© Harold Aspden, 1997

Research Note: 11/97: May 5, 1997

This Research Note is being written on May 5, 1997 after reading two articles on page 14 in today's issue of THE TIMES (London newspaper). In the dominant article, Nigel Hawkes reports on a new book by John Horgan entitled 'The End of Science' which implies that everything worthwhile has already been discovered, even though such a belief was attributed also to the eminent physicist Lord Kelvin at the end of the 19th century. Kelvin is quoted as saying that the future truths of physical science were to be looked for in the 'sixth place of decimals' but it was noted that this was 'just before Einstein transformed the entire understanding of the subject'.

John Horgan is a senior writer for Scientific American and it seems that his conclusion is that 'the great era of scientific discovery is over'. Well, Mr Horgan, if that is true where, in Einstein's theory, can I find the derivation of the value of G, the constant of gravitation? By that, I mean the derivation of G to the 'sixth place of decimals' in terms of other fundamental constants of physics which have been measured to that degree of precision.

Surely, the views of Lord Kelvin deserve our attention. Something determines the universal values of the fundamental physical constants and we would be better employed in our scientific endeavour if we try to decipher the coded information contained in those numbers, before we lose ourselves in a so-called four-space world and its Big Bang origins.

The other article by Nigel Hawkes, standing alongside the commentary on Horgan's book was headed 'A challenge to Einstein's theory'. It referred to something published in Physical Review Letters. It said that physicists, Dr Borge Nodland of the University of Rochester in New York and Dr. John Ralston of the University of Kansas, had analysed 160 observations of distant galaxies to find something quite remarkable:

'Radio signals coming in from one direction - the constellation Sextans - appeared minutely different from the ones originating 90 degrees away in the sky. The polarization, or preferred direction of oscillation, of the radio waves differed, depending on which direction the physicists looked.'

Upon reading this my attention was drawn back to some words that Nigel Hawkes used to introduce this subject:

"To show that the universe as a whole behaves differently, depending which way you slice it, has momentous implications. For a start, it would overturn Einstein's theory of relativity, which holds that physical laws are the same everywhere in the universe."

What, I wondered, had Nigel Hawkes in mind when he used the words: 'which way you slice it'. Had he at some time read my book 'Modern Aether Science', where chapter 16 entitled 'The Cosmic Aether' actually provides evidence to show that space is sliced up into discrete domain configurations? The analogy familiar to the physicist is the way in which the state of ferromagnetism in a crystal is sliced up into discrete 'magnetic domains' which exist, not as a physical structure comprising atomic matter, but only as a fluid field condition.

Well, let me tell you why what Dr Borge Nodland and Dr John Ralston have discovered comes as no surprise to me. It was some thirty years ago that I published the second edition of my book 'The Theory of Gravitation' and that was five years before my book 'Modern Aether Science' was published. [Both of these works can still be supplied to anyone seriously interested, as a few copies remain in print - see the Book/Report section of these Web pages].

At the time I worked for IBM and visited U.S.A. quite regularly on company business. I mentioned my interest in Aether Science to a colleague at IBM's Corporate Headquarters and he kindly suggested that I should see a Professor Thomas at Columbia University in New York on my next trip. Professor Thomas was an expert on Einstein's theory, known in connection with the 'Thomas Precession' and he had a standing retainer as a scientific consultant to IBM. A meeting was duly arranged and, in advance of my meeting, I mailed to Professor Thomas a copy of my 1966 book 'The Theory of Gravitation', then just published. The book showed how one could derive the dimensionless fine-structure constant to that sixth place of decimals and went on to apply the same theory to derive the value of G, all based on a physical interpretation of an aether that had properties akin to those found in the underlying field structure of a ferromagnet. I had, however, at that time not gone so far as to slice space up into domain regions. The thought had not occurred to me, as my primary interest was in showing that the force of gravitation along with the internal forces which cause mutual attraction inside a magnet had a common origin in a synchronous charge motion, though on an entirely different scale.

So, I met with Professor Thomas, only to find that he had not read my book at all and had no questions based on such preliminary review. He merely listened to what I had to say about my theory. It was not possible to cover the full ground in the hour or so that we spent together. Nevertheless the meeting was helpful because, after listening to how I justified the electrostatic aspects of my interpretation of the aether, he asserted that my calculation would not hold up unless I could prove there was no problem posed by boundary conditions. Curiously, physicists are not at all impressed by calculations which give the right numerical answers. They need to see the physical formulations as rooted in the current theoretical activity and that, of course, means Einstein's territory. In no way, at least in 1966, was there any patience with the idea that the aether should be revived and Einstein's theory brushed aside!

Anyway, I had a point of criticism to address and my mind was then focused on that boundary problem. To explain this in simple terms I need first to outline the aether model I was using. We know from the success of Maxwell's theory that there must be electric charges in the vacuum medium, as otherwise there would be nothing to sustain displacement currents. There is no sense in saying that, because the vacuum is electrically neutral, it must contain particles of positive and negative charge in equal numbers. They would coalesce and form matter. Therefore I took the view that all those particles that contributed to Maxwell's displacement action must have the same polarity and it seemed appropriate to say that they were all identical in form. To provide the electrical neutralization I made the assumption that there was a uniform background, a charge continuum of opposite polarity, without speculating at all on its true nature. Those particles would then each seek to occupy a neutral position to which they are attracted by electrostatic action, but they would repel one another to take up positions in a structured array. I realized that this array would be a simple cubic form, familiar as I was with the different circumstances applicable where particles have an attractive affinity, as in material crystals where the electron shells of adjacent atoms overlap slightly. Structures that are of face-centred cubic, body-centred cubic, or other such forms are then found in ferromagnets, for example. However, so far as the aether is concerned, the structure is simple cubic!

So far, this is mere hypothesis, but I was then able to consider energy deployment. If all those aether particles were at their positions of least electric potential then the energy of charge interaction would be negative overall. I could not believe that the aether is governed by a state of negative energy. If it were, then everything would be at rest and be frozen in place. There could be no action and no motion. My flash of genius, if such it was, was that of assuming that each and everyone of those aether lattice charges was at a position of least possible energy potential, so long as that potential was of positive value. I excluded negative energy. If that expression has meaning at all it can only apply as a relative expression and the basic aether has to be the absolute bedrock foundation for reference. Note that I am talking about energy and not the speed of light as most physicists assume when the aether is mentioned.

On this basis I explained to Professor Thomas that my calculations of the necessary concerted displacement of those particles, meaning the whole aether lattice, fixed a calculable distance in terms of the particle spacing in the aether lattice and this defined a radius about which there had to be universal synchronous motion of all those particles. Here was where I discovered the link with Planck's constant and the Bohr magneton which I knew featured in the theory of ferromagnetism. However, I had used in my analysis a restoring force rate that invoked my knowledge of electrostatics and gave the right answer when the energy density of an electric field is calculated in terms of that Maxwell displacement. Professor Thomas questioned how I could eliminate boundary considerations as they applied to my aether model.

He did not enlarge on this point, but when I later sat down to struggle with this issue and imagined a lattice charge system to be displaced within a spherically-bound aether I got an energy density result for field energy storage that was only one third of the true value. To get the right answer the boundaries of the electrical charge system of the aether had to be set by mutually parallel planes. The aether had to be 'sliced', to use the above words of Nigel Hawkes.

This was a rather absurd picture, because common sense tells us that the vastness of space should not involve us in trying to picture the shape of the ultimate boundaries, given that it is far too remote to have any influence. Mathematical principles nevertheless oblige us to envisage a 'sliced' space medium, where there are local boundaries that are planar. This is no problem, because this is exactly what we see in the magnetic domain structure inside the crystals which form a ferromagnetic material. The shape of the ultimate boundaries, those of the body of the crystal, do not affect those local domain boundaries. Instead, the latter are orientated according to the local atomic lattice structure of the crystal.

What, then, constitutes a planar space boundary? The answer to this that I have adopted is that, on one side of a boundary, the aether particles have positive polarity and occupy a negative charge continuum, whereas on the other side of the boundary the aether particles have negative polarity and occupy a positive charge continuum. Note that this assumption seemed to be only option. It made sense because it compensated for the asymmetry that the aether would otherwise need in its overall perspective. I had been forced into this interpretation by that critical observation of Professor Thomas. But I was not deterred from belief in the theory I had evolved. On the contrary all its results, qualitative and quantitative, remained intact, but there was some spin-off that led to something new.

I asked myself what would happen if a body such as Earth, in moving through space, actually passes through such a boundary and for a few moments of transit at its cosmic speed of several hundred kilometres per second it occupies two regions of aether divided by that boundary. Well, the answer I could give without enlarging on my theory as it stood was that the Earth's magnetic field would reverse as a result of that transit and, in the astride-the-boundary position, there would be a reversal of the gravity force as between the two regions. In other words, during the passage, the Earth would experience enormous upheavals, earthquakes on a scale we cannot imagine.

Consequently, I went in search of evidence to see if there were indications of any correlation between geological events and the reversal of the geomagnetic field. I found that in August 1970 and it was in March 1972 that I published 'Modern Aether Science', but see also chapter 8 entitled 'The Cosmic World' in my 1980 book 'Physics Unified'. Yes, there was such evidence, very strong evidence, but there was a surprise as well. The timing of the reversals, which occur in a seemingly irregular pattern, can be deciphered in a way which suggests that the space boundaries exist in a three-dimensional sense. It is as if space is sliced by three mutually orthogonal sets of parallel boundaries!

There had to be some other way in which a planar boundary system can divide regions of space which would account for the antigravity transitions and the magnetic field reversals. Was this possible, without affecting that electrostatic restoring force rate which dictated the need for the set of planar boundaries separating regions of alternating charge polarity? Well, I have stated that the aether particles describe tiny orbits about the charge centres to which they are attracted. They also move in synchronism and, as seen in motion in the planes of their orbits they can all describe those orbits in either a clockwise or an anticlockwise sense. Here, then, was the clue needed to interpret the other boundary forms. Not only does the aether medium preserve a kind of symmetry in its electric charge system when viewed overall, notwithstanding the particle-continuum asymmetry of the local space domains, but it assures an overall balance of angular momentum, notwithstanding the concerted orbital patterns of motion in its local space domains.

The analogy of the ferromagnet was, indeed, quite relevant, because, looking inside a ferromagnetic crystal and in a direction parallel with its overall natural polarization, there are domains separated by parallel boundaries and the spins accounting for ferromagnetism have opposite directions in adjacent domains.

If you now ask how an electromagnetic wave might be affected in its passage across a space domain boundary, you will see that the electric field oscillations can be orthogonal to the orbits of the aether particles or in the plane of those orbits, depending upon their direction of motion through space. In the former situation they will pass through unaffected. However, in the latter situation they will have an energy interaction which affects their intensity on entry through a domain boundary and restores it to its original condition on its exit through a domain boundary.

This is my immediate reaction to the May 5th account I read in today's issue of THE TIMES. The findings there reported do seem consistent with space being 'sliced' by those planar boundaries. However, the point is that we do not have to wait the 100,000 years or so before the next Earth transit through such a space domain boundary, because we can, it now seems, interpret the electromagnetic radiation from distant stars to learn something about the orientation of those space domains.

We will not see 'The End of Science' predicted by author John Horgan until we come to understand those space domain boundaries. We already have the solutions to the puzzles posed by gravitation, the proton-electron mass ratio and the fine-structure constant, without the need for superstring theory and the like, and with it we have complied with Lord Kelvin's 'sixth place of decimal' confirmation. However, that assumes that the reader is interested in delving into Aether Science as presented in these Web pages.