Jim Ali writes a beautiful article above except in the end, point 3: how can it miss his over-enthusiastic talent? To prove Theory of Relativity wrong you still need to be right about what it is. You are checking it against Theory of Relativity not theory of Gelativity. You claim your pants are 80 cm long and Einstein says “no pants are longer than 50 cm long”. SO in the first place to prove Einstein wrong you have to be consistent about 50 cm and then go about making your claim of 80 cm pants since your experiment is claiming 80 cm lengths. You can not be inconsistent about one (either of them) and then prove the falsity of either Einstein or the man who wears 80 cm pants.
On the other hand if you show that indeed in any standard/rule that gives you what a 50 cm is you can happily go and check what you claim to be 80 cms. Possibilities abound and only in one of them can you prove that indeed you have pants that are 80 cm long. Einstein will order for longer pants for his other friends if not himself. In the other possibilities of being not able to prove that there are pants 80 cm long even if you assumed the rule/laws/standards of 50 cm the possibility still remains that there may be pants that are actually more than 50 cm, how so ever longer they are and howsoever you have not found them. WE can not predict what will happen tomorrow. How can we predict if there will ever be something to be found in nature that will challenge everything we know and consistently with us prove that we have been inconsistent about some aspect. Theory of Relativty and all theories (and experiments) will have to lend themselves to the test of scientific methods.
In this case for a given time light travels the maximum distance as per Einstein. That’s like the length of a pant. Then someone comes and claims there are particles that do travel longer than light in the same amount of time afforded/accorded to both and for this the standards are the same for both. Here the standard we take to be Theory of Relativity, that is the only consistent and best established rule/law/standard/theory. That is not necessarily the last and everyone who knows the character of Physical science knows this.
In this regard some time ago I had remarked two things on twitter.
A. “To prove 8 is greater than 5 you have to be consistent about 5”
that is you have to allow 8 to the tests of 5.
B. “Energy is much more fundamental than space and time. what we have to do is take every fraction of energy and account for where it comes from”
space and time are as fundamental as they are. WE formulate everything in terms of these parameters. But then not everything can be explained by only these two. WE need in Physics all the other physical quantities and they are all interrelated. But given the universality and generality of physics which is above the fundamentalness of only two parameters we have energy which is more fundamental than space and time. space and time give us kinematics and energy gives us dynamics. Partly in our theories kinematics determines what are dynamics ought to be. Like in Relativity where geometry decides what is the predictions of theories will be like. But if you look deeper the geometry gives the attributes of a theory and kinematics gives the interrelation between various parameters of the theory in the consistent atrributes of the theory. Dynamics is observable and must be satsfied at any cost.
SO in a sense it is only childish to think that what is simpler and well constructed is fundamental and what is complicated and creates consternations in our understanding is not fundamental. WE can think the reverse and see that we haven’t really understood everything in a fundamental way hence this issue of what is really more fundamental. Because once we make a leeway into the physical universe in as much satisfaction it brings us as it is expected today and assuming there is no more newer problems and questions turning up we will go gradually and theorize everything into simpler and a fundamental edifice.
In that scheme of things it might turn out that indeed energy is (like action and Hamiltinian which literally dictates so much of what we understand and claim as valid theory today) fundamental and moreso than space and time. space and time even in relativity gives a continuum of geometry and howsoever geometry determines the attributes of physical systems and howsoever physical it itself is it is not PHYSICS. Physics is moreso about energy. In our simple calculations and the most complex ones even if at first sight it may surpass our intuition we are in all the steps making a calculation that computes the various energy fractions/amounts and space and time are just parametric descriptions in this grand analysis.
Ofcourse we start from the simpler and gradually, itteratively move towards the realistic problem but that’s just a clever approach where you will not miss the Physics at the base of your understanding and by removing your inconsistencies at each and everystep you gradually if you are capable move onto the more fitting answer that you were looking for. The other approach which many luminaries are also master at is the general approach. That is also how the world of Physics has formulated many of its solutions from where a fundamental understanding can emancipate. In the best practice we need a confluence of both and that constitutes genius. In the general approach Energy has a far more fundamental than it’s analytical parameters space and time.
In this context in the other article I just wrote preceding to this, I mentioned what we may have in store in the case taht the experimental results are indeed correct: “If correct we should be prepared to study geometry and their implication for energy. That’s a question of theory. The experimental …”.
What we do not have in store is Jim Ali eating his boxers on live coverage. Indeed I expressed annoyance at this a few weeks ago, but also confessed that we physicists scratch our heads and make rightaway pornographic remarks when we do not understand the problems at hand. Actually it’s not just Jim Ali, I make a lot of them but they do not make their way into public consciousness since I am a soliton. WE are in general graphic and that means a tiny portion of us physicists is P-graphic. I just thought one. One can put off his fire in his own pee. But thats not just when I am proved incorrect. Thats just an attribute of silliness of mine which goes unnoticed most of the time.