Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

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Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Schmelzer on Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:05 am

For most people, ether theory is some old theory rejected after Einstein 1905 has developed relativity.  And ether theorists today are idiots who believe they have found logical errors in Einstein's theory, into conspiracies of relativists to hide the truth, and similar nonsense. Usually they think that already the Michelson-Morley experiment has proven that there is no ether.  

Some people know that this is not the case - that there is also an interpretation of Special Relativity which is compatible with the ether - the so-called Lorentz ether.

But, of course, this is only special relativity.  But special relativity describes only situations where gravity does not play a role.  Gravity appears incompatible with special relativity - and it has to be modified to cover gravity.  The resulting theory of gravity was general relativity.  And, even if Einstein in a popular lecture in Leyden has said that, in some sense, there is an ether in general relativity, this proposal has not been accepted by the scientific community - the "ether" of general relativity seemed too incompatible with classical ideas about an ether.  So, the general opinion was that there is no ether in general relativity.  

And the "ether" was left to outsiders, mostly laymen who did not understand even special relativity, and, even less, modern physics.  They tend to consider ether models for the classical electromagnetic field - in a situation where modern physics considers quantum field theories and the electromagnetic field has been closely connected with the weak force, a force which such "ether theorists" have, it seems, never heard about.  So, the ether seems to be a completely dead end.

But, surprise, there exist also ether theories which are compatible with modern physics, and claim even some advantages in comparison with the established theories.  And these theories are not simply cheap claims of some cranks on their homepage, usually without any formulas.  Instead, they have been published in peer-reviewed mainstream journals.  

I'm the author of these theories.  One is a theory of gravity, which is, in its mathematical apparatus, very close to General Relativity.  In some natural limit, the equations of the theory give the Einstein equations of GR.  The main advantage is that such a theory can be easily quantized - we know how to quantize classical condensed matter theories, and this ether theory is such a classical condensed matter theory.

The other part is an ether model which explains the particle content of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics.  The SM  contains a lot of fermions - in three generations, with leptons, neutrinos, quarks, each quark in three colors, and each of these particles described by four complex fields and a quite complex equation - the Dirac equation.  These fermions interact with three different forces between them,  - and  - strong, weak and electromagnetic force.  Why so many fermions, so many forces?  Why do they have the charges they have?  For the SM, all this has to be postulated, axioms out of thin air, without any explanation.  We have observed these particles and these forces, that's the whole explanation.

Here, the ether model gives an explanation.

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Mayflow on Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:59 am

Interesting introduction. Welcome to the forum. I'll be interested to hear more of your ideas about ether.

My own opinion is that I do not really know, and I don't think anyone really knows and we may never know. This loosely relates to something I have been thinking on just lately, that sometimes our minds work in something like a closed loop. We have certain basic premises we believe in and center our beliefs around, and while this may provide for a consistent base, it may limit our openness to see something that may be very inconsistent with our theory and belief closed loop systems.

An idea I will explore further on other topics. Now for the ether ideas. What do you think it [ether] consists of? Is it particles? Forces?
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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Schmelzer on Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:50 am

My ether consists of a lattice of small cells, with some other material between them.  

The point is that the state of each cell may be described by a three-dimensional affine transformation from some undistorted reference state.  This is a 3 times (1+3) matrix, defined by some translation of the cell (a 3 times 1 vector part) and a linear transformation (the 3 times 3 matrix part).  

This corresponds to 3 generations times (1 lepton + 3 colored quarks).  Of course, at a first look only very roughly - each item in this correspondence consists of two Dirac fermions - a lepton with its corresponding neutrio,  or an up-quark together with its corresponding down-quark.  These are eight complex fields for each.  

But one should not worry, there are ways in which one such field, on a lattice, could give that many fields.  First, there is a factor 2 which makes out of a coordinate q the pair coordinate + velocity, which one needs for the complete state description.  After this, we need yet another factor eight.  This is obtained if we consider not only almost continuous fields, but also heavily oscillating fields.  They may, independently, oscillate or not, in each of the three spatial directions, which gives 2 times 2 times 2 different fields.


Last edited by Schmelzer on Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:41 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : error correction)

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Mayflow on Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:26 am

What I catch here is a new spark of an idea in me. What I wish to ask is what you mean by 3 generations of time?

Ether (or aether) is what I have understood to represent something in free space and even in vacuums (which may not really be possible, as things seem to be always coming into and out of existence pretty much everywhere) that allow or act as a medium for electromagnetic waves to travel in.

Dirac fermions seem to be a fairly proven hypothesis and will maybe make it so graphene will serve as a faster medium for electron travel, so I could maybe make a correlation that ether may contain similar properties.

What still strikes me is the time and generations thing. Are you familiar with time gating?
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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Schmelzer on Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:40 am

@Mayflow wrote:What I catch here is a new spark of an idea in me. What I wish to ask is what you mean by 3 generations of time?
An error, it should have been "times". I was talking about three generations of particles in the standard model of particle physics.

The first generation is the electron, the electron-neutrino, and the up- and the down quarks, which are what is inside the neutrons and protons.

The second generation is myon, myon-neutrino, and the strange and charmed quarks. The third is the tauon and the tauon-neutrino, and the bottom and top quarks. (This is not completely exact, but sufficient as a first approximation.)

@Mayflow wrote:Ether (or aether) is what I have understood to represent something in free space and even in vacuums (which may not really be possible, as things seem to be always coming into and out of existence pretty much everywhere) that allow or act as a medium for electromagnetic waves to travel in.
In modern physics there is no such animal as free space. The fields of the standard model are fields - defined everywhere in space. And at least the gravitational field cannot be even zero. And my ether is not only for electromagnetic waves, but for all waves.

@Mayflow wrote:Are you familiar with time gating?
No.

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Jonathan Ainsley Bain on Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:26 pm

Mayflow makes a good point about a closed loop of thought -
that each individual can only perceive a fragment of the universe.

I would describe it as a bit like trying to
throw a ball at a seemingly randomly moving target,
from a seemingly randomly moving origin.

It would be easier to assume that the origin or target is fixed,
and thereafter try and determine just one formula.

In a round-about way, what I am trying to get at is:
What is your fixed starting point?

We can develop a variety of models each with a different starting point,
and each model can be equally accurate, though not equally simple.

What is the one facet of the universe that you take to be an a priori foundation?

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Schmelzer on Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:06 pm

I don't believe in different models all equally accurate. The universe is one, and does not contain contradictions, thus, our theories should not contain contradictions too, if they contradict each other, that means, there is something wrong with them.

My starting point was some quantum thought experiment, which suggested that there should be some common background for different gravitational fields - without such a common background, it would be impossible to define a superposition of different gravitational fields. This background would have to be some four-dimensional spacetime, only with an affine structure - that means, lines are well-defined, but no distances. Such a structure could be defined in gravity by the harmonic condition.

Then, the next additional idea was that this affine structure is not enough, to add a split of this spacetime into space and time would be quite natural.

And then I observed that with this splitting, the harmonic equations would give a natural interpretation in terms of an ether, with classical continuity and Euler equations. This was already the ether interpretation.

And then I have tried to develop this idea.

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Jonathan Ainsley Bain on Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:36 pm

without such a common background, it would be impossible to define a superposition of different gravitational fields

Absolutely agree!

May I suggest four dimensions of 'true-space'
- with our 'normal' 3-d space curved within it?

Much like the Earth has an imperfect curved 2-d surface
within what can be considered as 'true 3-d space' - ('true' in that context.)

Time should never have been confabulated with space at all
despite ambiguities in language around the notion of '4th dimension'.

So for me, quantum time becomes the immutable undilatable
'primary quantum' - the fixed point of reference.
And most of Einstein's relativity is disposed of accordingly.

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Schmelzer on Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:24 am

No, a 4-d space with embedded curved 3-d spaces would be much to complicate, an additional dimension for what one can get without it, by a simple different interpretation.

The simple Lorentzian interpretation - with rulers distorted by their velocity relative to the ether - gives the same in a much cheaper way. We add that density and stress tensor of the ether can distort rulers too. And if rulers are distorted, and this distortion is not homogeneous, this gives curvature without any additional dimensions.

Imagine a disc which is more hot inside than outside. Measure distances with classical rulers which become greater with temperature. Now check if you obtain, with such distorted rulers, the [tex]u=2\pi r[/tex] formula for the perimeter or not. If not, it means the "metric" measured by these rulers is "curved".

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Jilan1 on Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:35 pm

Hi Schmelzer, when a particle moves, does the lattice more with it?

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Schmelzer on Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:40 am

No, particles are completely similar to phonons, the "particles" corresponding to sound waves in quantum condensed matter theory.

That means, the lattice vibrates a little bit at the places where the "particles" exist. If the particle moves, the oscillations of the lattice move.

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Jilan1 on Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:38 pm

OK, so you are assuming the some preferred lattice frame?

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Schmelzer on Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:03 am

Yes, a preferred frame is anyway unavoidable because of the violation of Bell's inequality, if one does not want to give up realism and causality.

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alternatives, anyone?

Post by greylorn on Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:14 pm

@Schmelzer wrote:For most people, ether theory is some old theory rejected after Einstein 1905 has developed relativity.  And ether theorists today are idiots who believe they have found logical errors in Einstein's theory, into conspiracies of relativists to hide the truth, and similar nonsense. Usually they think that already the Michelson-Morley experiment has proven that there is no ether.  

Some people know that this is not the case - that there is also an interpretation of Special Relativity which is compatible with the ether - the so-called Lorentz ether.

But, of course, this is only special relativity.  But special relativity describes only situations where gravity does not play a role.  Gravity appears incompatible with special relativity - and it has to be modified to cover gravity.  The resulting theory of gravity was general relativity.  And, even if Einstein in a popular lecture in Leyden has said that, in some sense, there is an ether in general relativity, this proposal has not been accepted by the scientific community - the "ether" of general relativity seemed too incompatible with classical ideas about an ether.  So, the general opinion was that there is no ether in general relativity.  

And the "ether" was left to outsiders, mostly laymen who did not understand even special relativity, and, even less, modern physics.  They tend to consider ether models for the classical electromagnetic field - in a situation where modern physics considers quantum field theories and the electromagnetic field has been closely connected with the weak force, a force which such "ether theorists" have, it seems, never heard about.  So, the ether seems to be a completely dead end.

But, surprise, there exist also ether theories which are compatible with modern physics, and claim even some advantages in comparison with the established theories.  And these theories are not simply cheap claims of some cranks on their homepage, usually without any formulas.  Instead, they have been published in peer-reviewed mainstream journals.  

I'm the author of these theories.  One is a theory of gravity, which is, in its mathematical apparatus, very close to General Relativity.  In some natural limit, the equations of the theory give the Einstein equations of GR.  The main advantage is that such a theory can be easily quantized - we know how to quantize classical condensed matter theories, and this ether theory is such a classical condensed matter theory.

The other part is an ether model which explains the particle content of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics.  The SM  contains a lot of fermions - in three generations, with leptons, neutrinos, quarks, each quark in three colors, and each of these particles described by four complex fields and a quite complex equation - the Dirac equation.  These fermions interact with three different forces between them,  - and  - strong, weak and electromagnetic force.  Why so many fermions, so many forces?  Why do they have the charges they have?  For the SM, all this has to be postulated, axioms out of thin air, without any explanation.  We have observed these particles and these forces, that's the whole explanation.

Here, the ether model gives an explanation.
Schmelzer,

Perhaps you've perused Schulenberger's old paper, Isomorphisms of hyperbolic systems and the aether, in which he showed that the Michelson-Morley experiment could not have detected an aether.  

I agree with you and those who think that an aether is required, and predictably have my own notion of it, which of course is different from yours.   Roger Penrose has stated his uncomfortableness with ideas about the beginnings of the universe that begin with a low-entropy system, but I take things a bit further than that and propose that low-entropy beginnings are religious nonsense.  (My version of the beginnings hypothesizes an entropy-one initial state.)  

I'm assuming that you are as wedded to your idea of a granular aether as I am to my alternative, so won't try to explain my ideas.  Nonetheless I am curious as to how your concepts fit into the beginnings of things.  How did your granular aether come into existence?


Last edited by greylorn on Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : eliminate a duplicated phrase)

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Re: Ether theory is not obligatory crank nonsense

Post by Schmelzer on Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:03 am

@greylorn wrote:Perhaps you've perused Schulenberger's old paper, Isomorphisms of hyperbolic systems and the aether, in which he showed that the Michelson-Morley experiment could not have detected an aether.
For the Lorentz ether, this was well-known even before 1905. So, a paper of Schulenberger proving this would be of interest for history of science, but not for actual modern ether theory.
@greylorn wrote:
Nonetheless I am curious as to how your concepts fit into the beginnings of things.  How did your granular aether come into existence?
My theory has evolution equations for the ether. These are equations which tell us if the ether is now in state 1 it will develop into state 2. But above are states where an ether already exists. So, this evolution equation tells us nothing about how the ether comes into existence. A theory which describes its coming into existence should be a theory about something else, something more general, about something which may be, in some particular states, an ether, and in other states something different. Or there in one place there is an ether, in another one not, like, say, in one place there is water, in another place not. I have no such theory.

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