and the credit gets assigned.
by Richard Moody, Jr © 2003
As was typical of Einstein, he did not discover theories; he merely commandeered them. He took an existing body of knowledge, picked and chose the ideas he liked, then wove them into a tale about his contribution to special relativity. This was done with the full knowledge and consent of many of his peers, such as the editors at Annalen der Physik.
Arthur Eddington's selective presentation of data from the 1919 Eclipse so that it supposedly supported "Einstein's" general relativity theory is surely one of the biggest scientific hoaxes of the 20th century. His lavish support of Einstein corrupted the course of history. Eddington was less interested in testing a theory than he was in crowning Einstein the king of science.
The physics community, unwittingly perhaps, has engaged in a kind of fraud and silent conspiracy; this is the byproduct of simply being bystanders as the hyperinflation of Einstein's record and reputation took place. This silence benefited anyone supporting Einstein.
Einstein's standing is the product of the physics community, his followers and the media. Each group benefits enormously by elevating Einstein to icon status. The physics community receives billions in research grants, Einstein's supporters are handsomely rewarded, and media corporations like Time Magazine get to sell millions of magazines by placing Einstein on the cover as "Person of the Century".
When the scandal breaks, the physics community, Einstein's supporters and the media will attempt to downplay the negative news and put a positive spin on it. However, their efforts will be shown up when Einstein's paper, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", is seen for what it is: the consummate act of plagiarism in the 20th century.
Jules Henri Poincaré (1854&endash;1912) was a great scientist who made a significant contribution to special relativity theory. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy website says that Poincaré: (1) "sketched a preliminary version of the special theory of relativity"; (2) "stated that the velocity of light is a limit velocity" (in his 1904 paper from the Bull. of Sci. Math. 28, Poincaré indicated "a whole new mechanics, where the inertia increasing with the velocity of light would become a limit and not be exceeded"); (3) suggested that "mass depends on speed"; (4) "formulated the principle of relativity, according to which no mechanical or electromagnetic experiment can discriminate between a state of uniform motion and a state of rest"; and (5) "derived the Lorentz transformation".
It is evident how deeply involved with special relativity Poincaré was. Even Keswani (1965) was prompted to say that "As far back as 1895, Poincaré, the innovator, had conjectured that it is impossible to detect absolute motion", and that "In 1900, he introduced 'the principle of relative motion' which he later called by the equivalent terms 'the law of relativity' and 'the principle of relativity' in his book, Science and Hypothesis, published in 1902". Einstein acknowledged none of this preceding theoretical work when he wrote his unreferenced 1905 paper.
In addition to having sketched the preliminary version of relativity, Poincaré provided a critical part of the whole concept - namely, his treatment of local time. He also originated the idea of clock synchronisation, which is critical to special relativity.
Charles Nordman was prompted to write, "They will show that the credit for most of the things which are currently attributed to Einstein is, in reality, due to Poincaré", and "...in the opinion of the Relativists it is the measuring rods which create space, the clocks which create time. All this was known by Poincaré and others long before the time of Einstein, and one does injustice to truth in ascribing the discovery to him".
Other scientists have not been quite as impressed with "Einstein's" special relativity theory as has the public. "Another curious feature of the now famous paper, Einstein, 1905, is the absence of any reference to Poincaré or anyone else," Max Born wrote in Physics in My Generation. "It gives you the impression of quite a new venture. But that is, of course, as I have tried to explain, not true" (Born, 1956). G. Burniston Brown (1967) noted, "It will be seen that, contrary to popular belief, Einstein played only a minor part in the derivation of the useful formulae in the restricted or special relativity theory, and Whittaker called it the relativity theory of Poincaré and Lorentz"
Due to the fact that Einstein's special relativity theory was known in some circles as the relativity theory of Poincaré and Lorentz, one would think that Poincaré and Lorentz might have had something to do with its creation. What is disturbing about the Einstein paper is that even though Poincaré was the world's leading expert on relativity, apparently Einstein had never heard of him or thought he had done anything worth referencing!
Poincaré, in a public address delivered in September 1904, made some notable comments on special relativity theory. "From all these results, if they are confirmed, would arise an entirely new mechanicsÉwould be, above all, characterised by this fact that no velocity could surpass that of lightÉbecause bodies would oppose an increasing inertia to the causes, which would tend to accelerate their motion; and this inertia would become infinite when one approached the velocity of light. No more for an observer carried along himself in a translation, he did not suspect any apparent velocity could surpass that of light: and this would be then a contradiction, if we recall that this observer would not use the same clocks as a fixed observer, but, indeed, clocks marking 'local time'." (Poincaré, 1905)
Einstein, the Plagiarist
It is now time to speak directly to the issue of what Einstein was: he was first and foremost a plagiarist. He had few qualms about stealing the work of others and submitting it as his own. That this was deliberate seems obvious.
Take this passage from Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times (there are no references to Poincaré here; just a few meaningless quotes). This is how page 101 reads: "'On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies'...is in many ways one of the most remarkable scientific papers that had ever been written. Even in form and style it was unusual, lacking the notes and references which give weight to most serious expositions" (emphasis added).
Why would Einstein, with his training as a patent clerk, not recognise the need to cite references in his article on special relativity? One would think that Einstein, as a neophyte, would overreference rather than underreference.
Wouldn't one also expect somewhat higher standards from an editor when faced with a long manuscript that had obviously not been credited? Apparently there was no attempt at quality control when it was published in Annalen der Physik. Most competent editors would have rejected the paper without even reading it. At the barest minimum, one would expect the editor to research the literature to determine whether Einstein's claim of primacy was correct.
Max Born stated, "The striking point is that it contains not a single reference to previous literature" (emphasis added) (Born, 1956). He is clearly indicating that the absence of references is abnormal and that, even by early 20th century standards, this is most peculiar, even unprofessional.
Einstein twisted and turned to avoid plagiarism charges, but these were transparent.
From Bjerknes (2002), we learn the following passage from James MacKaye: "Einstein's explanation is a dimensional disguise for Lorentz's. Thus Einstein's theory is not a denial of, nor an alternative for, that of Lorentz. It is only a duplicate and disguise for it. Einstein continually maintains that the theory of Lorentz is right, only he disagrees with his 'interpretation'. Is it not clear, therefore, that in this [case], as in other cases, Einstein's theory is merely a disguise for Lorentz's, the apparent disagreement about 'interpretation' being a matter of words only?"
Poincaré wrote 30 books and over 500 papers on philosophy, mathematics and physics. Einstein wrote on mathematics, physics and philosophy, but claimed he'd never read Poincaré's contributions to physics.
Yet many of Poincaré's ideas - for example, that the speed of light is a limit and that mass increases with speed - wound up in Einstein's paper, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" without being credited.
Einstein's act of stealing almost the entire body of literature by Lorentz and Poincaré to write his document raised the bar for plagiarism. In the information age, this kind of plagiarism could never be perpetrated indefinitely, yet the physics community has still not set the record straight.
In his 1907 paper, Einstein spelled out his views on plagiarism: "It appears to me that it is the nature of the business that what follows has already been partly solved by other authors. Despite that fact, since the issues of concern are here addressed from a new point of view, I am entitled to leave out a thoroughly pedantic survey of the literature..."
With this statement, Einstein declared that plagiarism, suitably packaged, is an acceptable research tool.
Here is the definition of "to plagiarise" from an unimpeachable source, Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, 1947, p. 1,878: "To steal or purloin and pass off as one's own (the ideas, words, artistic productions, etc. of one another); to use without due credit the ideas, expressions or productions of another. To commit plagiarism" (emphasis added). Isn't this exactly what Einstein did?
Giving due credit involves two aspects: timeliness and appropriateness. Telling the world that Lorentz provided the basis for special relativity 30 years after the fact is not timely (see below), is not appropriate and is not giving due credit. Nothing Einstein wrote ex post facto with respect to Lorentz's contributions alters the fundamental act of plagiarism.
The true nature of Einstein's plagiarism is set forth in his 1935 paper, "Elementary Derivation of the Equivalence of Mass and Energy", where, in a discussion on Maxwell, he wrote, "The question as to the independence of those relations is a natural one because the Lorentz transformation, the real basis of special relativity theory..." (emphasis added).
So, Einstein even acknowledged that the Lorentz transformation was the real basis of his 1905 paper. Anyone who doubts that he was a plagiarist should ask one simple question: "What did Einstein know and when did he know it?" Einstein got away with premeditated plagiarism, not the incidental plagiarism that is ubiquitous (Moody, 2001).
Note by the webmaster
I wish to add some personal remarks to the above article.
These remarks relate to the political climate prevailing between France and Germany during these years which preceded the First World War. It was really a very bad climate which may bring some light on the misbehaviour of the young Einstein (26 years old). He may have been manipulated by his editors, who bear an overwhelming responsability.
Obviously, the plagiarism in 1905 by Einstein of Lorentz's and Poincaré 's ideas has necessitated the entire complicity of the editors of the Annalen der Physik.
Yet, it is somewhat difficult to admit that Einstein could not know the work of Poincaré. But as regards the editors, this is strictly impossible.
How these people belonging to the medium of the scientific editions could make such a filoutery with regard to a scientist as eminent and known over the world as was Poincaré? How could they admit to publish the paper of Einstein not comprising any reference, whereas it is an absolute rule practised internationally in editions of this kind, violating thus knowingly and deliberately the ethics of their own profession?
It is interesting to remind the political climate between France and Germany in these years which preceded the First World War. It cannot in any way be an excuse but it may be an explanation.
Let's remind :
In the middle of 1904, the policy followed by Delcassé, the French Foreign Minister, goes from success in success: reinforcement of Russian alliance, bringing together very marked with Italy, friendly understanding with England, agreement in sight with Spain.
In particular, the conclusion on April 8, 1904 of the Franco-British agreements ulcerated the German emperor Wilhelm II who was completely kept away of this important negotiation. When in October 1904, Spain adheres to the part of the Franco-British agreements relating to Morocco, irritation grows in Berlin. A first Franco-German hitch occurs in January 1905 when France installs in Morocco some French public servants to help the creation of the moroccan administration. The German government declares that it feels by no means committed in Morocco by agreements concluded apart from him.
While all this was going on, the yacht of Wilhelm II arrives to Tangier on March 31, 1905. He lets know clearly his will to be opposed to the French interests.
On April 25, 1905, the British ambassador in Paris, Sir Francis Bertie, gives to the French government a memorandum specifying that if Germany claimed a port in Morocco, the British government would act in concert with the French government " to be opposed to it firmly. "
In Germany, the climate hardens clearly so much so that the word of "war" is propagated by emissary which traverse Europe with alarming noises.
On June 6, 1905, during a dramatic Council of Ministers in the Elysee House, the question is put: Is it possible to continue in the direction of the reinforcement of a Franco-British agreement which is likely to involve the war? To calm the play, Delcassé resigns.
On June 26, 1905, the President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, advises France to give up and to accept the internationalization of the Moroccan affairs. It will be the Conference of Algeciras.
It results from what precedes that the Franco-German climate in 1904 and 1905 was more than hateful. Already maintained by the question of Alsace Lorraine, all were ready to fight and one can be assured that the public opinions of the two countries followed these events with passion.
In this context, to diddle Poincaré was a kind of revenge that a small editor offered to his country against these Frenchmen who tread on their toes…
But it must also be said that Einstein accepted it without any scruple and never expressed any remorse...
With regard to the editor of Annalen der Physik, the physicist Paul DRUDE, it should be known that he committed suicide the following
year in July 1906. All the German scientists certainly knew about the plagiarism and it is probable that many of them become indignant
about it. DRUDE had to become aware of the hugeness of his fault and drew to the conclusions.