Copyright Harold Aspden, 1997

In these Web pages I plan to summarize my case for proving that Einstein's theory, whether it be his Special or General Theory of Relativity has no merit whatsoever. As can be seen from the above heading, there will be two Parts to my attack on Einstein territory. This Part I is my incursion based on a little brain-washing by propaganda or common sense, whichever viewpoint you choose to adopt. It should be enough to convince most scientifically-minded readers, but scientists can be stubborn, as history shows. Part II is a completely separate account, written without assuming knowledge of this Part I material, and intended to convince the experimentally-minded physicist that Einstein's theory is just plain wrong. Experiments prove it to be wrong! I will refer to experiments that were performed in accredited laboratories or observatories, the results of which the scientific world have brushed under the carpet to avoid the issues they raise.

If the reader is a cosmologist or a professor who teaches the mathematics of Einstein's theory then there may be an unshakable conviction that I cannot penetrate. That person, if willing to browse through what I have to say, may find that Part II is best read first, but Part I must not be forgotten. What I am saying will not go away. It has to be faced and I have to be proved wrong, point by point, before it can be taken for granted that I am launching myself as a misguided weapon on the Internet scene.

I will now begin my Part I discourse.

There used to be a saying in England which applied to someone who attempted to force something to fit where common sense should tells us that it is impossible. 'You cannot squeeze a pint into a half-pint pot!' Yet scientists who dominate thought in the academic community concerned with cosmology and theoretical physics believe wholeheartedly that Einstein did achieve the impossible. He managed to convince the academic theoreticians that it was possible for different observers to see space as having different forms, simply because he wanted to keep the speed of light constant relative to each and every observer, wherever that observer may be located.

Now, of course, that community take strength from one another, trusting that, if they see flaws, someone in their flock really understands Einstein's theory better than they do themselves. They do not want to reveal their own inability to comprehend that which their peers understand so clearly! They are semi-blind, led by the semi-blind and they lead the semi-blind! Ask yourself why, if four-space has any meaning, all the experiments which are said to present data supporting such theory present those results in the familiar units of three-space with time as a separate dimension.

The logic of the steps involved can be listed as follows:
(i) Objective: We want to put a pint in a half-pint pot.
(ii) Stage 1: Devise a mathematical way in which to transform a half-pint pot into one that appears larger on a computer screen.
(iii) Stage 2: Write a computer program which shows a graphic picture of your half-pint of liquid being poured into that pot.
(iv) Stage 3: Run the program to enjoy the illusion and then save the recorded images in your computer.
(v) Stage 4: Invite others to see your program running so they can witness the pint being poured into the half-pint pot.
(vi) Stage 5: Produce a print-out summarizing what has been seen and authenticated, in a readable version of text now using the standard language of three-space.
(vii) Stage 6: Publish your findings as 'physics' and declare 'Eureka'.

If you really believe Einstein's theory then please tell me when we will have optical instruments and electrical measuring equipment that are calibrated to register directly as four-space measurements. Otherwise, read the following article and then tell me what, in that article, you cannot accept! It was written and published in 1986. I still await reaction and comment. Now that I am putting it on Internet, I urge you to give it your serious attention and ask yourself why the points I make are not discussed with students as part of the standard relativistic teaching. Remember that Einstein's theory is not something that has ever been proved by experiment. It is a philosophical viewpoint, a matter of opinion, just as was the hypothesis that the Earth was flat, before it was circumnavigated. However, what I am saying is not philosophy. It is the kind of science that an engineer can understand, meaning of the kind that delivers results and not just a string of mathematical symbols, but also provides design data that checks qualitatively as well as quantitatively with what is actually measured.


The following is the text of an article I wrote that appeared in the July 1986, v. 5, No. 2 issue, of 'The Toth-Maatian Review' on pp. 2475-2481. The editor of this periodical is, I believe, a disillusioned physicist who, in his retirement years, decided to run his own publishing house to give attention to opinions which were not in favour with editors of the more orthodox publications.

Note that the orbit of a planet around the Sun is elliptical in form, but the orientation of the major axis of the orbit, as judged by reference to the background of distant stars, can be seen to change very gradually. It may take tens of thousands of orbital revolutions before the major axis turns through 360 degrees, but turn it will, owing to energy transfer involved in gravitational effects within the multi-body solar system. That slow turning motion, or rather a small anomalous component thereof, is what we have in mind when referring to the anomalous perihelion advance of a planet.

The title of this 1986 article, which now follows, is:

'The Mystery of Mercury's Perihelion'

Anyone interested in Einstein's theory of relativity usually acquires that interest by first learning that, because our Earth is moving at high speed through space and because our measurements in the laboratory seem immune from that motion, our viewpoint of physical phenomena must be specially favoured. What we see and measure seems, relative to us, to be rather special and Einstein's special theory of relativity exploits that feeling.

The problems begin when we encounter the abstraction of a four-dimensional space interwoven with a time which 'dilates' as we move faster and faster. We are sceptical, and rightly so, but we have respect for those who lead us along the path of truth. When we ask how 19th century physics coped with this basic problem we then find that Newtonian mechanics has a built-in relativistic mechanism. It gives the answer quite well by the down-to-earth physics governing our daily lives, because Newton's laws hold up if referenced on any frame of reference in steady motion. We are then guided into the problem of deciding between the action-at-a-distance effects implicit in Newton's theory and the problems of the finite propagation speed of light. The latter suggest retarded actions in an aether, but we are assured that nobody has found a way of measuring our motion in the laboratory by tests referenced on this medium and that, if we turn to Einstein for enlightenment and forget Newton, then we can forget the aether too. Our future in physics lies, we are told, not in action-at-a-distance, but in Einstein's field theory and its distorted space-time metric.

Should we still drag our feet, and perhaps the aether along with us, then we are dealt the 'coup de grace' to put us out of our misery. Einstein's theory predicted something that lies outside Newton's world. Einstein obtained an equation that not only explains why light bends in acknowledging the stars it might be passing, but it also gives us reason to expect that the perihelion of planet Mercury must advance anomalously at a rate of about 43 arc seconds per century. The bending of light (refraction) was a subject that interested Newton too, as was the perturbing effect of astronomical bodies on the motion of other such bodies. Indeed, most of the actual perihelion motion of a planet is fully explained by Newtonian theory when applied to multi-body systems. It is the small amount of 43 arc seconds per century that needs explanation in the light of the fact that Newton relied on action-at-a-distance, the instantaneous action of force in regulating the motion of planets.

General relativity, once added to the base of special relativity, stands as an impregnable fortress in the eyes of those who speak on these issues. Relativity becomes the all-pervading regulator of our physical science. It has been sanctified and is beyond challenge and we are now no longer allowed to question its doctrines. However, whatever the ordinary-minded individual might think at heart, there is something unsettling when eminent authorities on relativity can suddenly see new light and then become so hostile to the subject and its flaws that they turn to attack it.

The reader may have little concern about Einstein's theory and the strength it derives from Mercury's perihelion, which helps to hold in place a misguided belief in dogma that can obstruct technological progress to the benefit of mankind. There are those amongst us, however, who must pay due attention and be concerned.

Herbert Dingle, as emeritus professor in the University of London in England, had written two books on relativity in his early years, 'Relativity for All' and 'The Special Theory of Relativity'. Later he found that he could prove it was false, but no one was prepared to give him much of a hearing, so he eventually wrote 'Science at the Crossroads', published in 1972 in London by Martin, Brian and O'Keefe. It is a damning account beginning with the assertion that it is supposed to be so abstruse that only a select body of specialists can be expected to understand it, but that in fact most leaders in science, particularly experimentalists, regard the theory as nonsense but accept it because a few mathematical specialists in the subject say they should.

Another scientist, whose main activity was the measurement of frequency and time during the 44 years he spent at the National Physical Laboratory in England, realized the error in Einstein's theory early in his career. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society and earned distinction for his measurements of the velocity of light by a cavity resonator, besides building the first caesium clock in 1955. When he retired he published a paper explaining why relativity was in error. The reasons are perhaps less telling than some of the side remarks he makes in this inspiring article: 'Relativity and Time Signals' in Wireless World of October 1978, published in U.K. These include:

'The theory is so rigidly held that young scientists dare not openly express their views'.
'I was warned that if I persisted (in refuting Einstein's theory) I was likely to spoil my career prospects'.
'The general public is misled into believing that science is a mysterious subject which can be understood by only a few exceptionally gifted mathematicians'.
'Students are told that the theory must be accepted although they cannot expect to understand it. They are encouraged right at the beginning of their careers to forsake science in favour of dogma'.
'...the continued acceptance and teaching of relativity hinders the development of a rational extension of electromagnetic theory'.

Dr. Essen argued the absurdity of Einstein's theory by reference to its paradoxical effects on time but ended with comments under the heading 'A Hope for the Future?' in which he wrote:

'There are fortunately a few writers who are breaking with tradition and developing new ideas which may be fruitful. In this country (England) there are two small volumes by H. Aspden ....'

It was here that Dr. Essen drew attention to this writer's books 'Physics without Einstein' and 'Modern Aether Science', published in 1969 and 1972, respectively.

Outside the realm of the relativistic specialists, who would of course be asked to review any book challenging relativity, the first of these works was well reviewed by Aslib Book List in U.K.: 'An extremely well-written and challenging book which should be read by all physicists' and by 'Geophysics' in the USA: 'The reviewer welcomes this new and stimulating challenge of the orthodox views of modern physics ... well-written ... a bargain'. However, in spite of this, the will to believe in relativity is strong and the chances are that very few readers of this paper have even heard of Dr. Essen or these books by this author.

Amongst the eminent who have philosophized on these scientific matters is Alfred North Whitehead. He wrote a work ['The Principle of Relativity with Applications to Physical Science'. See his 'An Anthology', Cambridge University Press, U.K. p. 356 (1953).] He set out to provide an alternative rendering of the theory of relativity, yielding as best he could to Einstein's methods, but trying to keep what he calls 'the old division between physics and geometry'. He acknowledges Einstein as a genius for assimilating space and time but declares 'the worst homage we can pay to a genius is to accept uncritically formulations of truths which we owe to it'. He levies quite serious criticism against the theory, but makes concessions which leave things in the air, as it were. So here is the philosopher who is also puzzled but is carried along by the common acclaim for the Emperor's invisible suit of clothes. [At this point in this paper, Harold Milnes, the Editor of The Toth-Maatian Review interjected the following footnote: 'Hans Christian Anderson never recounted the rest of the story:- how, after the small child exposed the Emperor's nudity, the crowd became ashamed and then how everyone took off his clothes too, in reverent support of his Majesty's majesty.']

Whitehead makes his point as follows:

'The effects of rotation are among the most widespread of the apparent world, exemplified in the most gigantic nebulae and in the minutest molecules. The most obvious facts about rotational effects are their apparent disconnections from outlying phenomena. Rotation is the stronghold of those who believe that in some sense there is an absolute space to provide the framework of dynamical axes. Newton cited it in support of his doctrine. The Einstein theory in explaining gravitation has made rotation an entire mystery.'

From this summary of attitudes by those who have studied relativity in depth, we should, it seems, not be too impressed by those in authority in this field; relativity could be plain wrong. So let us look at just one of its claims to fame, the background to Einstein's work on the anomalous perihelion motion of the planet Mercury.

At the outset of this discussion the author emphasized that it is presumed that the measured value of this anomalous rate of advance is 43 arc seconds per century, a value which fits the formula derived by Einstein. It remains debatable whether Einstein should have allowed a factor for solar oblateness. This could destroy his theory, but Establishment science prefers to look the other way on this point, hoping the issue will die a natural death.

There is also room for debate on whether Einstein's theory contains a major flaw. This is where its abstruse nature tends to hide its blemishes. The basic paradox in the eyes of this author arises because the governing equations of motion under gravity are worked out in the four-dimensional metric to a point where the resulting equation has, of necessity, to be interpreted in a three dimensional space in order to have any relation to what is measured. However, the equation that emerges is not one specifying the position of the planet at a given time or in relation to planetary velocity. It is a quadratic equation which is solved in linear form in order to give the measured quantities. The solution involves a mathematical process which owes nothing to relativistic method; it is strictly analysis of the dynamical equation in three-dimensional space, a mathematical exercise which the non-relativist can understand. The equation to be solved involves an angular momentum term h, which is interpreted as the velocity moment of the planetary motion about the Sun. The equation is solved on the assumption that h is constant, as it would be in Newtonian theory because angular momentum is conserved and mass does not vary with speed. The solution gives the equation for 43 arc seconds advance, so all seems well. However, what has happened to the observation that mass increases with speed? How can this result of special relativity be suddenly ignored because we have arrived at a partial result using general relativity and made the last step by reliance on Newtonian assumption?

Unless someone can explain why the mass of a planet in orbit is constant in spite of change of speed, the real solution would be way off Einstein's 43 arc second figure. It is submitted that this is a direct contradiction in Einstein's analysis; it is not consistent with relativistic method. Somehow general relativity can forget that mass increases with speed and adopt a constant h factor in line with Newtonian theory, merely by moving the analysis into four space-time dimensions. However, the nonsense involved in this seems to show up when the analysis stops short of answers that can be compared directly with observations in the real world and makes the last leg of the journey in a language that does have real meaning. This paradox has not, so far as the author is aware, been dealt with in the science literature. The author's views on it have just appeared in a science periodical [H. Aspden, Lett. Nuovo Cimento, v. 44, p. 705 (1985)], but its readers will assume that someone more familiar with relativity will be able to dispose of the problem.

On this latter point we can already see the escape route forming by a few words in a paper by Phipps:

'The tendency of modern authorities is to dismiss 'mass variation with velocity' as an artifact of the possibly misguided attempt to express momentum in a celestial way.'

Phipps has just published this paper in the American Journal of Physics, v. 54, pp. 245-247 (1986), showing how Mercury's perihelion advance can be explained according to special relativity. He uses planetary mass variation of the planet, as did the famous American physicist H.E. Ives, to achieve this result. [H.E. Ives, Jour. Optical Soc. Am., v. 38, p. 413 (1948)]. In such analysis very much depends upon whether translation from energy equations to force equations requires angular momentum or planetary velocity moment to be constant. What some writers such as Surdin [M. Surdin, Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., v.58, p. 550 (1962)] regard as a 7 arc second contribution to perihelion from the special relativity formula can become a 21 arc second contribution if the proper translation into the relativity formula is made in solving equations. This is doubled by the techniques used by Ives and Phipps to give the 42 arc second or 43 arc second result.

So, even today, the question of whether Einstein's general theory of relativity can hold up as an explanation of Mercury's perihelion progression is in a state of turmoil. But, whatever we might say, surely (you might argue) we owe some tribute to Einstein for having first presented us with the formula that seems to fit the facts. This must bias us in his favour. Indeed, Leon Brillouin in his critical attack on Einstein's theory of general relativity 'Relativity Reexamined' [published by Academic Press, N.Y. (1970)] conceded something in Einstein's favour in writing:

'The advance of the perihelion of Mercury (43 arc seconds per century) was hailed as a wonderful check.'

It was as if the formula for the 43 arc seconds per century advance was not already known from the prior work of others, which Einstein presumably chose not to acknowledge.

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