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Einstein overlooked the fact that the speed of light, as it occurs in the Lorentz transformation equations, is determined by the density and elasticity of a physical medium which pervades all of space, and which acts as the medium for the propagation of light waves. This fact had already been established by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, (1831-1879), who happened to die in the same year that Einstein was born. The physical medium in question was known to Maxwell as the luminiferous medium although Einstein later referred to it as a Lichtäthers (luminiferous aether). Maxwell provided us with a reasonably clear picture of what the physical structure of this medium would need to be. He proposed that all of space is filled with a sea of molecular vortices comprised of tiny aethereal whirlpools, each surrounded by electric particles. This was an idea, which according to Tesla in 1907, had in essence, long been known to men of old.
Einstein’s Big Mistake
Frederick David Tombe,
Belfast, Northern Ireland,
United Kingdom,
7th October 2020
I. Einstein overlooked the fact that the speed of light, as it occurs in the
Lorentz transformation equations, is determined by the density and
elasticity of a physical medium which pervades all of space, and which
acts as the medium for the propagation of light waves [1]. This fact had
already been established by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell,
(1831-1879), who happened to die in the same year that Einstein was
born. The physical medium in question was known to Maxwell as
the luminiferous medium although Einstein later referred to it as a
Lichtäthers (luminiferous aether). Maxwell provided us with a reasonably
clear picture of what the physical structure of this medium would need to
be. He proposed that all of space is filled with a sea of molecular vortices
comprised of tiny aethereal whirlpools, each surrounded by electric
particles [2]. This was an idea, which according to Tesla in 1907 [3], had in
essence, long been known to men of old.
Long ago he (mankind) recognized that all perceptible matter comes from
a primary substance, of a tenuity beyond conception and filling all space
- the Akasha or luminiferous ether - which is acted upon by the life-giving
Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never ending cycles, all
things and phenomena. The primary substance, thrown into infinitesimal
whirls of prodigious velocity, becomes gross matter; the force subsiding,
the motion ceases and matter disappears, reverting to the primary
substance. Nikola Tesla, 1907
It was certainly known to John Bernoulli the Younger in the eighteenth
century [4].
The Special Theory of Relativity
II. Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity first appeared in German in a
paper entitled "Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper" which was
received for publication in Bern, Switzerland, on 30th June 1905 [5]. The
Lorentz transformation equations appeared in this paper, although they
had already been broadly established by Hendrik Lorentz and Sir Joseph
Larmor in the previous decade [6], [7], in conjunction with a luminiferous
medium! See Appendix A. Einstein was inspired by the symmetry
inherent in electromagnetic theory which is observed in the case where an
electric current is induced in a conducting coil when a bar magnet is
moved into it. The result is exactly the same whether the magnet moves
into the coil, or the coil moves over the magnet. In order to rationalize
with this observation, Einstein considered two of Maxwell's equations
which happen to exhibit a perfect duality when expressed in Gaussian
units. This perfect duality comes in conjunction with an overt expression
of the speed of light ‘c’, but it is totally unrelated to the symmetry
mentioned above. The two equations in question,
×B = (1/c)E/∂t (1)
×E= −(1/c)B/∂t (2)
are respectively the differential (curl) version of Ampère’s Circuital
Law, with Maxwell's displacement current, and the Maxwell-Faraday
Law of Induction (time-varying case), also a differential (curl) equation.
Einstein found a way to maintain the mathematical form of these two
equations under a Lorentz transformation, although this wasn't able to be
demonstrated correctly until Poincaré published his Palermo paper [8]. See
Appendix B. This paper was received on 23 July 1905 and published in
1906. Henri Poincaré's Palermo paper introduced the concept of four-
vectors, an ingenious mathematical tool which is essential to the analysis,
and which exposes the existence of what we now know as four-
dimensional space-time. The four-vector invention was in some respects
the modification to Sir William Rowan Hamilton's quaternions, that was
needed to make them fully useful in electromagnetic theory. Maxwell
missed out on this tool, although in his 1873 treatise, he did inadvertently
demonstrate the futility of quaternions within the context of
electromagnetism. Hamilton, in 1843, had in effect substituted the
imaginary part of a complex number with a three-vector. It is as if
Poincaré then puts the imaginary part back in again, but this time in place
of the scalar component. The term imaginary is somewhat misleading in
the context. It simply refers to the use of the square root of minus-one as
an algebraic tool. All physical concepts involved are real.
Einstein’s Folly
III. The symmetry inherent in his 1905 Special Theory of Relativity arises
from Einstein’s belief that no physical medium is required for the
propagation of light waves. He therefore used one absurdity to justify
another absurdity. Firstly, it is absurd to suggest that light, being a wave,
doesn't require a physical medium of propagation. A wave is by
definition, a propagated oscillation in a physical medium. Secondly, it's
the symmetry in Einstein’s special relativity which leads to the absurd
implication that two clocks in relative motion would each be ticking
slower than the other. None of these absurdities would exist if the Lorentz
transformation equations where to be applied in conjunction with the
luminiferous aether, as they were originally intended to apply. The
Lorentz transformation equations are mathematically identical to
Einstein's special theory of relativity, but when applied as originally
intended by Larmor and Lorentz, in conjunction with the luminiferous
medium, the physical implications are no longer absurd. Many of the
experiments which are claimed today as evidence of Einstein's theories of
relativity are in fact merely evidence of aether wind theory, in
conjunction with Maxwell's sea of molecular vortices. The important
difference though, is that the aether provides an absolute physical rest
frame, entrained within the Earth's gravitational field, and this means that
there are no paradoxes associated with time. The time variable in the
Lorentz transformation equations simply refers to the frequency of the
physical processes within the molecular structure of a moving body.
So, when motion through the luminiferous medium causes GPS
satellite clocks in orbit to tick slower than the ground clocks, this is
simply due to a physical interaction between the caesium atoms within
the mechanism of the atomic clocks and the luminiferous medium itself,
and we are in no doubt that it is the satellite clocks, and not the ground
clocks, which will be the ones to tick slower as a consequence of this
motion [9]. In actual fact, the satellite clocks tick faster than the ground
clocks, but this is because of an additional dominant effect related to the
Earth's gravitational field strength. Time dilation, within the context of
aether wind theory, will not however involve a slowing down of actual
time, and it will not involve any clock paradox since there will be no
symmetry. The motion of ponderable matter through Maxwell's sea of
molecular vortices will cause a shear interaction that results in an increase
in the internal aether pressure, which will in turn cause all the atomic and
molecular processes to slow down. This is just Dan Bernoulli’s Principle.
The frequency change in the atomic clocks is not the same thing as the
actual time dilation that is inferred by Einstein's special relativity after he
foolishly overturned centuries of wisdom by casting out the aether. The
Earth will still complete an orbit of the Sun, relative to the background
stars, in a time period defined as one year, and this standard of time will
apply equally to all observers throughout the universe, no matter how fast
they are moving. Their own individual motion cannot alter the Earth’s
orbital period around the Sun, and so it cannot alter the measurement of
actual time.
Had Einstein performed the exact same mathematical analysis that he
performed in the kinematical part of his 1905 paper, but instead retained
the luminiferous aether, he would have obtained the exact same results,
because the analysis takes place over a return path. But by removing the
luminiferous aether, that being the very physical medium within which
light waves propagate, Einstein opened the door to the absurd idea that
light is always measured to have the same speed, irrespective of the speed
of the receiver.
The Back-Pedalling
IV. In 1920, when Einstein re-introduced the aether during an address at
the University of Leiden, it was only a half-baked aether, more aimed at
explaining gravity than explaining electromagnetic induction. In fact, it
explained neither. Einstein proposed no structural details, and it certainly
wasn't Maxwell's aether. Ten years later in 1930, Paul Dirac proposed
that all space is pervaded by a sea of electrons and positrons. Things were
getting back on track again, but unfortunately the Dirac Sea was never
applied to electromagnetic wave theory, where it should have been
applied [10], [11], [12], [13].
Maxwell and Einstein
V. We often hear it said that Einstein’s special theory of relativity follows
on naturally from Maxwell’s theory. This statement is simply not true. It
could however be argued that the Lorentz transformations do follow from
Maxwell’s equations, but only once we have introduced the concept of an
aether wind. Following the death of Maxwell in 1879, attention soon
swung towards the physical detection of the luminiferous medium by
virtue of the Earth’s motion through space. In 1887, the famous
Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted in an attempt to detect this
motion, and the ensuing null result caused much confusion. While it was
interpreted by some, such as George Stokes, to mean that there is no
aether wind in the immediate vicinity of the Earth [14], others such as
Lorentz were nevertheless convinced that the aether wind was having an
effect on the Michelson interferometer such as to undermine the expected
fringe shift. In 1889, Oliver Heaviside wrote a paper in which he
introduced the concept of a convection current, which in effect amounted
to an aether wind [15]. It was in connection with an aether wind that the
concept of the Lorentz transformations evolved, and the first equation
resembling these transformation equations, and applying in this context,
appeared as equation (27) in Heaviside’s 1889 paper ( see note on
Woldemar Voigt at the end of the reference section). This equation, in
conjunction with the title of Heaviside’s paper [15], suggested that
electromagnetic forces are affected by motion through a dielectric aether.
Later that same year, in part based on Heaviside’s work, his friend
George Francis Fitzgerald proposed the idea that the arm of the
Michelson interferometer contracts along its direction of motion through
the aether, owing to the fact that the constituent atoms are bonded
together by electromagnetic forces [16]. Maxwell had already provided the
nuts and bolts of the luminiferous medium. He saw this aether as a
dielectric sea of tiny vortices, and he explained how it all linked up to the
electromagnetic induction process. It was now just a matter of
extrapolating his theory in order to take into account the effects of an
aether wind. Had Maxwell still been around during the investigation of
the aether wind, it is hardly likely that he would have disregarded the
physical substance of the wind itself, the structure of which he had
devoted so much time and energy into exposing.
Einstein’s special theory of relativity is a counterfeit theory
exhibiting an outward form of the Lorentz transformation equations, but
with all the vital ingredients relating to electromagnetism having been
excised. Far from contributing anything useful to the Lorentz
transformation debate, Einstein actually engaged in one of the greatest
acts of academic vandalism in the history of science, by virtue of
disregarding the physical essence underlying the equations that fronted
his theory. Einstein’s special theory of relativity is a hollow shell of a
theory which merely mimics the more substantial Lorentz aether wind
approach which went immediately before it. The Lorentz transformation
is simply an extension of Maxwells theory which takes into account the
asymptotic nature of the elastic interaction between Maxwells
luminiferous medium and matter in motion. This asymptotic effect
becomes significant at speeds approaching c. Unlike in the case of the
speed of sound, where the sound barrier can be broken, it seems that no
amount of energy can actually accelerate an object to c, and that as the
speed increases, more and more of the input energy gets absorbed into the
inertial mass and the surrounding magnetic field, rather than going into
further increasing the speed. The symbol c in the Lorentz transformation
equations, although usually close to the speed of light, is actually a
variable which depends on the physical context in question.
Ironically, although Hendrik Lorentz envisaged the aether wind to be
due to the Earth’s orbital motion around the Sun, the weight of evidence
arising from the GPS system is that the aether is actually entrained within
the Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields, and that hence no aether
wind blows at the surface of the Earth as a result of the Earth’s orbital
motion. This does not however mean that the Lorentz aether theory is
wrong in principle. Aether winds are involved in atomic clocks as the
GPS satellites orbit around the Earth, but Fitzgerald and Lorentz may not
have been correct in their belief that length contraction solves the
Michelson-Morley problem.
Appendix A
(The Lorentz Transformations)
In 1897, Ulster physicist Sir Joseph Larmor presented equations in a paper which was
published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society [17]. On page 229,
Larmor wrote x1 = xЄ½, where the more familiar gamma factor, γ, appears in the form
Є½. He probably meant to write, x1 = xꞌЄ½, where xꞌ = (x – vt). He also wrote dt1 =
dtꞌЄ½, where tꞌ = t – vx/c2. These equations approximate to what we know today as
the Lorentz transformations. Then in the year 1900, on page 174 in his article entitled
“Aether and Matter” [7], Larmor transformed x1, y1, z1, and t1 into Є½xꞌ, yꞌ, zꞌ, and
Є½tꞌ (v/c2) Є½xꞌ.
Whatever the finer details are, because they are not always very clear, Lorentz
and Larmor were the two pioneers who first worked on the problem throughout the
1890s. They achieved what they believed to be justification for length contraction, but
as regards their twin aim of finding a transformation that would make Maxwell’s
equations invariant, this wasn’t possible until Henri Poincaré invented four-vectors in
1905. In that same year, Einstein re-derived the Lorentz transformations in the form
below, which is unequivocally that which is used in modern textbooks,
xꞌ = γ(x – vt) (1A)
yꞌ = y (2A)
zꞌ = z (3A)
tꞌ = γ(t – vx/c2) (4A)
Appendix B
(The Advent of Four-Vectors)
On page 907 of his 1905 Bern paper [5], Einstein purported to subject Ampère’s
Circuital Law and Faraday’s Law to a Lorentz transformation. He wrote these two
curl equations out in a perfectly dual format, using Gaussian units, which expose the
speed of light, and he expanded them into their three Cartesian components, hence
resulting in six equations in total. The primed versions were then displayed on pages
907-908 as seen below, with the solutions shown within the curved brackets.
1/c.∂Ex/∂tꞌ = ∂/∂yꞌ[γ(Bz v/c.Ey)] − ∂/∂zꞌ[γ(By + v/c.Ez)]
1/c.∂/∂tꞌ[γ(Ey v/c.Bz)] = ∂Bx/∂zꞌ − ∂/∂xꞌ[γ(Bz v/c.Ey)]
1/c.∂/∂tꞌ[γ(Ez + v/c.By)] = ∂/∂xꞌ[γ(By + v/c.Ez)] − ∂Bx/∂yꞌ
1/c.∂Bx/∂tꞌ = ∂/∂zꞌ[γ(Ey v/c.Bz)] − ∂/∂yꞌ[γ(Ez + v/c.By)]
1/c.∂/∂tꞌ[γ(By + v/c.Ez)] = ∂/∂xꞌ[γ(Ez + v/c.By)] − ∂Ex/∂zꞌ
1/c.∂/∂tꞌ[γ(Bz v/c.Ey)] = ∂Ex/∂yꞌ − ∂/∂xꞌ[γ(Ey v/c.Bz)]
This would not have been possible using the kinematical Lorentz transformations
which he had derived on page 902. He would not have been able to introduce the beta
factor, v/c, so symmetrically.
[1] Tombe, F.D., “The 1855 Weber-Kohlrausch Experiment” (2019)
[2] Maxwell, J.C., “On Physical Lines of Force”, Philosophical Magazine, Volume
XXI, Fourth Series, London, (1861)
[3] O’Neill, John J., “PRODIGAL GENIUS, Biography of Nikola Tesla”, Long
Island, New York, 15th July 1944, quoting Tesla from his 1907 paper “Man’s
Greatest Achievement” which was published in 1930 in the Milwaukee Sentinel.
[4] Whittaker, E.T., “A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity”, Chapter
4, pp. 100-102, (1910)
“All space, according to the younger Bernoulli, is permeated by a fluid aether,
containing an immense number of excessively small whirlpools. The elasticity which
the aether appears to possess, and in virtue of which it is able to transmit vibrations,
is really due to the presence of these whirlpools; for, owing to centrifugal force, each
whirlpool is continually striving to dilate, and so presses against the neighbouring
[5] Einstein, Albert, “Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper”, Annalen der Physik
322 (10) pp. 891-921, Bern, (1905)
[6] Lorentz, H.A., “La théorie électromagnétique de Maxwell et son application aux
corps mouvants”, E.J. Brill, Leiden (1892)
[7] Larmor, J. “Aether and Matter”, p. 174 (1900)
[8] Poincaré, Henri, “Sur la dynamique de l'électron”, Rendiconti del Circolo
Matematico di Palermo 21, pp. 129-175 (1-47), received on 23 July 1905, (1906)
[9] Tombe, F.D., “Atomic Clocks and Gravitational Field Strength” (2017)
[10] Tombe, F.D., “The Positronium Orbit in the Electron-Positron Sea” (2020)
[11] Tombe, F.D., “The Double Helix Theory of the Magnetic Field” (2006)
Galilean Electrodynamics, Volume 24, Number 2, p.34, (March/April 2013)
[12] Tombe, F.D., “The Double Helix and the Electron-Positron Aether” (2017)
[13] Lodge, Sir Oliver, “Ether (in physics)”, Encyclopaedia Britannica,
Fourteenth Edition, Volume 8, pp. 751-755, (1937)
In relation to the speed of light, The most probable surmise or guess at present is
that the ether is a perfectly incompressible continuous fluid, in a state of fine-
grained vortex motion, circulating with that same enormous speed. For it has been
partly, though as yet incompletely, shown that such a vortex fluid would transmit
waves of the same general nature as light waves i.e., periodic disturbances across
the line of propagationand would transmit them at a rate of the same order of
magnitude as the vortex or circulation speed”
[14] Stokes, George Gabriel, “On the Aberration of Light” Philosophical Magazine
27, pp. 915 (1845)
[15] Heaviside, O., “On the Electromagnetic Effects due to the Motion of
Electrification through a Dielectric”, Philosophical Magazine, series 5, 27, pp. 324-
339 (1889)
[16] Fitzgerald, G.F., “The Ether and the Earth’s Atmosphere” Science, Volume
XIII page 390
[17] Larmor, J., “Dynamical Theory of the Electric and Luminiferous Medium”,
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Part III, p.229 (1897)
In 1887, Woldemar Voigt formulated equations which bore a striking resemblance
to the Lorentz transformations, but these applied in the context of the Doppler effect,
which is a concept that is not entirely unrelated to the distortion of electromagnetic
fields in an aether wind.
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1. In two previous memoirs* it has been explained, that the various hypotheses involved in the theory of electric and optical phenomena, which has been developed by F araday and Maxwell, can be systematized by assuming the aether to be a continuous, homogeneous, and incompressible medium, endowed with inertia and with elasticity purely rotational. In this medium unitary electric charges, or electrons, exist as point-singularities, or centres of intrinsic strain, which can move about under their mutual actions ; while atoms of matter are in whole or in part aggregations of electrons in stable orbital motion. In particular, this scheme provides a consistent foundation for the electrodynamic laws, and agrees with the actual relations between radiation and moving matter.