- One is possibly the greatest scientist who ever lived,
and the other is a maverick physicist from Adelaide.
- But Reg Cahill says he can prove Albert Einstein and
his hundred-year-old theories of
relativity are wrong.
- The problem for Professor Cahill is that many of his
contemporaries line up with Einstein.
- "I've been treated with utter contempt and hostility,"
he told The Australian. "This is pretty shocking stuff - but it's
what you'd expect."
- In 2002, Professor Cahill started to question what he
thought were anomalies in Einstein's theory that time and space are relative.
- "They all agreed with one another and they were
all indicating a huge speed difference in different directions," he
said. "When you find out the speed of light differs, the whole Einstein
theory starts collapsing."
- "We know now the speed of light at approximately
300,000km per second is relative to space itself - before it was always
relative to the observer."
- Professor Cahill said that debunking the Einstein theories
would lead to new discoveries in physics and greater understanding of phenomena
that could not yet be fully explained.
- "There are some incredible discoveries being made,"
he said. "We're discovering some properties about space that are awesome."
- Those discoveries include the speed at which the solar
system is travelling through space and the detection of gravitational waves.
- "The rotation of galaxies has always been a problem
- we now understand how they work," Professor Cahill said.
- "The outer part of spiral galaxies go around about
10 times faster than Einstein's theory permits, so people invented dark matter
to account for extra gravitational pull.
- "They've spent years and millions of dollars looking
for it - but it doesn't exist."
- Over the past 100 years, physicists have conducted experiments
to test if the speed of light is constant.
- Professor Cahill says they obtained definitive results
but ignored them because they feared they would be shouted down for questioning
- "It's staggering that the concept of physics has
been built on a mathematical illusion."
- But physicist Paul
Davies of Macquarie University and the Australian Centre for Astrobiology
said Einstein's theories of relativity had been tested, and there was no
evidence to suggest they were wrong.
- "Just as Einstein's theories surpassed Newton's,
one day we might expect someone to surpass Einstein's theories," Professor
Davies said. "But at this stage there's nothing to suggest that."
- University of Adelaide physicist Derek
- "I'm not aware of any experimental evidence that
suggests Einstein is wrong," Mr Leinweber said. "Every experimental
measurement I'm aware of is in accordance with Einstein's premise that
the speed of light is the same in all frames."
- But support for Professor Cahill is growing. The Australian
Research Council gave a $60,000 grant for his research, and the world's
largest particle physics laboratory - CERN in Switzerland - has donated
$100,000 worth of optical fibres.