The fundamentals of non-empty ether theory

2. Background of the concept of ether

The earliest written evidences of the arrangement of matter and vacuum are known from the works of philosophers of China and Greece [4, 5]. In the middle of the first millenary B.C. Chinese philosophers put forward a hypothesis that all existent consists of two opposite in sign principles - Yin and Yang [5]. Yin and Yang - are categories expressing the idea of the world dualism.The word Yang originally meant sunshine, or what pertains to sunshine and light, that of Yin meant the absence of sunshine, i.e., shadow or darkness. In later development the Yang and Yin came to be regarded as two cosmic principles or forces, respectively representing masculinity, activity, heat, brightness, dryness, hardness, etc., for the Yang, and feminity, passivity, cold, darkness, wetness, softness, etc., for the Yin. Through the interaction of these two primary principles, all phenomena of the universe are produced. This concept has remained dominant in Chinese cosmological speculation down to recent times. Yin and Yang determine not only an evolution, but also an arrangement of all existent in the world. An early reference to it appears already in the Kuo Yü or Discussion of the States (which was itself compiled, however, probably only in the fourth or third century B.C.)

Philosophers of Ancient Greece dealt with the problems of universe and cosmogony in detail. They determined ether as all-generating imperceptible to the touch, not subject to our sensations matter. It seems to us, that the most consistent model of ether was offered by Demokrit [5]. He stated that ameres - verily indivisible, devoid of parts - underlie all elementary particles. The ameres, being parts of atoms, have properties, which are vastly different from atoms' properties. If gravity is peculiar to atoms, ameres are completely devoid of this property. All totality of the ameres, moving in the emptiness (vacuum), according to Anaximandr, is a common global medium, ether or apeiron. Creators of bases of modern mathematics and physics considered ether as a substantial medium. For example, R. Descartes considered the space to be entirely filled with matter. The formation of visual matter, planets, by R. Descartes, happens from vortexes of ether. At the end of his life, Isaac Newton explained the presence of the gravitational force by pressure of the ethereal medium on a material body. According to his last view, the density gradient of ether is necessary to rush bodies from denser areas of ether to less dense ones. However, in order the gravitation appeared in the way it is observed by us, ether, according to Newton, has to possess great elasticity.

The first serious attempt to give mathematical description of ether was made by MacGullagh in 1839. According to MacGullagh, ether is a medium rigidly anchored in the global space. This medium renders elastic resistance to a turning strain and is characterized by an antisymmetric tensor of the second rank, which main diagonal terms are equal to zero. Posterior scientists have shown, that MacGullagh's ether is characterized by Maxwell's equations for empty space [6].

Of the classics of natural sciences the most complete definition of ether was given by James Clark Maxwell [7]. He wrote that ether is distinct from ordinary matter. When the light goes through the air, it is obvious, that the medium, in which the light propagates, is not the air, because, first, the air cannot transmit shear oscillations; and the longitudinal oscillations, transmitted by it, propagate almost a million times more slowly than the light.

It is impossible to suppose, that the structure of ether is similar to the gas structure, in which molecules are in the state of a random motion, because in such a medium a shear oscillation during a wavelength attenuates to the quantity, less, than 1/500 of the initial amplitude. However, it is known that a magnetic force in some area around a magnet is maintained while the steel retains its magnetism. Since we do not have reasons for the assumption that a magnet can lose all its magnetism as times goes by, we conclude, that molecular vortexes do not require a constant expenditure of work to maintain their motion. Whatever difficulties we encountered during our attempts to work out a well-grounded notion of ether structure, it is doubtless, that interplanetary and cosmic space is not empty, it is occupied by a material substance or body, the most extensive and, very likely, the most homogeneous we have ever known.

One of the creators of classical physics W. Thomson in the XIX century also developed a concept of an incompressible ethereal medium consisting of "atoms, conventionally, red and blue", bound to each other by rigid bindings and located at Bravai's lattice points [8]. His concept suggests that ether is quasi-rigid and absolutely resists any rotational displacements (gyration). W. Thomson's ether can be subject to shear strains. In order the ethereal model met the conditions of absolute resistance to a rotational displacement, W. Thomson arranged gyratory gyroscopes on rigid bindings. The gyroscopes can be represented as vortexes of an incompressible fluid. The angular velocity of the motion in each of the gyroscopes can be indefinitely high. On this assumption, a spatial net of differently orientated gyroscopes will render infinitely great resistance to a rotational displacement of the ethereal medium around any axis. The model of ether, constructed like that, according to W. Thomson's concept, is capable to transmit oscillations just as natural ether does.

Undoubtedly, W. Thomson's model does not virtually conform to modern concepts. It is very complicated. It is difficult to conceive gyroscopes with an indefinitely great angular velocity. Comparatively simple reasoning leads to the conclusion, that an indefinitely great velocity requires indefinitely great energy. It is not absolutely clear how the gyroscopes' areas, in which the gyration happens around reciprocally perpendicular axes, mate. W. Thomson does not explain, what physical mechanism realizes rigid bindings. At the same time, in our opinion, the concept of the ethereal medium consisting of "atoms" of a double sort, joint by strong connections and located at the particular lattice points has a rational base.

An essential revolution regarding conceptions of ether among physicists took place after the publication of principles of the theory of relativity by A. Einstein [9]. For example, in 1905 A. Einstein writes that introduction of "light-bearing ether" will appear thus redundant (Zur Elektrodynamik der bevegter Körper. Ann. Phys., 1905, 17, pp.891-921). In another work, in 1915 he writes that it is necessary to give up the introduction of the concept of ether that has turned into a useless makeweight to the theory (Die Relativitättheorie. In: Die Physik. T.3, Abt.3, Bd.1, Leipzig, Teubner, 1915, pp.703-713). In 1920 he writes that the hypothesis of the ether existence does not contradict the special theory of relativity (Ather and Relativitätstheorie. Verlag von Julius Springer. Berlin, 1920). In 1954 A. Einstein gives a final verdict: The special theory of relativity demonstrates inconsistency of the ether hypothesis existence (Relativität und Raumproblem. Supplement V, 1954).

One of the eminent physicists P. Dirac has described his understanding of vacuum this way [10]. According to these new notions, vacuum is not a hollow, which has nothing in it. It is filled with an enormous quantity of electrons, which energy is negative and which can be viewed as a certain ocean. This ocean is filled with electrons without a limit for the quantity of the negative energy, and therefore there is nothing similar to bottom in this electronic ocean. The phenomena we are interested in are the phenomena happening at the surface of this ocean and what happens at a depth is unobservable and is not of any interest. As long as the ocean is completely homogeneous, while its surface is flat, it is unobservable. But if we take a handful of water out of the ocean and lift it, the resulting disruption of homogeneity will be observed as electrons represented in this situation as the lifted part of water and the hole, remaining in its place, i.e. positrons (translated from Russian).

Another eminent scientist L. Brillouin has made a deduction: ..."General Theory of Relativity - is a brilliant example of a magnificent mathematical theory constructed on sand and leading to an increasing pile of mathematics in cosmology (a typical example of science fiction)" [1]. In the book "Relativity reexamined" he writes, that the theory of relativity, as well as the quantum theory, have arisen in the beginning of the 20-th century. Then fast development of quantum mechanics began. Spin, the Pauli exclusion principle, associated waves, the Schroedinger equation and many other things were discovered. Experiments supplemented the theory, the improved theory allowed one to predict new phenomena. The development of quantum mechanics has shown a remarkable symbiosis of theory and experiment, which leads to an unlimited growth of knowledge.

The theory of relativity (GTR and STR) is quite another matter. Subjected only to several experimental checkouts, it remains logically inconsistent. It has not caused that violent quantity of new scientific directions, which could be given by a fruitful theory. Hard fights with logical and physical inconsistencies in the theory are still going in its field.

Let us note that the aforecited argued assertions of world-renowned scientists cannot be ignored. The latest scientific achievements, especially in the field of radio-waves propagation, including that in outer space, motivate one to return to the solution of the ether problem.

Copyright (c) 2000 Felix F. Gorbatsevich