39 Questionable Assumptions in Modern Physics

39 Questionable Assumptions in Modern Physics
by Greg Volk, 1153 Tiffany Circle N, Eagan, MN 55123, Phone: (651) 452-5827


Abstract. The growing body of anomalies in new energy, low energy nuclear reactions, astrophysics, atomic physics, and entanglement, combined with the failure of the Standard Model and string theory to predict many of the most basic fundamental phenomena, all point to a need for major new paradigms. Not Band-Aids, but revolutionary new ways of conceptualizing physics, in the spirit of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. This paper identifies a number of long-held, but unproven assumptions currently being challenged by an increasing number of alternative scientists. Two common themes, both with venerable histories, keep recurring in the many alternative theories being proposed: (1) Mach’s Principle, and (2) toroidal, vortex particles. Matter-based Mach’s Principle differs from both space-based universal frames and observer-based Einsteinian relativity. Toroidal particles, in addition to explaining electron spin and the fundamental constants, satisfy the basic requirement of Gauss’s misunderstood B Law, that motion itself circulates. Though a comprehensive theory is beyond the scope of this paper, it will suggest alternatives to the long list of assumptions in context. 

Keywords: Paradigms, Assumptions, Relativity, Reference Frame, Mach’s Principle, Vortex, Elementary Particles
PACS: Replace this text with PACS numbers; choose from this list: http://www.aip.org/pacs/index.html (9 point) 

Every good scientist takes pride in listing the assumptions behind his theories, attempting to show their correctness due to the reasonableness of those assumptions. Unfortunately some assumptions are so deeply ingrained, so „obviously true“, that they are not even considered or listed. It is these „obviously true“ assumptions that are the hardest to spot. Today we smile condescendingly at former beliefs in „flat earth“ and „weight-proportional gravity“, without considering that these were once considered „obviously true“ and that some of our own present-day assumptions might one day be viewed with the same condescension. Only by questioning the „obviously true“ assumptions can we hope to establish new paradigms. As suggested by Thomas Kuhn (Kuhn, 1962), scientific revolutions occur when new paradigms replace „obviously true“ assumptions.

Here follows a list of some of today’s assumptions that may not necessarily be true, with plausible alternatives for each. Many of the alternatives discussed are based on Machian, vortex paradigms, but they should not be taken as a complete theory. Please don’t think in terms of proving or disproving these assumptions, but simply recognize them for now as assumptions: 

1. Light is a „thing“ that travels from point A to point B. As Einstein himself noted (Einstein, 1951), we „rascals“ in science still don’t know what „light“ is. How can we say that it „travels“ at all? If light is an interaction between elements of matter, it isn’t an independent „thing“. The „thing“ idea gained popularity in the 17th Century with Fermat’s principle of least time, Newton’s corpuscular (‚photon‘) theory of light, and the apparent experimental confirmations of Ole Römer and James Bradley. However, as pointed out by Petr Beckmann (Beckmann, 1987), many physical phenomena behave „as if“ certain physical events actually took place, and quantum electrodynamics suggests that Fermat’s principle may be one of these „as ifs“. Richard Feynman showed that the phase contributions from all light paths except the „least time“ path cancel, making Fermat’s principle a prime example of „as if“ (Feynman, 1985). Also the Römer and Bradley experiments, like Young’s double slit and countless other experiments, can be explained in terms of interference, which doesn’t require light as a „thing“ in itself. By definition interference implies interaction. The „light is a thing“ assumption is listed first because a host of other assumptions are presumed because of it. 

2. Energy (light) can exist without matter. The concept of „free energy“ in quantum physics should not be confused with the same phrase in thermodynamics and alternative science. The quantum FE idea supposes that energy leaves a particle in the form of a „photon“, the photon travels through space for a time, ultimately to be absorbed by another particle. During transit, the „free energy“ of the photon is believed to exist and travel independent of all matter. Instead, however, if energy exists by virtue of matter, then there is an immediate connection between the energy of space and the matter that produced it. Then all energy is accounted fully by matter, and doesn’t require a separate existence in space. Since all experimental measurements are made with detectors composed of matter, there is no way to test for the existence of energy apart from matter. 

3. Photons are „things“ in themselves. To suppose that a photon „travels“ independent of the matter that produced it first assumes knowledge of what a „photon“ is, a presumption Einstein was cautious to avoid. Whether viewed as a wave or a particle, light may be considered an interaction between elements of matter rather than an independent „thing“. D. G. Ashworth and Roger Jennison explained the Compton Effect by means of electromagnetic interactions, without the need for „light quanta“ (Ashworth and Jennison, 1974), and the Photoelectric Effect can be treated analogously. Rather than demand that light exists in quanta, one may suppose that the interactions between particles are quantized. This way of thinking places the „quantum“ with the particle, as understood by Poincaré, rather than with space, as proposed by Einstein. As „phlogiston“ was to oxygen, so an analogy between the creation (annihilation) of a photon and the annihilation (creation) of a bifurcation or saddle point in an electromagnetic field can be demonstrated with toroidal particle models. 

4. The constant ‚c‘ is a property of space. The notion that space itself somehow impedes light from travelling faster than ‚c‘ presupposes that light is a „thing“ that travels (#1). Constants ‚e‘, ‚m‘, and ‚h‘ are understood as properties of particles. Planck derived ‚k‘ as a constant of interaction between particles. Why should ‚c‘ alone fail as a property of particles? Wilhelm Weber theorized in 1846 (Weber, 1846), and with Rudolf Kohlrausch showed experimentally in 1856 (Weber and Kohlrausch, 1856; Assis, 2003; Assis, 1994), that ‚c‘ is the speed at which charge must travel for electric and magnetic forces to balance, revealing ‚c‘ as the „speed of charge“. Maxwell subsequently proposed its role as the „speed of light“, which can be derived from toroidal models. 

5. Nothing travels faster than ‚c‘. By Einstein’s own admission, his relativity house of cards is held up by this assumption. Though Einstein argued against it, according to Pierre-Simon LaPlace, orbital stability depends on a speed of gravity at least 107 times the speed of light (LaPlace, 1805). Tom Van Flandern’s experiments have confirmed that gravity operates at velocities at least billions of times faster than ‚c‘ (Van Flandern, 1998). Also a growing body of experimental and theoretical evidence reveals a need for superluminal interactions to properly explain homopolar induction (Achilles and Guala-Valverde, 2006), longitudinal forces (), scalar waves (), water arcing (Graneau and Graneau, ), railguns (), and entanglement in quantum mechanics (Rodrigues, 2006). These are the very anomalies crying for an explanation in the new energy community. 

6. Instantaneous action at a distance (IAAD) is impossible. The famous EPR paper and Bell’s inequality correctly conclude that either quantum physics is incomplete OR that particles are instantaneously and non-locally „entangled“ across space. Einstein viewed „spooky action at a distance“ as unthinkable, but the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt (CHSH), Aspect and other experiments have confirmed quantum physics, demanding instantaneous non-local „entanglement“. And in spite of Newton’s famous, but often misapplied, quote about instantaneous interaction, his gravitational formula operates via IAAD, exhibiting no time dependence. Coulomb’s and Gauss’s Laws at face value imply IAAD as well. The retarded action theory of Liénard and Wiechert in the late 19th century, a huge influence on Einstein, was created to solve the presumed problem of delayed response. Their work failed to recognize that Wilhelm Weber and Gustav Kirchoff in 1857 independently derived ‚c‘ as the speed of unimpeded electrical propagation along transmission lines using IAAD (Assis, 2003). 


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