The nature of physical reality
On this page we will lay out the core elements of what appears to be the actual nature of physical reality, based upon the detailed analysis of theory and core observation elsewhere on this site.
We will examine objections, and then extend the model.
Existing theory that works
The parts of existing theory that work, and are therefore important parts of any new synthesis, are as follows:
There is a natural speed of light
That speed is a limiting speed for other motion
For certain observations, such as Michelson-Morley, that speed appears constant
For others, such as gravitational bending and delay, it does not
The several mathematical models of sub-atomic physics that comprise quantum mechanics are exceptional and are properly validated by observation
Two adjustments in the Schwarzschild metric of general relativity are properly validated: these are the adjustment to clock rate and the adjustment to light speed
It will shortly be seen – as Dirac concluded – that ‘we are rather forced to have an aether.’ What is more, we already know quite a lot about it.
This background medium is fluidic in nature. It sustains rotation and pressure waves. Its similarity to a macroscopic fluid is remarkable and surprising, and will be examined as we go.
For a variety of reasons, we will be forced to conclude that the medium is compressible, and also that it has mass, which is therefore a primitive in this model.
The medium is capable of sustaining rotation effects and pressure waves, but not transverse waves, except along rotational structures (vortices).
There is strong evidence that the aether is noisy in terms of both rotation and pressure waves, and hence a suitable physical basis for quantum electrodynamics, and is highly energetic when compared to the energy in matter.
There is also indirect evidence that these effects are to a degree non-linear, and this is important to certain phenomena, most importantly gravity, but also potentially the cosmological redshift.
We have been forced back to the nineteenth century understanding that light is a wave.
This is due to the comprehensive failure of the alternatives introduced in the early twentieth century, in particular on the failure of the particle model of light to explain wave behaviour, the analysis by Schrödinger and others of particle-like behaviour of light in terms of waves and the unscientific nature of the so-called duality model. Because of the nature of the aethereal background that emerges from considerations of electromagnetism, this must be a longitudinal wave, specifically a pressure wave.
No other option comes close to working, and hence we conclude that:
In the early years of the new millennium, Ferenc Krausz led a team from Austria and Germany that produced individual emissions of light and carefully measured their effect on electrons. By combining this data they demonstrated that an average single emission of light is a pulse comprising a few wavelengths of a sinusoid-like wave within an overall envelope in the shape of a bell, confirming what many physicists thought they already knew. With a flair for the poetic they styled this as the ‘first ever photograph’i of a light wave.
Objections based on the nineteenth-century failure of the aether are addressed here (Michelson-Morley) and here (Maxwell).
The claims that a single emission of light cannot be detected more than once are addressed here.
The supposed failure of ‘hidden variable’ theories is addressed here.
James Clerk Maxwell not only created the definitive equations of electromagnetism, but in the process came very close to a coherent physical explanation of both light and electromagnetism.
Maxwell’s reasoning is detailed here.
What we can conclude from a reanalysis of his reasoning is as follows:
The magnetic field lines that we view with iron filings and invoke as abstractions are vortices linking the magnetic poles of a solid magnet, or continuous vortex loops in an electromagnet
From the way it interacts with magnetic fields, we can see that electric current is also a rotational effect
There appears to be no motion of particles or aether along a current-carrying wire, rather the transfer of rotational energy
Conversely, there does appear to be longitudinal motion (additional to rotational motion) in magnetic field lines – vortex streamers
Electric field and magnetic field are two interpretations of the same set of vortex phenomena
Magnetic field quantifies the rotation, and takes its direction as the axis of rotation, while electric field quantifies the drop off with radial distance
This is why they are always found together, why there is a simple proportionality between them, and why they are always orthogonal
The success of the modified Maxwell model implies a simple fluidic background, the aether of nineteenth-century physics.
As a bonus, the magnetic field lines in this model are remarkably similar to the closed strings of string theory, while that theory’s open strings are similar to our electric current.
The core of physics
The core proposal, therefore, is that light is a pressure wave and electromagnetism is rotation in a fluidic background aether.
The argument and evidence against this conclusion is extensive, but is fully addressed on this site.
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i. Ferenc Krausz, Tracking light oscillations: Attosecond spectroscopy comes of age, Opt. Photon. News 13, 62 (2002). A report, from which the quote is taken, is in the New Scientist of 9 April 2005.