# Luminiferous Aether Exists!

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience Archive' started by Mazulu, Jun 19, 2012.

1. ### MazuluBannedBanned

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A vacuum is the absence of matter. If the physics community decided to define a medium as something made of matter or made of particles of matter, I can't stop them.

Nobody is obligated to find a cause for a medium that they can't detect. Personally, I find a medium useful because it gives me a way to interface with space and space-time. It gives me a way to attempt to manipulate space-time using repeating lineary frequency chirps of EM energy. If the idea works, then there will be another way to curve space-time (create gravity fields) besides the stress-energy tensor.

3. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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How is this different than assigning an intrinsic impedance to free space?

5. ### quantRegistered Member

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Hi, I have been trying to post this forever without success. RealityCheck tells me that posts with links are having some problems so I am eliminating the links, without which the post won't make much sense. But I suppose it would be possible to go to the Gestalt Theory thread in this forum and check out the highlighted topics if interested. This is in reply to Cheezle's post.

It is pleasant to have some constructive thinking and a reasonable dialogue. It is always difficult to use a metaphor or allegory to describe something, especially a physical process, so that while a general similitude might be reached it is impossible to convey an exact description. In this instance I was trying to convey the idea that the energy of the phton is conveyed along a line of aligned 'virtual photons' that make up the medium or aether. From, my point of view although inexact it is an apposite approximation. Because, according to the Gestalt theory while high frequency photons (visible light and higher frequency) are emitted directly by electrons and thus retain their original energies, because they are connected in series, lower frequency EMR such as radio waves , are connected in parallel and so share their energy in much the way that you describe for parallel connnected capacitors. Thus although both high frequency photons and radio waves behave in a similar manner their genesis is different. Another severe limitation in discussions of this kind is the restriction placed on how much can be conveyed through the limited words that are available in a short post like this one. For instance Gestalt Theory calls into question the very concept of charge , hence the use of the term electrical energy. I hope that this explains, in a very abbreviated way some of the questions that you had raised.

7. ### quantRegistered Member

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If I understand you right, Free Space is a vacuum with nothing in it, if so what what is causing the impedance, since electrical impedance implies some sort of opposition or resistance to current flow resulting in a phase difference between current and voltage. In effect the problem,as far as I can make out , seems to be that you are claiming on the one hand that no medium exists, OR that medium fields etc., are not necessary to the propagation of EMR. and on the other hand you talk talk about impedance? How can the two points of view be compatible ? Kindly clarify.

8. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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I think that depends when and where we look for usage and meaning:

A transmission medium (plural transmission media) is a material substance (solid, liquid, gas, or plasma) that can propagate energy waves. For example, the transmission medium for sound received by the ears is usually air, but solids and liquids may also act as transmission media for sound.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_medium

Since Maxwell's name was taken in vain earlier, consider his 1870s thinking:

What is the ultimate constitution of the aether? is it molecular or continuous? We know that the aether transmits transverse vibrations to very great distances without sensible loss of energy by dissipation. A molecular medium, moving under such conditions that a group of molecules once near together remain near each other during the whole motion, may be capable of transmitting vibrations without much dissipation of energy...(etc.)

It was a good test based on the underlying assumptions, since, by the prevailing model, the medium should be like the one the nutty folks here are proposing, that is, it should present a directional bias or "wind".

I was using ether, medium and vacuum in their classical sense, and calling the putative unknown thingy a mystery medium. In the mean time, I think it's just as useful to call it the intrinsic impedance of free space.

Yep and it's safe to say that some of the nutty ideas proposed by the fringe folks here have been disproved (although I wouldn't want to egg them on to making disclaimers--that their mystery medium has no "wind", etc.)

Yeah, I was opposing that definition for the same reason. And that was my rationale for keeping the definition of a medium within its narrow meaning.

9. ### MazuluBannedBanned

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3,090
I agree that mystery medium has no wind. Quantum mechanics offers the wave-function as solutions to the Schrodinger equation. Sure, wave-functions are just math. But I think that the vacuum of space (a vacuum because it's empty of matter) is still a medium. I think this medium is made of the same thing that wave-functions are describing.

In other words, I think wave-function actually exist. And I think that the vacuum of space is made of those wave-functions. I call them aether waves. There is an aether wave for each EM frequency in the spectrum. The only reason that light can transmit at any given frequency is because there is an aether wave that exists at that frequency.

As long as those aether waves are there, we can call them the quantum vacuum, as well. The Casimir effect is another manifestation of aether waves.

10. ### quantRegistered Member

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Hi, quite thought provoking.
OK! First a few facts. You agree that electrons absorb and emit photons in order to change their energy states. Only bound electrons (i.e., electrons attached to an atom) can emit and absorb photons. But an electron can't just absorb any photon, it can only absorb photons of a certain energy. When an electron absorbs a photon it gains the energy of the photon. Because an electron bound to an atom can only have certain energies the electron can only absorb photons of certain energies. For example an electron in the ground state ( in a hydrogen atom)has an energy of -13.6 eV. The second energy level is -3.4 eV. Thus it would take E2 − E1 = -3.4 eV − -13.6 eV = 10.2 eV to excite the electron from the ground state to the first excited state.
Consider that the 'virtual photon' aether that I have suggested, consists of 'virtual photons' with an extremely low energy on the order of 10 [sup] -19[/sup] eV. These photons would not interact with electrons or atoms at any level, in fact they can pass right by the nucleus, without any interaction taking place. Thus the idea of such an aether creating a drag or becoming 'attached' to anything is absurd. Mcihelson/Morley were just measuring for the wrong kind of 'aether' that doesn't prove it is not there. In fact the 'null' result that had such huge repercussions was exactly that.
Secondly, if you are thinking in terms of a bunch of closely associated 'molecules' travelling the 10 billions miles across the Universe, as happened in the Voyager transmissions. Forget it, it can't happen. The very emptiness of space and the fact that EMR disperses according to the inverse square Law, proves that a medium has to exist through which they propagate. To talk about geometry is just a dimensionless non sequitur .
Standard theory claims that the emptiness of space is filled with interactions like quantum particle-pair formation, and various entities continually popping in and out of existence, and, of course, vacuum energy. But note, these things are not just scattered around randomly in “empty” space. They permeate all space. So if you have a grouse about a medium to transport EMR, you could as well be arguing with the proponents of Standard Theory as with the 'quacks' in this forum.
I don't believe I said anything about waves being the medium for EMR.
I agree with that and also on your statement that there must be a medium , but within its narrow meaning.

11. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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What I actually said was it has no medium in it. For simple physics problems it needs no substance in it.

Probably the lack of a cause is why it's called intrinsic.

Yeah, but in any other network, how long would it take you to arrive at an intrinsic property of carbon's conductivity, or permittivity and/or permeability of reactive components, before you land back at square 1 asking about cause? Plus, you need to index them against free space. Pretty soon your basket o' causality runneth over with a veritable plethora of whys. What then?

Whoa, pard. It was your claims and incompatibilities that drew me into the dialogue. I'm just echoing good ole conventional wisdom.

I don't need a medium to explain wave propagation in space, especially since none is apparently present. Nor do fields in space appear any more problematic to me than fields in actual media. The impedance I was referring to is commonly referred to as the free space impedance. What it actually means, how or why it arises, etc., are probably no more mysterious than why pi is pi, why e is e, and, of course, why c is c. Because once you establish what c is, or what c means, you've effectively established what the free space impedance is, that is, they are essentially one and the same thing. What intrigues me, though, is that they are related in the form of a geometric mean:

$c\quad =\quad \frac { 1 }{ \sqrt { { \mu }_{ 0 }{ \epsilon }_{ 0 } } }$​

since the units are m/s, this simply says spacetime is locked into a rate-relationship, which is just another way of casting the same question of what/why/how. And that doesn't seem to bother me one bit. Here's the Big Absolute all the SR denialists are looking for. Yay. It does make me sometimes think everything else should be maybe be normalized by c before asking cause. So for example, I could ask: why is π/c = π/c, and why is e/c = e/c, etc. I'm not sure any of dozens of questions like this are any different than asking why space propagates waves at velocity c.

Note, in the Lorentz transformation, you can play more causality games by noting

$\gamma \quad =\quad \frac { 1 }{ \sqrt { { 1\quad -\quad \mu }_{ 0 }{ \epsilon }_{ 0 }{ v }^{ 2 } } }$​

and so on.

12. ### OnlyMeValued Senior Member

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From the second paragraph of the above Wiki link,
The absence of a material medium in vacuum may also constitute a transmission medium for electromagnetic waves such as light and radio waves.​

The reference does not seen to exclude "empty space" or vacuum, from the definition of a medium.

Maxwell really isn't the best source on the subject..., think 1870.

Sounds like trying to have it both ways. If you begin talking about the intrinsic impedance of "free space", it is hard to argue that space does not meet the basic definition of a medium.

Don't take this wrong. I am not challenging your general argument, just some of the examples, definitions and comparrisons.

Though it has nothing to do with the propagation of light, the ether, or even space as a EM medium, there has been some ineresting work relative to interia, emerging from an interaction between the acceleration of charged particles (which would extend to objects composed of charged particles) and the ZPF of the vacuum. The ZPF essentially providing a Lorentz force resistance to the acceleration of matter. See, Bernard Haisch (1994), Inertia as a zero-point-field Lorentz force. Again, though it says nothing about the propagation of light, it does sound like an intrinsic impedance or resistance to the motion of matter, associated with otherwise empty space and the ZPF.

13. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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K.

This is getting weird.

To me the photon sea sounds absurd.

Huh? They just disproved the "wind". Good enough.

It was huge because it disproved the wind they were expecting. It was a surprise.

This doesn't ring a bell. What are you referring to?

Note, I never proposed any ether of any kind, molecular or otherwise.

No, the second part of that simply says there's no attenuation. There's no "has to" from what you've said.

Except when talking about space which usually invokes geometry.

I'm not sure what any of that has to do with wave propagation.

I don't. I'm comfortable that it is what it is.

Maybe so, maybe you actually said fields. And no, I wouldn't need to argue any rationale for wave propagation that I can think of.

No, I actually am not advocating for a medium in free space. Scratch my name off that list.

14. ### quantRegistered Member

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The point is that you may not believe in the existence of fields or any medium existing in space, and of course that is your prerogative, which deserves respect but many respected theories do believe in fields and the existence of mediums for the propagation of force, gravitational, electromagnetic or other. Here is a quote from wikipedia:

An electromagnetic field (also EMF or EM field) is a physical field produced by moving electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction. It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature (the others are gravitation, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction).

The field can be viewed as the combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electric field is produced by stationary charges, and the magnetic field by moving charges (currents); these two are often described as the sources of the field. The way in which charges and currents interact with the electromagnetic field is described by Maxwell's equations and the Lorentz force law.

From a classical perspective, the electromagnetic field can be regarded as a smooth, continuous field, propagated in a wavelike manner; whereas from the perspective of quantum field theory, the field is seen as quantized, being composed of individual particles. ((citation needed)

If looked at logically the above makes no sense at all, but that is beside the point. Other sources claim that space is empty and that EMR is self sustaining. So you can take your pick. However, there are still a lot of unexplained phenomenon that require explanations. Take the field theory quoted above, eventually the postulate is that a field will be needed for every particle making a hundred or so fields. Surely this can be simplified by a evolving a more coherent less bloated theory. This, I hope, is what the discussion in this thread is about.

15. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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Anyone who does not believe in fields would be in denial of radiation. Talk about living in the dark.

Now you're on my wavelength.

No, I feel constrained by facts.

I would say that the facts deserve respect, and that electromagnetics is based in fact.

If your point is to introduce some actual science that speaks to your ideas, then go for it.

I think that deserves a few good edits.

No, I think it's central to your issues. What doesn't make sense to you?

There certainly is no aether wind, is there. Nor any attenuation. Now what?

As I said before the fact of propagation doesn't bother me. I see no menu of choices.

I wouldn't say "require". I would say that science is like an ever expanding bubble whose instantaneous surface is woven out of explanations. Presumably this goes on without end, like the propagating field. Of course the mind is the medium in this case. It's very prone to errors, so it needs a lot of checking. Otherwise the science that was bubbling up just collapses, like the field in destructive interference. The trick then, is to avoid that.

What's not coherent to you? By bloating I think you mean superposition, which is convenient in all kind of abstractions - like finding a center of mass.

It's proposing the idea that invokes the fact (aether wind) that was shot shot down by Michelson-Morley. So far, I haven't understood why you think a field is like a medium. A field acting on a medium is one thing but a field being a medium sounds like a language issue.

By the way, getting back to the idea that the intrinsic impedance of free space takes care of whatever you think the mystery medium furnishes, consider this one other perspective on the more familiar E=mc²:

$E\quad =\quad \frac { m }{ { \mu }_{ 0 }{ \epsilon }_{ 0 } }$​

and then you get another way to look at matter-energy equivalence:

$\quad m\quad =\quad { \mu }_{ 0 }{ \epsilon }_{ 0 }E$​

It's like saying spacetime is the operator that transforms one to the other. If we expand that a little more, adding in the familiar E = hν (=hc/λ):

$\quad m\quad =\quad { \mu }_{ 0 }{ \epsilon }_{ 0 }E\quad =\quad \frac { { \mu }_{ 0 }{ \epsilon }_{ 0 }hc }{ \lambda } \quad =\quad \frac { h\sqrt { { \mu }_{ 0 }{ \epsilon }_{ 0 } } }{ \lambda }$​

which looks more interesting to me in this form

$\quad m\lambda \quad =\quad h\sqrt { { \mu }_{ 0 }{ \epsilon }_{ 0 } }$​

since it gives two essential quantities of phenomena on the left against the mystery medium scaled by h. And what a magic h that is. Just look at the units - J s: it's scaling by an action. Pretty cool don't you think? Let me see if I can say that back: mass is (indirectly) proportional to its equivalent wavelength by a constant amount that we get by scaling the mystery medium (AKA the intrinsic properties of spacetime, in their geometric mean, by the magic constant of action.

Whoa, dude. If I was a pothead I'd have to go blow a bong right now. Stuff like this doesn't make me feel cynical or dissatisfied at all. It simply blows my mind. You don't see structure in that? Who needs aether with way more transcendental ideas like this to feed the craven brain.

There's nothing I see lacking in this very elementary concept I've put forward. All that's really lacking is the ability of my mind to completely wrap itself around what it ultimately means.

That, my friend, is what this discussion is all about. Ultimately, that is.

16. ### CheezleHab SoSlI' Quch!Registered Senior Member

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I wish they let us rate posts. This was great! You added nothing (Occam's Razor) but perspective. Sometimes that is the most important thing. Gonna print this out and pin it on my cork board next to my desk. As a neophyte I take longer to digest even the most tender and succulent tidbits.

17. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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If you're a neophyte then I'm back at that moment Mom met Dad. I really like your posts. And besides, only what but genius could go "jam up and jelly tight" with a name like Cheezle? I'm kind of intrigued by the false sense of rebelling against authority that comes up in these discussions about aether, or SR and especially evolution. Most authorities on subjects like this are scrounging for their old Tommy Roe records and wondering how life might have turned out for them if they'd been mentored by a physics prof that went by the moniker of Cheezle. That's about as unauthoritarian as it gets!

18. ### CheezleHab SoSlI' Quch!Registered Senior Member

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I can't claim any genius in that. As a boy we moved into a house and my sister found some old LPs in the attic. One she used to play this one over and over and it is forever stuck in my head. The record was not Tommy Roe, but what must have been a cover of his song some by a Motown band. The actual words I remember were "Jam up and jelly jive," something something something, "and its good to be alive." I was using some naval jelly on a car bumper the other day and that brought it back. Been stuck in my head since. Like wang dang doodle, the phrase calls to mind a meaning, but you can't be sure that it isn't just some dada-esque nonsense.

I read quant's Gestalt Theory and kind of liked it. The sea of virtual photons reminded me of something Dr. Susskind said about bosons existing in a condensate that allowed them to be always available for the Higgs mechanism. I might have that wrong but it was something like that. I will have to watch his lecture again. The difference (I think) is that quant sees his virtual photons as a medium (or something related) while the condensate is something else. I made a note in my notebook to come back to this and look at it again at a later date.

But I prefer your view. It encapsulates the pure relationships and does not add anything unnecessarily. And I was impressed by your enthusiasm. I suppose it is good to explore the boundaries as long as we don't get too far off track and get lost in our own ideas. This idea of aether seems like a dead subject to me. I don't see how a medium can coexist with relativity. Most who cling to the aether idea seem to be misusing the term. Whatever they are talking about it isn't a medium in the true sense of the word. But if they abandon the word then really all they have is the orthodox idea of relativity, no matter what else they call it. To me it seems they are just clinging to an antique word.

My brain is fried today. Between an upcoming project deadline and a couple classes I am taking, the old noggin is getting quite a workout. It is not used to the exercise. Something has to go and so I probably will not be in these forums as much for a while.

19. ### quantRegistered Member

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The entire Universe, which, if you think about it, is a vast place, is composed of only 100 or so atoms combined in different ways ! Quite an eye opener. Similarly time, for most of us runs in one direction. Boy throws rock, window breaks and not window breaks, boy throws rock. For all the time we have been on earth, with enough intelligence to appreciate the fact, that sequence , or causality, has never changed. Mathematically it is probably possible to have any number or even an infinite number of ways in which the sequence can be represented, and if making up those theoretical sequences, sends frissons of pleasure up your spine, congratulations ! But to a few of us, the Universe has a certain majestic simplicity. Why then, when we put forward simpler, more logical (at least to us) explanations, do you and your fellow QM adherents get a f*** up your collective b***t ? Exactly what is it that bugs you ? That people might listen to what we are saying and get the wrong ideas ? I can't understand your logic or lack of it.

20. ### originHeading towards oblivionValued Senior Member

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I think the problem is simply that it is very annoying to see someone being smug and arrogant about their absurd idea, when they are so utterly ignorant of the subject matter.

21. ### MazuluBannedBanned

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I don't think the aether medium idea is dead. I am sure it's not made of atoms. Aether winds are unjustified by experimental evidence. So what is the aether made of? Virtual photons? Virtual particles? Maybe. But a medium has to explain the nature of time (time dilation), inertial mass, and many other characteristics that we observe about nature. DeBroglie waves, Lorentz invariance, etc...

So why do we need an aether?

Answer: The physics constants. What determines the values of the physics constants? Speed of light, gravitational constant, Planck constant, etc...

A medium should help us come up with some new experiments, new questions. Without a medium, you have "nothingness" causing all known phenomena to occur. You also have lots of mathematics, which doesn't implement the laws of physics, but it describes them. Without a medium, all new ideas are shackled to mathematics.

22. ### MazuluBannedBanned

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3,090
Apparently, the physical composition of the aether (what it's made of) is unlike anything that anyone has ever experienced. In my view, the aether is composed of wave-functions. Wavefunctions are not just math; wave-functions exactly describe the phenomena of aether waves.

When you shine a light, you pour energy into the aether medium (space/space-time). For an aether medium made of wave-functions, the wave amplitude is $\psi = Ae^{i\omega t}$. When fully energized, you get an electromagnetic field $E = E_0 cos(kx - \omega t)$. They are practically of the same $e^{i \pi}$ form.

The probability density $\psi^* \psi$, or probability to find one photon, is very closely related what happens when you find a large number of photons. You get a square of the electric field term. $<S>=\frac{\epsilon_0 c}{2}E_0^2$.

In other words, for an aether medium made of wavefunctions, those wavefunctions, when they become energized, they become electromagnetic fields.

23. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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quant,

One thing you will find out about people trained in science is that they can smell a fallacy from a great distance. Science relies on exacting standards of honesty and accuracy. It's not just that fallacy is wrong or even dishonest. It usually never gets to that level of scrutiny. It's just that it's frivolous. Scientists know this because they've been down that road, when they were young and naive. It takes a lot wrestling with one's own fallacies and incorrect thinking to realize that jumping to conclusions without putting ideas to the test is a formula for disaster. A second basic principle is the need to completely remove oneself from the basis for an underlying fact, to be sure that the facts stand on their own, without being propped up. And a third principle is that no existing field of knowledge can be assumed defective without first developing some degree of mastery of the subject from which to arrive at a basis for finding the defect. It's highly unlikely that a novice can defeat a master at his own game. You'll see this echoed in posts where folks are asking for proof, and asking for the evidence to back up a claim, or to do a derivation.

I gave you a couple of juicy tidbits to chomp on, but you didn't bite. One of them is that there is no aether wind. Without it, the notion is effectively dead. Do you understand why this is true?

Another point I made was that wave propagation in the common experience, and EM wave propagation, are not true duals. I mentioned the relationship between wave propagation velocity and the inverse geometric mean of the permittivity and permeability. This was another freebie, since you could have taken the dual for, say, acoustics, in which the analogous parameters are inertia (or reluctance or stiffness) of air and its density, and these alone set the acoustic wave propagation velocity.

Another big killer is relativity. In the real world, the medium doesn't rescale itself under a Lorentz transformation just because there's relative motion between emitter and observer, or because there is a force drawing the two together.

But most of all, the kind of waves you're familiar with are simply not EM waves. That in itself is insurmountable. I can think of no duals for any of Maxwell's equations that apply to real world waves. Can you?

Therein lies the rub. The simplest treatment of the subject should be telling you that your ideas can't possibly be correct.