Mass and Temperature

Bob de Hilster writes to NPA members:

I have long thought that mass did not change with velocity. Until I find a physical cause that explains how velocity changes mass, I am not convinced. Yet there are many people who are convinced that velocity does change mass.

About a year ago I was reading Glenn Borchardt’s book, “The Scientific World View”. On Page 139 he states: This increase in motion is measured as an increase in mass. For example, a hot teakettle has more motion and weighs more than a cold teakettle.” Well I’m not buying it!

So I sent Glenn an email and we exchanged more emails. I saw him at the NPA 18 conference in College Park MD, and I opened a discussion about this idea. Can heat or motion increase the value of mass? I was still of the opinion that mass does not increase. We ended cordially, agreeing on some vague concept of force.

Well it is one year later, and I have been having some dialog on the internet about mass increase with velocity. This got me back to Glenn’s statement. Then I had the idea that mass could increase because of thermal expansion rather than velocity.

Motion causes mass increase
Glenn’s book was saying that motion was the cause of mass increase. I could not make this work with the concept of gravity that I was using. My concept of inertia is that the instantaneous forces of gravity constantly cause the water molecule to accelerate and then decelerate in all directions. Inertia will keep the water molecules moving. The fact that they are moving faster will not increase the mass unless there is drag. That’s why I could not agree with his explanation.

Thermal Expansion
So I went to my physics book and found that objects expand when they are heated. What if the molecule of water expanded and gave a larger target for the force of gravity. Most text books indicate that it is the spacing between atoms that expand. Maybe it is the atom itself that is expanding. OK, now I am in deep trouble because I cannot prove this.

However the expansion occurs, if the percent of interaction increases, the mass will increase. I have an equation for the force of gravity. It includes mass and an interaction factor that calculates the percent of force that is applied as the gravity forces pass through an object. But which is it? Does the mass change or does the probability of the interaction increase?

We can test this idea here on earth and show that mass increases with temperature. But the answer still eludes us. In cosmological terms, we assign mass to the sun and the planets because of the relative motion. Whether there is a sun that is very hot or a moon that is very cold, doesn’t matter. We attribute a value of mass so that we can describe the motion of the planets around the sun.

Regardless, I am of the opinion that mass increases with temperature because of thermal expansion rather than motion (velocity).

Mass versus matter
Now I am in more trouble. I am going to say that mass is related to the interaction of the force of gravity with the object. If matter is the sum of all the atoms, then matter may not change when the tea kettle is heated, while the mass could change.


Thanks for your perceptive thoughts on the reasons for the increase of mass with velocity.

Remember that the Fourth Assumption of Science is inseparability, “there can be no motion without matter and no matter without motion.” Contrary to Einstein, we assume that all matter has mass. Obviously, if we had zero mass, we would have zero motion and vice versa. The reason I put “connection” in quotes above is to reiterate that there is no “physical” connection between matter and motion or mass and temperature. This is because temperature, like motion in general, is not a microcosm. A microcosm has xyz dimensions and location with respect to other things. Temperature, like other types of motion, does not exist, it occurs. Temperature is not “part” of the universe, it is what the various parts do.

You mentioned force as if it was a thing. Force actually is a calculation, a matter-motion term. Force neither exists nor occurs. When we write: F=ma, we are writing a statement about the microcosm (m) and its motion (a). Despite the confusion engendered by regressive physics, there are no forces. There is only matter in motion. The “force” of gravity is a description of the collision of one type of microcosm with another. Indeterminists objectivise force (see: http://www.worldsci.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_5991.pdf) because, like Einstein and other positivists and operationalists, they do not know what is doing the colliding. In UCT, Steve and I dispense with “force,” hypothesizing, instead, that aether-1 particles are responsible for the gravitation most obvious to us. Giving up “force” makes us look for that which is doing the “forcing.”

Having gotten that out of the way, let’s return to temperature. The temperature of a microcosm describes the motion of its internal submicrocosms. When you touch a hot tea kettle, some of those submicrocosms collide with your skin, transferring some of their motion to your skin. If those submicrocosms were not in motion, you would never get burned. And, as mentioned, if those submicrocosms were not in motion, they would have no mass (because you cannot have matter without motion). Similarly, the microcosm itself would have no mass if its submicrocosms had no mass. This is why matter is defined in neomechanics as that which contains other matter, ad infinitum.

In elementary school, we have been taught (usually by indeterminists) that mass is unchangeable, but with matter in motion that is never the case. Einstein’s take on it was that mass could be converted to “pure energy,” when the E=mc2 equation merely describes the transformation of one kind of the motion of matter into another kind of the motion of matter. The pure energy part of it came about because, in denying the aether, there was nothing to transfer the “lost” motion to. See: http://scientificphilosophy.com/Downloads/The%20Physical%20Meaning%20of%20E%20=%20mc2.pdf
The mysterious “energy” just flipped into space as a wave in empty space or as a “massless” photon.

When we measure mass, we must weigh a microcosm in a gravitational field. Here, we depend on the collisions of aether-1 particles with baryonic matter to produce the measurement that we call mass. There is no possibility for the object being measured to be isolated. The very act of measurement requires that the object be a microcosm, which by UD definition, always must have a macrocosm. In this case, the macrocosm includes the supermicrocosms (aether-1 particles) necessary for the measurement to take place. The dynamic univironmental interaction between the microcosm and its macrocosm is anything but constant. That is why no two measurements of the mass of a particular microcosm are ever identical—mass is never constant. The collisions between aether particles and submicrocosms within microcosms produce accelerations and decelerations. For particularly “tight” microcosms this can result in an increase in internal temperature despite the usual leakage of some of the imparted motion to the macrocosm. In effect, this increased motion of the submicrocosms causes them to impact aether-1 particles with increased velocity, which amounts to an increase in resistance. And that is exactly what mass is, the collidee’s resistance to a change in acceleration produced by a collider. The increased velocity of submicrocosms also can be observed as an increase in expansion, as the walls of the microcosm and the macrocosm yield to the impacts. Nevertheless, I don’t think that an expanded microcosm has more mass than a non-expanded one. If that were the case, a helium balloon would gain mass with altitude. The submicrocosmic cross section (the exposed area of the submicrocosms) would not change, so I doubt that there is any scientific evidence for that.

What many of us object to is Einstein’s assertion that an object at a high velocity would magically have more mass than the same object at low velocity. He gives no physical explanation, just some imaginative mathematics. Of course, he can’t give the physics because his assumed macrocosm is empty space. However, when space is filled with aether particles, a high-velocity microcosm must encounter more aether particles per unit of time than does a low-velocity microcosm. There are two effects experienced by the high velocity microcosm: 1) it tends to slow down due to the interaction with the macrocosm, just as the space shuttle slows down when it encounters the atmosphere on re-entry; 2) it heats up, expands, and gains mass as its submicrocosms are accelerated by the impacts, as explained above.

So, Bob, it looks like we are on the same page with regard to changes of mass with temperature. The number of atoms in a microcosm need not change to get an increase in mass—only their velocities.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you that force and energy are useful tools but are not real.

In a later comment I will use the term force as a shrtcut for the interaction of a gravitational object, whatever that is, with a second object, and it causes the second object to accelerate.

If I have to state it in full detail every time, many readers will get bored and I will get tired of saying it.

Bob de Hilster

Glenn Borchardt said...


I encourage you to give up "force" for what we are trying to do: identify the colliders as well as the collidees. That is all the difference. If you use the phrase "force calculation," neomechanics is happy with that; otherwise, not. After all, the force shortcut is what got us into this mess.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that the word force has led us into many problems. But my equation is an equation of force and one of its main terms is force. I'm stuck!

Back to the main point. I cannot get my concept of gravity to match the idea that mass is a function of velocity. Thermal expansion, to me, is a better explanation. But it is pure conjecture, because I have no data to prove this.

This is my last comment.

Bob de Hilster

Glenn Borchardt said...


As you found out, matter-motion terms such as force, momentum, and energy are indispensable in doing physics. We just need to consider them as calculations, not things, or the motions of things. Force is valuable as a description of causality: the interaction of a collider and a collidee, which is pretty much what mechanics is all about. That, of course, also is what gravitation is all about.

I think the expansion hypothesis for mass increase is just as wrong as the BBT. The “creation” of anything occurs when things come together, not when they come apart per the Second Law of Thermodynamics. That is one of the main reasons the BBT is so absurd, with its assumption that the whole universe could form by coming apart!

Check out my blog on neomechanical gravity and the corresponding part in UCT to see how mass really increases. When aether particles without measureable mass come together to form vortices as electrons, their combination has measurable mass. This is a complexification, a coming together or convergence, not a coming apart or divergence.

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