Hints at a relationship between friction and relativistic physics
Abstract
In applied mechanics Reye's law (1860) establishes, via energy arguments, that the mass of the debris produced by dry friction in the contact of rigid bodies is proportional to the work done by friction forces. This result has long been used for the determination of the distribution of pressure in the contact of rigid bodies, and hence for the design of brakes. In this work I show that, when bodies losing mass due to friction are treated, as they should, as variable mass systems, a relationship analogous to the relativistic mass formula is recovered. This result suggests that mathematical structures typical of relativistic physics could have been discovered prior to 1905, without making any reference to electromagnetism, group theory or the speed of light. Also this result could point to the existence of a physical theory depending on two constants, the speed of light (Reye's constant) and a universal frictional deceleration with respect to an absolute frame. The limit of the theory for vanishing friction would give Special Relativity, as the absolute frame would become unobservable, while the limit for the speed of light going to infinity would lead to Aristotelian mechanics, i.e. a classical mechanics type theory presenting universal friction. Finally, I present a reference frame transformation that displays these features and I apply the theory to some open cosmological problems.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 February 2023
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.2302.01095
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2302.01095
 Bibcode:
 2023arXiv230201095M
 Keywords:

 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
 EPrint:
 Latex, 18 pages, 9 figures. Contribution to the conference DICE2022 `Quantum riddles and spacetime oddities', Castiglioncello, Sep. 1923, 2022. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1412.0010