My Lorenz-Fitz-gerald-Minkowski Deposit Box.

Q’adima/Israel, Thursday early AM:

I’d watched the little Lucite box set into my ceiling for a couple hours, as the clock neared 6 AM.
With an access door on the top, and then ‘my’ little door on the bottom, I can only ever see vague movement inside it; shadows.
And so I was watching when I heard the sounds of footsteps on the tin roof, heard the upper latch release, and saw, only for a second, a moving hand toss something into it. Oddly, the moment the door opened the box became almost black inside for the few seconds.
But I’m used to ‘odd’ by now.

Grabbing my stepladder and setting it up under the box, I hastily un-did the little latch on my door, Now lit-up inside from the approaching dawn here, I reached in and retrieved the $1000. Ten crisp hundreds, cool to the touch, and even ‘cooler’ to a fellow who’s been frightfully broke for much too long.
Thank God for the Box. If it weren’t for the ‘fail-safe’ mechanism preventing both doors being opened at once, I would have reached in and shaken my trusted tenant’s hand, somewhere ‘over’ (‘up’? ‘down’?) there… wherever he is/ was.

Lancaster County PA,  USA: 11PM Wednesday:

 It’d taken Rob till almost midnight to finish work, stop by the bank, fight traffic homeward, help his wife feed the young kids, count his own meager finances. Some things just take as long as they take, but he’d promised to do the deposit.
A long ladder he keeps safely resting on the ground along the garden wall; Rob set it up against the eaves of the centuries-old log house. In the darkness he carefully climbed up and crawled the couple feet to where the Lucite box was sunk into the cedar-shake roof, opened the trapdoor, and tossed the bills into it. The light suddenly shining out of it was disconcerting to his dark-adjusted eyes, and after closing the door he wisely allowed his pupils to re-accommodate before descending to the lawn. His cell-phone chirped ’11 PM’ .’ Great’, he thought to himself. ‘I’m happy, he’s happy; what a wonderful planet!’

And so I sit on the edge of my bed, putting on my shoes still dirty from yesterday’s concrete job. Off to work, but wait: there’s still time for fleeting but deep thoughts about Time, Space, Distance, and Simultaneity…
 Were Rob and I actually in the the same world, for a moment?

The imaginary-but technically-possible telephoto shot from The Moon seemed to confirm it, yet their ‘time-stamp‘ was ‘late’ by a second or so. Speed of light… or Reality?
One big issue to fix, ‘first things first’ is to toss into the trash that silly ‘Time-Zone’ source of confusion and cognitive duhs:
‘Different Strokes (of Midnight) for Different Folks’? Who needs it? I’m thinking we would be wiser to do without.

Give the folks at Greenwich a cheap and painless ‘why not?’ honorary medal. ‘World Time’ (aka GMT, UCT.’ Rob, my US benefactor and I can then shake hands at an easily-remembered ‘0400 hours GMT‘ on both of our clocks. Kinda…
I’ll not belabour the Einsteinian time-like/space-like separation issue. Who even knows; the nano-second-critical act of our hands clasping, in our disallowed ‘mixed-frame of reference’, might be observed by most anyone else as a ‘mutual annihilation’ explosion’ as the electrons in the outer layers of our separate skins seek to reconcile their quantum vibration wave-forms. Only a carefully-chosen point on the Moon’s surface will see it as a nice gesture of gratefulness.
Luckily, we survive quite well ignoring real, physical, hidden, aspects of our modern life here.
And the money will go to a good cause: school taxes, textbooks, whose carbo-hydrate covers might have at least some nutritive value for today’s students.

Thank God, Michelson, Morley, and the folks in the title for the Box. Look ’em up; so they shouldn’t have died in vain.



9 thoughts on “My Lorenz-Fitz-gerald-Minkowski Deposit Box.

  1. promisesunshine

    chaos theory? 4 dimensional space time. not sure if the middle is F. Scott, Ella, or the Edmund. Plus there will never be a day that I understand a word of the wiki on Michelson-Morley. i did google as instructed.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      Glad for your careful read. No ship-wrecks here; Fitzgerald had contractions, Lorenz; ‘transformations, and Minkowski: an unafraid way to look at strange spaces. Einstein kinda put it all together, with plenty of help, after M&Ms interferometer found no aether.
      Guess my real point with this lucite box thought-experiment was to think about the hours-scale… and nano-second implications of two folks being ‘in the same place at once’.
      And mainly just thrilled for the cash, through whatever worm-hole it needed to navigate.
      ADD: Even were we sitting at a table-for-two in B-burg, and I placed a dime in the center, there beside the plastic flowers, in one abstruse physics sense we’d be looking at ‘different dimes’. Now add the waitress thinking “What, that’s my tip!?’ and you have a real ‘Three Body Problem’ (Oy, more Google?)
      We had this back when I sent MP3s: “Is it a song… until she plays it?” in her time zone.

      1. promisesunshine

        The cash part I understood.
        I kind of remember 3 body problems from when my activities were dependent on 2 small children.
        You and that younger son have something in common.

  2. somewittyhandle

    My only worry is whether the value of the cash depletes as you approach a significant fraction (significant to be defined) of the speed of light.

    Being a die-hard Newtonian, I do have some other doubts about the extra special relativitists, mostly concerning the proposition that the speed of light is unchangeable.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      I, too, cling to Newton, citing as evidence the fact that car headlights are much brighter to the eye when the vehicle is on-coming than the reverse situation. Makes perfect sense to add the speed of the auto to that of the light beam.
      Seriously, considering the maxim ‘Time is Money’, it becomes understandable that , when frantically checking ones cash on a fast-moving jet mid-flight, the portraits of presidents on the bills appear noticeably ‘younger’. ‘Ben Franklin as a young child’ and ‘The infant Washington’ were two I noticed on a recent trip.
      The 1900s have been a tough century for us hold-outs opposing ‘new-fangled’ theories. My Grandpa never really ‘got’ the conversion process from ‘real’ horsepower to tractor equivalents.
      Feynman wisely advised him ‘Don’t ask ‘how can it be like that’? Nobody knows. ‘

      1. somewittyhandle

        The red-shift can also be clearly seen on the car tail-lights.
        Interestingly, on my recent Delta flight to Boston, I noticed I had aged considerably by the time I got through immigration.
        My grandpa had similar difficulties, and, as Newton himself observed, the applle didn’t fall far from the apple which didn’t fall far from the tree.

        1. solberg73 Post author

          Enjoying this immensely: a chance to simultaneously parody science-deniers.. and to point at the serious holes to date in the Standard Model.
          I’m inconsolably overwhelmed these days on reports from CERN confirming another critter for the Particle Zoo; the Xi-c++ Boson. It/he/she wisely enters, then exits the stage within fractions of a nanosecond. So the question: ‘What to feed this one?’ never comes up.
          Personally, I was happy enough with Eddington’s planetary model of the atom. ( debunked within days, but no one bothered to inform me) until I decided, in the early ’70s, to supplement the college-approved physics-major reading list with ‘news’ from the ’30s and beyond.Even the Neutron (Chadwick-1931) had been neutered-rendered un-mentionable.
          The ‘catching-up’ came as a shock.
          Still, we currently inhabit a ‘common-sense’ world based on intuitively-graspable models. Perfectably acceptable for a fellow of limited means like me, whose top speed to date has been Mach 0.95. The V^2/C^2 factor in my Lorenz equations is as close to zero as my bank balance.
          I may, obstinately, live long enough to watch humans travel at great speed. Yet the gulf between the speed of light and any technically-achievable engineered velocity is so great…

            1. solberg73 Post author

              Not as ‘au courant’ as I ought to be, I unfairly targeted Eddington. Still hold a grudge for his replying, to to conjecture that ‘only 3 people understand special relativity’ by asking “So, who’s the third guy?’
              I forgive him for not fore-seeing my foretold birth.
              Seriously, a great question: what would sharp-shooters such as us, sifting the evidence available at the time, have concluded as to the likeliest model?
              (I go over this ad infinitum with my terrible enfant older son, who is sure he would have formulated calculus, set theory, oh, and solved all of Hilbert’s problems even had he been born in ancient Egypt. The Bravado of ‘Pure Reason’ uncritiqued, I tell him We so easily take for granted the shoulders of giants on whom we stand in the 21st century,
              Still, ‘Native Americans’ dragged shit around on sleds for 10,000 years without thinking ‘Um… a wheel ! What a concept!.
              Almost too hot here to think clearly these days. Amazing what a small Kelvin window we can abide comfortably: The Universe laughs at us: “2 degrees K in most of space, then 20,000 K in a star, and you ‘precious’ children have the nerve to bitch..”


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