Ether to Relativity: The journey from light to darkness

We know that for waves to travel in space they need a medium. As a wave travels in a medium, the particles of the medium oscillate to and fro or up and down depending upon the type of the wave. For example as sound waves travel in air medium, the particles of air move to and fro, and this movement of particles results in alternate compressions and rarefactions in the medium. We know that sound waves also travel in liquid media (e.g. water) and some solid media. The particles of all these media also execute a similar to and fro waving motion when sound waves propagate through them. And we know that as water waves (or ripples) propagate in a pond, the particles of the medium (which is obviously water) oscillate up and down. So we consider water waves as transverse waves in contrast to sound waves which are longitudinal waves.

Then what about light? First of all, to the physicists of the pre-modern era, it was not clear whether light is composed of particles or waves. After centuries of debate on the nature of light, Young’s double slit experiment (1803) had confirmed that light behaves like waves. Half a century later, Maxwell, building upon the equations of electromagnetism, had calculated the speed of light waves as 3×108m/sec (referred to as ‘c’ by the physicists). These two developments posed two very difficult questions to the physicists of those days:

1) If light is a wave, then what is the thing which does the ‘waving’ or oscillation? In other words what is the medium for light waves? As far as scientists knew, there wasn’t any medium in the outer space. But if there isn’t really any medium in the outer space, then how could light, which behaves like waves, reach us from the Sun and other stars?

2) The next question that bothered physicists was that, if light travels at speed ‘c’, it is with reference to whom? Whenever we mention the speed of an object, there is always a reference frame to it whether explicit or implicit. For example when we say that a car moves at 100kmph, we mean that the car moves at 100kmph speed with reference to the road (or to a stationary observer on the road). Obviously the said speed is not with reference to someone who is inside the car or to someone who is following the car on a bike. Similarly the propagation speed of a wave is always mentioned with reference to the medium in which the wave travels. When we say that sound waves travel at speed of 330m/sec, the said speed, though not explicit, is always with reference to the medium in which the waves travel. So, when Maxwell calculated the speed of light as ‘c’, it implied that this speed must be with reference to the medium in which light waves should be travelling. But as just been mentioned, there isn’t any medium in the outer space as far as scientists know. But if there is no medium in the outer space, the speed of light that Maxwell calculated is with reference to whom?

Before the advent of modern physics with all its weird theories, scientists believed in the existence of an ever pervading medium called Ether. Everything in this universe including planets, stars etc were thought to remain suspended and move about in this stationary universal medium. And this putative Ether medium was thought to act as the medium for light waves (hence the name ‘lumiferous Ether’). Though there was no proof of its existence, the Ether hypothesis had enjoyed good support from the physicists of the pre-modern era as that was able to explain how light waves from outer space could reach us on Earth and also was able to provide the answer for the reference frame problem. But over a relatively short span of time, the above Ether hypothesis gave way to the weird theories of the modern physics. And we must talk about three things here which made physics ‘advance’ in the wrong direction.

Michelson- Morley experiment: Michelson presumed that when Earth moved through the stationary Ether medium, it would result in what is called as Ether wind. So he predicted that light beams made to travel to and fro in perpendicular directions i.e. one light beam passed parallel to the Ether wind direction and another beam passed across the wind, would take different times to cover the same distance. But to the astonishment of the scientific community, Michelson’s famous experiment failed to detect any difference in the times taken by the two light beams and thus ruled out any such thing called Ether wind. From this and other observations (aberration of star light), scientists concluded that there isn’t anything like Ether in our universe. (We will discuss later why scientists are wrong to assume so and will expose the misconceptions upon which this famous experiment was devised).

Light and Electromagnetic radiation: From the work of great physicists like Faraday and Maxwell, scientific community had learnt more about electro-magnetism and electromagnetic radiation. It became known that electromagnetic waves get generated from relative motion between electric and magnetic fields. And the scientific community had realised that light is a form of electromagnetic radiation and that visible light comprises only a small part of the total spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. And having discarded the Ether medium, the intelligent physicists had ‘understood’ electromagnetic waves as ‘self propagating’ transverse waves with electric and magnetic fields oscillating at right angles to the direction of propagation. While we the ordinary minds may not correctly grasp the physicists’ imagination of these ‘mythical’ waves of transversely oscillating electric and magnetic fields, the point to note here is that, according to the intelligent physicists, electromagnetic waves (i.e. light waves) do not require any medium to propagate in space unlike mechanical waves (e.g. sound waves).

Emitter theory: But the above ‘understanding’ of the scientific crowd on EM waves had made the second question even tougher to answer i.e. if EM waves are self propagating and if they don’t require any medium , then Maxwell’s calculated speed of electromagnetic waves is with reference to whom?

At this juncture, some scientists believed that the calculated speed of EM waves must be with reference to the source that generated them (Emitter theory). But observations on neutral pion decay didn’t seem to support the ‘emitter theory’. Scientists observed that light photons (EM waves) travelled at the same speed ‘c’ whether they were emitted by fast moving particles (neutral pions) or slow moving particles. In other words, light photons’ velocity didn’t vary with the velocity of the source unlike the case with projectiles in our everyday world!

Another argument against the emitter theory was that Electromagnetic waves get generated when there is relative motion between a magnet and a conductor (e.g. copper wire). In other words, a source of EM waves contains two basic components (a magnet and a conductor) both of which move relative to each other. So if we assume that Maxwell’s calculated speed of EM waves is with reference to the source, which one of the two components of the source shall we consider as representing the source? I.e. shall we swear upon the magnet’s frame or the conductor’s frame as representing the reference frame of the source as a whole?

Imagine that we kept a magnet at rest and moved a copper wire with speed ‘v’ with respect to the magnet and generated EM waves. Here we may assume that the so generated EM waves travel at speed ‘c’ with reference to the magnet because this was the one at rest. In that case obviously the speed of the same EM waves becomes ‘c+v’ in the reference frame of the copper wire. But because motion is relative we can argue that it was actually the copper wire that was at rest and hence the Maxwell’s calculated speed ‘c’ must refer to the copper wire’s reference frame and not to the magnet.

But how can the generated EM waves travel at the same speed with reference to both the magnet and the conductor which are moving relative to each other? In other words, how can a light beam travel with the same speed ‘c’ with reference to two different objects in two different reference frames?

Emitter theory thus failed to solve the reference frame issue and the scientific turmoil continued. Amidst this scientific turmoil came Einstein with his weird and ‘wonderful’ theory of special relativity which mesmerised the confused scientific folk and ‘solved’ the reference frame issue. He said that the speed of light waves (i.e. electromagnetic waves) remains the same to every observer irrespective of one’s state of motion or reference frame. Special theory of relativity woven upon this weird law of constant speed of light then lead to the weird propositions of time dilation, space contraction etc and later paved the way for another weird theory called general relativity.

Now we will analyse each of the above things that mislead the scientific crowd and allowed the weird theories to sprout and flourish in the realm of science masquerading as modern physics.

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  • Larry Good  On April 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    This is the first indication of clear thinking I have seen about physics in a long time. Consider this short poem I wrote earlier this morning:

    A Question of Being

    There is a huge discrepancy
    I ask you to make right:

    If a neutrino does exist
    Why isn’t it
    Just light?


    • Hamara  On September 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      This “clear thinking” actually explains nothing. Everyone knows that if speed of light is constant that leads to strange things. Experience shows that we live in a strange world. If you want to prove this wrong, you simoly need to measure the speed of light in vacuum and show that it is not constant. You need to present a description of the reproducable experiment. This crackpot of “free thinker” could not present anything like this on this homepage so far. It would be quite a sensation. How GPS would work without relativity? Can you explain? You guys are using the proof of relativity on a daily basis. It is like preaching on an boeing airplane that 276,800kg of stuff can not fly.


      • drgsrinivas  On September 22, 2014 at 11:21 am

        Yes, to a religious mind ‘conditioned’ by years and years of religious preaching and chanting, the above description conveys nothing.
        I totally agree. Everyone knows that if existence of God is true that leads to strange things. Experience shows that we live in a strange world. If you want to prove this wrong, you simply need to show that God does not exist. And you need to present a description of the reproducible experiment. Of course even if someone manages to come out with experimental proof against God, we have the ability to claim the same as proof of God, you know if God is on our side we can do anything! And you know that it is actually allowed in modern science i.e. a contradictory evidence can be claimed as supportive proof by proposing some magical phenomena (just like how the relativists propose time dilation for the cosmic ray muons and prove them as moving slower than light). How GPS would work without God? Can you explain? You guys are using the proof of God on a daily basis. It is like preaching on an boeing airplane that 276,800kg of stuff can not fly!!!!!
        (I am actually being highly unfair to the believers of God by the above analogy because the argument in support of the God’s theory is highly logical compared with that in support of the stupid theory of relativity)
        Larry, if some stupid mind comes out with a stupid theory and stupidly claims some observations as proof of his stupid theory, a sane person wouldn’t go on to devise a separate costly experiment to prove that the stupid mind is stupid. Rather he would examine the same experiments that forced the stupid mind to arrive at the stupid theory and expose the stupid mind’s stupid logic. And when someone is stupid and thinks that this world is strange and hence need not bother about logic, the stupid mind would also claim the new experiment as proof of his stupid theory.


  • Galacar  On September 24, 2014 at 2:02 am

    To Hamara

    You wrote:

    “How GPS would work without relativity? Can you explain?”

    On these pages it is explained that relativity is not neccesary for GPS.
    Look it up, mate before you make yourself stupid again!

    But I go even further than that. At the moment there is NOTHING, and I repeat
    NOTHING good that came out of ‘modern physics”! NOTHING!
    Not the tranistor, not mri, not the computer, not satellites, not optic, not telescope, not wireless and on and on and on….
    And all provable!!

    It is all a joke!!


  • hywel  On November 29, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    i can explain how gps works without relativity nonsense: environment change form accordingly. Any bit of mass will change taken into a different environment.
    An increase or decrease in gravity will change a gps, monkey, book, so the object behaves accordingly.
    as you speed up you change.
    To assume this is evidence of time dilation, in variance of c etc is jumping to conclusion.
    To me it’s like an elephant in the sauna.


    • drgsrinivas  On December 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Yes, that’s true.
      BTW, What is Environment? It is nothing but the sum of all the forces acting upon a body. So it isn’t surprising why bodies get influenced by their environment.
      A change in the sum of all the forces (eg. change in gravity, change in the resistance offered by the medium particles as an object moves inside a medium) acting upon a body obviously affect the behaviour of that body. That applies to any object including a book, a clock, a monkey, a relativist etc.


  • Harold Johnson  On January 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Don’t know if you knew this, but even among modern researchers there have been findings of photons arriving from the same (distant) object at different times. Constant SOL is obviously in question.

    I’m trying to find somewhere (grad school) to study this problem.


  • Light Boy  On November 15, 2015 at 3:31 am


    • drgsrinivas  On November 15, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Light boy,
      It looks like you are attempting to prove that your sacred Quran is in agreement with the predictions of Einstein’s theory of relativity. If that was really the case (I suppose not), then I will have to believe that your Quran must also be wrong. If you really want to prove that Quran is right and show that Islam is great, then you must distance your religion from that absurd theory and prove how the teachings of your Quran actually contradict the witch theory of relativity. I am sure you will succeed if you critically explore both the subjects without religiously believing in either of them!

      As I have explained in my replies elsewhere, this is the problem in every religious society that has got ‘educated’. Everyone wants to prove that their religious literature is exactly in agreement with modern science. Only that way they think they can promote their religion and feel proud of. In fact ‘science’ has become the first religion for most educated people. Most people have no problem suspecting/ discarding their ‘mother religion’ without even knowing what it preaches. For them what ‘science’ preaches is ultimate.

      And for the minority who still believe that their ‘mother religion’ is true, the only way for them to claim themselves as rational in our modern society is by proving that their ‘mother religion’ is in agreement with the ‘science religion’. I.e. TRUTH has to prove itself as a LIE to survive in this society.
      I think DHARMA has to surrender to ADHARMA and SATYA must feign itself as ASATYA until the end of Kali Yuga. After that hopefully true knowledge prevails in the society and TRUTH takes over once again. This is what I understand from the Hindu religious literature which I believe as a great source of wisdom. But I will never associate the ancient Hindu religious knowledge with modern science. That would be a great shame to the Hindu philosophy and the great sages of ancient India!


  • Eric Newberry.  On November 18, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Amazingly I have had some of the exact conclusions that you have written here. In fact just today I asked an engineer what happened to change the atomic clocks. I asked about absolute zero, redshift etc. He ignored my questions and said it happens period. I asked him about adding kinetic energy to the cesium atom during acceleration. Again he ignored my questions. I asked how can we go from deductions of vibrations per second, in a lab. Then put the same atom in a box and call it time.
    Some of my other work was on gravity. I compared it to a washing machine. It explains then rotation of Venus to be forming an Eddie. Again I was ignored. I’m glad I am finding more people who think like me.


  • Galacar  On November 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    to Eric Newberry

    yes! Of course they have to ignore you. It goes against their indoctrination and lack of logical thinking. With regard to thinking I think that most ‘scientists’ are
    very cowardly. But if you go to a ‘science-trained’ doctor, just for fun start asking questions and see who get’s sick first! lol
    btw I have asked my s.o. if possible to avoid to get me in a hospital. Most dangerous place on earth!


  • Galacar  On November 24, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    With regards to ignoring etc by scientists watch this one!

    Actually, you HAVE TO watch this to see how stupid science ‘handles’ things.
    It is at the same time hilarious and sad.
    And the fact that is was banned is telling!

    Anyway enjoy!

    With relevance to this website,
    at 10:25 he starts talking about the change of the speed of light.

    Rupert Sheldrake – The Science Delusion BANNED TED TALK

    Watch, laugh and weep!

    (I sincerely hope for readers here that after watching this, ‘science’ will never be the same!)


  • John Davis  On October 8, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    DrG, I’m surprised you haven’t written on the 2000 study of getting a light pulse to travel 300 times faster than the speed of light…


  • Galacar  On October 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    @John Davis.

    From the article:

    ” However, the laws of physics remain intact because Lijun Wang and colleagues at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton in the US are able to explain the results of their experiment in terms of the classical theory of wave propagation.”

    lol. ANYTHING to keep the ‘sacred cow(s)’ alive!

    I bet if every experiment showed everything is wrong, they probably come up with
    an explanation that ‘keeps the laws of physics intact’.

    As far as I am concerned I see these idiots as working in an asylym.
    And the asylum periodically publicizes their ‘magazine’ as a way of
    giving some sort of catharsis for these luna-tics.



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