markcreekwater

I WRITE ESSAYs

essay: HISTORY OF AETHER (2017)

essay:      HISTORY OF AETHER (2017)

 
by  Mark Creek-water Dorazio, amateur physics enthusiast
23-July-2017, Chandler, Arizona, USA  
Abstract (English)
The purpose of this essay is to suggest that the reason why the concept of aether will not go away
is because it is essentially CORRECT, although not in the way in which the great “classical” 
physicists of the 1800s visualized it.  Specifically, I argue here that Dr. Menahem
Simhony (1922-2015) has developed a modern theory of light, which is based on the existence of
an aether-like substance which is quite different from the aether in which 19th-century scientists
believed.
Key words:  aether, ether, Newton, Huygens, Maxwell, Einstein, Simhony
 
 
Abstract (French)
Le but de cet essai est de suggérer que la raison pour laquelle le concept de l’éther ne va pas
disparaître parce qu’il s’agit essentiellement CORRECTE, mais pas dans la façon dont les grands 
“classiques” des années 1800, les physiciens visualisé. Plus précisément, je montrerai dans cet
essai que le Dr Menahem Simhony (1922-2015) a développé une théorie moderne de la lumière,
qui est basée sur l’existence d’un éther-comme la substance qui est très différent de l’éther dans
lequel les scientifiques du xixe siècle ont cru.
 
Mots clés :  l’éther, Newton, Huygens, Maxwell, Einstein, Simhony
 
 
HISTORY OF AETHER — PREFACE
 
           In physics, whether we talk about astro- or nuclear- physics, or any other kind of
physics, there is the concept of “aether” [= “ether”] which has been around for hundreds of
years, and just simply will not go away.  If it exists, then ether (i.e. aether) is supposed to be a
kind of substance which theoretically fills our universe, inter-penetrating all the ordinary matter
in it, and enabling (among other things) the transmission of every kind of electromagnetic
radiation (such as light, and radio-signals) through space at the fabulously fabled speed of light.
           Nobel-prize winner Frank Wilczek says that:  “There is a myth, 
repeated in many popular presentations and textbooks, that Einstein swept 
… [the concept of aether] … into the dustbin of history.” 
However, Wilczek says that, on the contrary, “the truth is more nearly the opposite”, and that today,
“renamed and thinly disguised, [the aether-concept] dominates the accepted laws of physics”
[p.11, Ref.#1].
 
HINT:  the “renamed and thinly disguised” aether to which Wilczek refers is today known as 
a “field” —– or as a combination of several “fields”.
 
For example, the “Higgs” field is said to be the ultimate cause of gravity, with no acknowledgement
of what seems obvious;  that the existence of an electron-positron lattice in the inter-galactic vast
spaces of our universe, as well as right here in the room where I’m busy typing my thoughts onto
the essay-text, is a much more satisfying explanation for gravity than the standard model’s
“Higgs boson and/or field” theory.
After all, Simhony’s “epola” [“electron-positron lattice”] is a gravity model which explains gravity
as “emergent” from the more fundamental electromagnetic forces which hold the epola together,
in Simhony’s model, as well as in my modification of it.  So it offers an obvious, (and satisfying !!),
way to explain gravity without resorting to an entire laundry-list of made-up “particles” —(such as
“gluons” and “Higgs bosons”)— which exist only briefly inside powerful particle accelerators, and
also in theory, but not in everyday reality.  Besides which, most scientists would not be able to
tell you a correct description of what the little rascal really is, and why one should believe that it
even exists, while electrons and positrons are known, for sure, to exist,
while the same cannot be said for “gluons.”
           The purpose of this essay is to suggest that the reason why the concept of aether will not go
away is because it is essentially CORRECT, although not in the way in which the great “classical” 
physicists of the 1800s visualized it.  Specifically, I argue here that Dr. Menahem Simhony (1922-
2015) [Ref.#2] has developed a modern theory of light, which is based on the proposed existence of
an aether-like substance which is quite different from the aether in which 19th-century scientists
believed.
           These were some very smart guys, with names like Maxwell, Faraday, Hertz, Helmholtz,
Heaviside, Lorentz, and Einstein, who wrote his first physics “essay” in a letter to his Uncle Koch,
when he was only 15 or 16 years old.  The idea that Einstein rejected the concept of aether [i.e.,
“ether”] is only partially correct.  After initially writing (in 1905) that there was no reason to believe
that aether exists, the great man had, by 1920, come to realize that there is very probably some kind
of aether or aether-like substance in our universe, to account for the fact that light, and other kinds
of electromagnetic radiation, (such as radio-signals), are able to travel through space.  Thanks to
the internet, one can easily find the words which the mature Einstein used to express his belief in
the existence of “ether”.
 
EINSTEIN-QUOTE:  in 1920, when he was 40 years old and super-famous, Einstein 
gave a speech at the University of Leiden, in Holland, at the invitation of his friend 
Paul Ehrenfest:  here’s what he said, in the LAST PARAGRAPH of that speech:  
 
“Recapitulating … According to the general theory of relativity, space without ether 
is unthinkable; for in such space there … would be no propagation of light“  
 
—–EINSTEIN, 1920   [Ref.#3].
HISTORY OF AETHER — Part 1:
Is Aether Real, or Just Another “Crack-pot” Theory ??
           Dr. Simhony does not like the words “aether” or “ether”, for two reasons:
(1) because the aether-like substance in his model is quite different from the aether in which most
19th-century scientists believed;  and
 
(2) because when you mention the word “aether” or “ether” to a guy or gal who holds a PhD, 
they usually think that you are a “crack-pot”.
           Regarding (1) above:  Simhony calls the aether-like substance in his model “epola” (short for
“electron-positron lattice”).  It’s different from the “ether” of Maxwell and Faraday in several important
ways.
           As the word implies, most 19th-century scientists believed that ether was/is thin and wispy and
ghost-like.  This is because they assumed what seems obvious, namely, that ordinary matter was/is
solid and dense.  But we now know better:  since Rutherford discovered the atomic nucleus in 1911,
we have known that ATOMS ARE MOSTLY EMPTY SPACE.  So we now know what 19th-century
scientists did not know:  we now know that ordinary matter is thin and wispy and ghost-like, 
because it’s composed of atoms, which are mostly empty space:  one needs to think deeply re 
the implications of this amazing fact to “get” how Simhony’s model works.
           Regarding (2) above:  why do PhD-holders usually think that you are a “crack-pot” if you propose
an “aether” theory ??   Answer:  because for almost 100 years, since the 1930s, professors in university
physics departments, world-wide, have been teaching their students that “aether” or “ether” just simply
does not exist.
           The truth is that they are correct to teach that the thin and wispy and ghost-like aether of Maxwell
and Faraday, (often called “luminiferous aether”), does not exist.  As Simhony details in his published
papers and books and on his internet-sites, the aether-like substance in his model is NOT thin and wispy,
but very dense, and “stiffer than a diamond”.  {Please refer to the end-note at the end of Part 6 re this
phrase “stiffer than a diamond”}.  Again, only by thinking deeply re the implications of this “NEW and 
IMPROVED” modernized version of “aether” can one ever hope to understand Simhony’s model.
 
           Simhony calls the aether-like substance in his model “EPOLA” —(short for “electron-
positron lattice”)— because he says that it is composed of nothing but electrons and positrons, 
arranged in a “face-centered cubic” structure —– exactly like the structure of ordinary salt which 
you put on your food.  Conversely, 19th-century scientists hypothesized the existence of an aether 
which had no structure at all, like air.  In fact, that is the essence of Simhony’s epola model, which 
makes it quite different from the “aether” models of the 19th century, and which makes it so simple 
that one does not need any math to understand it or to explain it.
HISTORY OF AETHER — Part 2:
Why did 19th-century scientists Reckon that Aether Exists ??
           Answer:  mainly due to their common sense.  Because common sense told them that, for light to
travel from the sun to the earth, there must be some kind of substance in the space between sun and
earth which carries or conducts light to us.  They reckoned that, just as sound cannot travel through a
vacuum, light should not be able to travel through space if there were not some kind of medium in space
to conduct it.
           But there was an alternative theory, due to Sir Isaac Newton, which did not require the existence
of “aether”.  And Newton’s influence was so great that many of his contemporaries and those who came
later believed his “corpuscular” theory of light.
           “In the seventeenth century two rival theories [author’s emphasis] of the nature of light were
proposed, the wave theory and the corpuscular theory … The Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens
(1629-1695) proposed [in 1690] a wave theory of light.  He believed that light was a longitudinal wave,
and that this wave was propagated through a material called ‘aether’ … In [the same year] Newton
proposed a corpuscular theory of light.  He believed that light was shot out from a source in small
particles, and this view was accepted for over a hundred years [Ref.#4].
 
           While Newton was then, and still is, considered one of the greatest scientific geniuses 
of all time, Huygens was not nearly as famous, and his proposal was ignored and/or forgotten 
until the work of Thomas Young in 1801, 106 years after he died.
 
    In other words, because of his great prestige, Newton’s “corpuscular” theory of light 
prevailed during most of the 1700s, while the “wave” theory of a less famous contemporary 
(Huygens) was not accepted until the early 1800s.
 
END-NOTE:           Following is a long quote from Wikipedia, regarding the two competing theories:
“A basic principle of Huygens is that the speed of light is finite, a point which had been the subject of an
experimental demonstration by Olaus Roemer (1679 at the Paris Observatory), but which Huygens is
presumed to have believed already … It deals with wave fronts and their normal rays, with propagation
conceived by means of spherical waves emitted along the wave front … (see also Huygens-Fresnel
principle),  It was justified as an aether theory, involving transmission via perfectly elastic particles …
The nature of light was therefore a longitudinal wave.  Newton in his Opticks of 1704 proposed instead
a corpuscular theory of light.  The theory of Huygens was not accepted, by some, because longitudinal
waves cannot show birefringence.  {I don’t know what this is, but one can easily “google” it to learn the
details}.  The interference experiments of Thomas Young vindicated a wave theory in 1801:  the results
could not be explained [by Newton’s “corpuscular” theory].  The solution to the problem which Huygens
faced was then resolved by a transverse wave theory.”
 
—–{[Please note that in Dr. Simhony’s model, which is a modern theory of light, 
and appears in Part 6 of this essay, light is assumed to be a transverse wave, 
not a longitudinal wave]}—–
        
 
 
HISTORY OF AETHER — Part 3:
Transverse and Longitudinal Waves
           Both kinds of waves go long distances, while the elements which carry them do not actually
go anywhere, but merely vibrate or oscillate.
           The main difference between a transverse and a longitudinal wave is this:  a transverse
wave moves in a direction which is perpendicular to the vibrations of the elements of the
medium which carries the wave, while a longitudinal wave moves parallel to the vibrations of
the elements which carry it.  For example, sound waves in air are longitudinal, carried by air-
molecules, each of which is free to swirl and not bound into any kind of structure.  When a sound
wave moves from left-to-right, there are millions of air-molecules involved:  these don’t actually go
anywhere, but each one merely moves far enough to strike the next molecule toward its right,
which then strikes the next one toward its right, and so on.  So the wave moves in a direction
which is parallel to the vibrations of the air-molecules which carry it.
           Conversely, when sound waves move through a substance like iron, or salt, the process
is very different.  With iron or salt, the waves are carried by the nuclei of atoms, which are bound
into some kind of structure, usually a crystal structure:  because each of these is tightly bound
into a structure, if it moves up-and-down, then it will cause the next one toward its right to also
vibrate up-and-down, while the wave itself moves left-to-right.
          And it turns out that this kind of so-called TRANSVERSE vibration is a more efficient way
to transfer energy waves.  Sound waves are energy waves, and move more efficiently, and usually
faster, when there are transverse vibrations involved, which is possible ONLY if and when the
elements of the medium which carries the waves are BOUND to their positions in a (usually)
crystal structure.
           In fact, Simhony received the inspiration and insight to develop his theory of light while
doing “solid state” research related to the speed of sound through large salt-crystals, as I detail
in Part 6 of this essay.
 
 
HISTORY OF AETHER — Part 4:
What did Maxwell and Faraday Think ??
           Two of the greatest “classical” physicists of the 19th century were Michael Faraday
(1791-1867) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879).  Both spent many years thinking deeply,
and writing, and speaking, regarding the possible existence or non-existence of some kind of
aether or aether-like substance in the “outer space” between stars.
           Even after Thomas Young in 1801 had vindicated Huygens’s proposal for a wave theory
of light, (see Part 2, above), this idea did not catch on immediately.  “It was Michael Faraday,
a self-taught and mathematically naive experimenter, who revived the idea that space is filled
with a medium having physical effects in itself” [Ref.#1].
           A comment regarding Faraday’s genius appears on the dust-jacket of a recent book
titled Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field (2014) by Nancy Forbes and Basil
Mahon:  “Faraday was an autodidact [i.e., a self-educated individual], who overcame class
prejudice and a lack of mathematical training to become renowned for his acute powers of
experimental observation, technological skills, and prodigious scientific imagination.”
           The more mathematically-inclined James Clerk Maxwell said of the aether:  “an
attempt has been made to explain electromagnetic phenomena by means of mechanical
action transmitted from one body to another by means of a medium occupying the space
between them.  The undulatory theory of light also assumes the existence of a medium”
[Ref.#5].  Plus, in his contribution to the 1878 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, 
one can read that:  “The evidence for the existence of the luminiferous aether has
accumulated as additional phenomena of light and other radiations have been discovered;
and the properties of this medium, as deduced from the phenomena of light, have been
found to be precisely those required to explain electromagnetic phenomena.” [Ref.#6].
           Obviously, the “medium” to which Maxwell refers is an “aether”.
           In the same edition of Encyclopedia Britannica (1878) [Ref.#6], he wrote that:
“Aethers were invented for the planets to swim in, to constitute electric atmospheres and
magnetic effluvia, to convey sensations from one part of our bodies to another, and so on,
until all space had been filled three or four times over with aethers … The only aether which
has survived is that which was invented by Huygens to explain the propagation of light”.
 
           In frequently asked question #8 [FAQ #8] on one of his internet-sites [Ref.#2d],
Simhony urges us to  Consider this comment in the Proceedings of the 
Royal Society, ‘A Dynamical Theory of the ElectromagneticField’ by Prof. James
Clerk Maxwell … October 1864 [Ref.#7]:  ‘ … if we look for the explanation of the 
force of gravitation in the action of a surrounding medium  {[as Simhony does]},
the constitution of the medium must be such that, when far from the presence 
of gross matter, it has immense intrinsic energy, part of which is removed from 
it whenever we find the signs of gravitating force’  {[exactly as Simhony’s model
proposes]}.
           Simhony continues:  Neither Maxwell nor the scientists of that time could
conceive of the epola and [Maxwell] went on to say — ‘This result does not 
encourage us to look in this direction for the explanation of the force of gravity’ ” 
 
http://www.epola.co.uk/faq/FAQ.htm#faq8 ].  {more details in Part 6 of this essay}.
           In other words, if Maxwell could have conceived of “aether” as having “enormous
intrinsic energy” (as Simhony has done), then he might have developed a theory or model
similar to Simhony’s more than 100 years before Simhony did !!
           To summarize:  Maxwell and Faraday assumed that their “aether” must be thin and
wispy and ghost-like, as the word implies, because they assumed what seemed obvious,
namely, that ordinary matter is solid and dense.  We now know, since Rutherford discovered
the atomic nucleus in 1911, that exactly the opposite is true.  We now know that atoms are 
mostly empty space, and are very thin and wispy and ghost-like compared to the
aether-like substance [“epola”] in Simhony’s model.
           A full reading of Maxwell’s 1878 contribution to Encyclopedia Britannica reveals that,
while it seems certain that he believed that some kind of aether-like substance actually exists,
he was very uncertain regarding the details, such as, for example, whether or not it’s carried
along with or dragged along behind moons and planets as they move through it:  “we have 
next to inquire whether, when these dense bodies [i.e., moons and planets] are in motion 
through the great ocean of aether, they carry along with them the aether which they 
contain, or whether the aether passes through them as the water of the sea passes 
through the meshes of a net when it is towed along by a boat” [Ref.#6].
           Note that in Simhony’s model, the aether-like substance [“epola”] is NOT carried along
or dragged behind moons and planets as they move through it.  Instead, ordinary matter filters
through the epola like a school of small fishes filters through a fish-net with large holes.
Note also that some of the PhD-holders who are aware of Simhony’s theory just simply do not
“get” this important fact about Simhony’s model, even after one tries to explain it to them.
This verifies what Einstein is supposed to have said:  that many very intelligent and highly
educated scientists just simply are not able to recognize a good theory when it comes along.
 
 
HISTORY OF AETHER — Part 5:
Some Ways in which Simhony’s “Epola” Is Different from “Aether”
 
(1)  It’s much finer than most 19th-century scientists dared to think.  Like the difference between 
coarse gravel and finely-ground cement or talcum-powder.  19th-century scientists had absolutely
no evidence to suspect this important fact, because they did not know how small the atom’s
nucleus is compared to the atom itself.  Rutherford did not discover this until 1911.
 
(2)  The elements which compose Simhony’s epola are just the right distance from each other to 
allow the nucleus of an atom to go between them.  19th-century scientists could not possibly
visualize this, because, as already mentioned, they did not know of the existence of the atomic
nucleus, or how small it is.  {Please refer to the end-note at the end of this part of the essay}.
 
(3)  Each and every one of the elements which compose the epola is strongly bound to its place 
in the crystal-like structure of the epola.  So they are not free to swirl, as air-molecules are.  
Air does not have any kind of structure, while a salt-crystal, and presumably the epola, does.
 
           Simhony says that, under special conditions of high energy, such as if an object is moving 
at almost the speed of light, it might be possible to break the structure of a small portion of the
epola.  This is analogous to an airplane “breaking the sound barrier” if it moves at the speed of 
sound in air.  But under normal conditions the structure of the epola is un-broken, so its elements
are not free to swirl in any way, or to trail along behind moving planets and stars, as some
19th-century scientists speculated.  Normally, the only movement which an epola-element can do
is to vibrate harmonically around its position in the lattice.
 
END-NOTE:  A standard textbook illustration of this is the football-field analogy:  if an atom’s nucleus 
were the size of a marble on the center-line of a football field, then the size of the atom itself would be 
approximately that of the entire stadium !!  In Europe, book-writers often use the cathedral analogy:  
if the atom were the size of a magnificent cathedral, then the atom’s nucleus would be approximately 
the size of a single rosary-bead in the hands of a devout Christian sitting in the front row.
 
HISTORY OF AETHER — Part 6:
Simhony’s Electron-Positron Lattice Model of Space
 
           Dr. Menahem Simhony has written three books to explain his model [Refs. #2a, 2b, 2c], and one 
can download two of them from the second internet-site, below:
           During the 1970s Simhony was doing “solid state” research with large salt-crystals.
There are several kinds of simple salts, in which two kinds of atoms, (e.g., sodium and chlorine),
form a “face-centered cubic” crystal structure.  The speed of sound through each of these
different kinds of salt is slightly different from the speed of sound through each of the others.
A simple equation describes the speed of sound in this case:
 
= the sq.rt. of (E/m),  
where “v” is the speed, “E” is the binding energy of a pair of the atoms
which form the crystal, and “m” is the mass of a pair.
 
           At some point during this research Simhony realized that this simple speed-equation is 
equivalent to Einstein’s famous  E = x c.squared, as one can verify with a bit of simple 
algebra.  Note that “c” (speed of light) is analogous to the “v” in the equation for speed of sound.
So he asked himself:

“What if our universe is filled with a lattice, with a structure similar to the 

structure of salt-crystals, whose elements carry light, by vibrating, like the 

nuclei of the atoms in a salt-crystal carry sound through the crystal by vibrating ??”

          This is the essence of the model:  that there is an aether-like substance which permeates 
our universe and inter-penetrates all the ordinary matter (mainly protons and neutrons) in it, like 
water inter-penetrates a fish-net.  The model visualizes this stuff as quite different from the
“luminiferous aether” of 19th-century scientists, because it is NOT thin and wispy and ghost-like,
but very dense, and “stiffer than a diamond” 
 
because (1) the elements which
compose it are very near to each other, and (2) each is very tightly bound to its place in the lattice.
 
           How can we even move, if this stuff is everywhere, and stiffer than a diamond ??  
Easy.  It’s because the elements which compose the lattice are just far enough apart from 
each other to allow the nucleus of an atom to go between them.
           So each and every nucleus of each and every atom in our physical bodies is able to easily
pass between the elements which compose the lattice.  So that, even though the lattice is stiffer
than a diamond {Please refer to the end-note at the end of this part of the essay}, we are not
normally aware of its presence.  But, when an object moves at almost the speed of light, then
there are interestingly unexpected and mysterious “relativistic” effects, which physicists have
studied, very intensely, during the past 100 years.  If Simhony’s model is correct, then obviously
these relativistic effects are due to the fact that it’s more difficult for epola-elements to get out of
the way of anything which is moving at near light-speed.  So that, at high speed, a moving object
experiences a kind of “drag” which it does not experience when moving more slowly.
           Here is a video which shows how the nucleus of an atom moves through the epola 
           On page 56 in his 1990 book [Ref.#2a] Simhony says that  “Compared with the density of the epola, 
it is the earth and earthly bodies which are the etherous ones.  This contradicts our natural perception 
of the emptiness or etherosity of space … It also contradicts the natural perception of earthly objects 
and ourselves as bodies of continuous dense matter, proven false by Rutherford [1911].”

http://www.epola.co.uk/Q/spectrum+.pdf

           Because epola-elements are very strongly bound to the lattice (i.e., their binding energy is very great), and
because they are very light (i.e., not very massive), the little rascals can vibrate very rapidly, enabling them to carry
any kind of electromagnetic radiation through the lattice at the fabulously fabled speed of light.  Note that the simple
speed equation in the second paragraph of this part of the essay says that the combination of a large binding
energy and a small mass implies a great speed.
           If you are still skeptical, then please re-read Einstein’s opinion re the existence of an aether-like substance
in our universe, in the PREFACE, above.  Please note that there is much more to Simhony’s model, and that one
can read details at his internet-sites:
 
 
END-NOTE:  Simhony does not actually use the phrase “stiffer than a diamond” to describe the epola.  
The phrase appears approximately 2/3 of the way through a description of his model, written by a follower 
of his, on the internet-site:  http://simhonytribute.webs.com/epoladiscovery.htm … 
Simhony does say that “epola particles are bound to one another by a binding energy of 1.02 MeV, 
a hundred thousand times the binding energies of the strongest bound atomic solids” 
[from the internet-site:  http://www.epola.co.uk/epola_org/index.html].  Obviously the diamond 
is one of “the strongest bound atomic solids.”
 
HISTORY OF AETHER — CONCLUSION
 

            Although for almost 100 years physics professors have taught their students that aether 

does not exist, some theorists are presently re-examining the converse (and controversial !!) idea

that there might, in fact, be an aether-like substance which permeates our universe.  If it exists,

this substance would be responsible for the fact that light and other kinds of radiation are able to

travel through space.  Dr. Menahem Simhony spent many years developing a coherent and

reasonable theory which presumes the existence of an aether-like substance

which he calls “epola”, short for “electron-positron lattice”.

The basic ideas in Simhony’s model are so simple that one does not need any maths to

understand it or to explain it.  Essentially, Simhony’s epola model (the electron-positron lattice model

of space) says that the “fields” (e.g., electrical and gravitational fields) which scientists study are due

to the presence of the epola (electron-positron lattice) throughout our universe.

If it exists, the epola is quite different from the aether in which many 19th-century scientists

believed, as I detail above.  Simhony says that it’s not thin and wispy, but very dense, and very stiff,

yet also elastic.  Note that there is no conflict between the words “stiff” and “elastic” — an object

can be both.  For example, billiard balls.  The epola’s elasticity enables it to conduct all the different

kinds of electromagnetic radiation through space, while its stiffness explains why the radiations

all travel at the same very great speed, the speed of light.

HISTORY OF AETHER — AFTER WORDS:
Some Comments re How Difficult It Is to Overcome the Effects of “Brainwashing”
 
           Because the vast majority of physics-professors world-wide have since the 1930s taught 
their students that aether does not exist, it’s very difficult to persuade a PhD-holder that a theory
(i.e., a “model”) like Simhony’s might have some merit.  It’s especially difficult for a mere amateur
physics enthusiast such as myself to persuade a PhD-holder that I might actually know what I’m
talking about.  Despite the fact that some respected PhD-holders, such as Nobel-prize winner
Frank Wilczek (see the PREFACE, above), have suggested that some kind of aether-like
substance might in fact actually exist.
           As students, most PhD-holders learned the so-called “standard model”, and many assume
that, if a theory is not part of the standard model, then it must be crack-pottery.  While the standard
model is certainly the best thing which we have to explain most of the mysteries in physics, it’s not
perfect, as some PhD-holders have noted.  Following is from Chapter 13 in my book (a series of
essays re the work of Simhony and another almost unknown theorist, Dr. Ernest Sternglass)
[Ref.#8].
           “The standard model is like an aging movie-star  whose best work is decades old  whose
flaws once seemed slight  but now are becoming glaring”.  That’s from Dr. Chris Impey, on p.298
of his book How It Began (2012).
           In his book The Quantum Zoo (2006), Marcus Chown notes that “Eighty-odd years after
the birth of quantum theory, physicists are still waiting for the fog to lift so that they can see what
it is trying to tell us about fundamental reality … [Richard] Feynman himself said:  ‘I think I can 
safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.’ 
 
           Jim Baggott, who wrote the book Farewell to Reality (2013), says on p.131:  “We … are 
… immensely proud of [standard-model theories] … but these theories are riddled with problems,
paradoxes, conundrums, contradictions, and incompatibilities … in one sense, they don’t make
sense at all.”  Plus, on p.137 in this same book:  “What kind of fundamental theory … can’t
predict the masses of its constituent elementary particles?  Answer: one that
is not very satisfying.”
 
           In his book Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics (2003), Martin Veltman 
did not even wish to acknowledge “supersymmetry”:  “The fact is … this is a book about physics,
and this implies that the theoretical ideas discussed must be supported by experimental facts
 … neither supersymmetry nor string theory satisfy this criterion … they’re figments of the
theoretical mind.”
 
           Robert Laughlin, who won a Nobel prize in physics in 1998, wrote in his book:  “A large 
portion of the accepted knowledge-base of modern science is untrue … obligating us to look at it
more skeptically … and to value consensus less” [p..213, A Different Universe (2005)].
           Plus, on p.50, Laughlin says that  “Scientists have ideological positions just like everyone
else … sometimes the consequences are bizarre … the Schroedinger cat has … become a
symbol of transcendence, a meaning exactly opposite to the one Schroedinger himself
intended … often viewed by students as a step on the path to enlightenment … It is not … In
science one becomes enlightened not by discovering ways to believe things that make no sense
but by identifying things that one does not understand and doing experiments to clarify them.”
           And on p.216:  “Large experimental laboratories cannot get the continuous funding they
need without defending their work … which they typically do by self-refereeing monopolies that
define certain ideas and bodies of thought to be important, whether they actually are or not … in
extreme cases, one gets complex web of sophisticated measurements that serve no purpose
other than to expand journals and fatten frequent-flyer accounts.”
           And from Richard Feynman, one of the heaviest of 20th-century “heavy-hitters” in physics.
In a letter to his wife he wrote that:  “I am not getting anything out of this meeting … There are
hosts (126) of dopes here — such inane things are said and seriously discussed — and I get
into arguments outside of the formal sessions … Whenever anyone asks a question, or starts
to tell me about his ‘work’ … it is always either — (1) completely un-understandable, or (2)
vague and indefinite, or (3) something correct that is obvious and self-evident worked out by a
long and difficult analysis and presented as an important discovery, or (4) a claim, based on the
stupidity of the author, that some obvious and correct thing accepted and checked for years is,
in fact, false (those are the worst — no argument will convince the idiot), (5) an attempt to do
something probably impossible, but certainly of no utility, which, it is finally revealed, at the end,
fails, or (6) just plain wrong.  Remind me not to come to any more gravity conferences.”
           That’s on p.245 in a book titled Quantum Man (2011) by Lawrence Krauss.
 
 
 
REFERENCES
 
(1)  Wilczek, Frank, “The Persistence of Aether”, Physics Today, 52, 11-13, (January 1999);
(2a)  Simhony, Menahem, The Electron-Positron Lattice Space (1990);
(2b)      ibid.,  Invitation to the Natural Physics of Matter, Space, and Radiation (1994);
(2c)      ibid.,  The Story of Matter and Space (1999);
(2d)     ibid.,   internet-site:   www.EPOLA.co.uk
(3)  Einstein, Albert, a speech delivered in 1920, at the University of Leiden, from the internet-site at:
(4)  quoted from the internet-site at:
(5)  Maxwell, James Clerk, “A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism”, Nature, April 24, 1873, Part !V, Chapter XX;
(6)      ibid.,  “Ether”, Encyclopedia Britannica, Ninth Edition 8, 568-572 (1878);
(7)      ibid.,  “A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field”, Proceedings of the Royal Society, October 1864;
(8)  Dorazio, Mark Creek-water, a series of essays at the internet-site:
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