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An Alternative Determination for the Velocity of Light
I. Introduction ~
The nature of light and its velocity has always been a somewhat controversial subject and remains so to some extent even today. The disputed pointes of view are well-known to most readers of New Energy news and thus they will not be extensively considered here. However, some of the more salient points will be briefly stated ere as a prelude to a discussion of an alternate method of determining the velocity of light in the vacuum.
Primarily, light is presently considered to be a wave motion in terms of electromagnetic theory, but it is also considered as an energy unit or photon in quantum theory. The aspects compliment each other; for example, the wave theory is generally applied to interactions between light signals, while quantum theory is used for light energy interactions, such as the photoelectric effect. Presently, the velocity of light is considered as absolute, i.e., independent of the velocity of the source or the observer. Also the physical motion of any material body can never exceed the velocity of light. The velocity of light also serves as a connection between mass and energy as is noted in the well-known relation E = mc2. The velocity of light appears in many physical relations, especially those relating to the various fundamental constants of nature. Thus, the determination of the true value of this velocity is of utmost importance in physics and in cosmology in general.
II. Experimental Determinations of the Velocity of Light ~
The first crude measurement (of importance) of the velocity of light was made by Roemer in 1675 in an experiment where he noted a change of time for the observance of the eclipsing of the moon Io by the planet Jupiter. The velocity determined here was in the order of 2.2 x 1010 cm/sec using the best parameters available to him at that time. However, since that time many more precise experimental measurements were made, as summarized in the 1983 paper by Pipkins and Ritter (1). Most of these determinations were in the order of 3 x 1010 cm/sec, with the average being around 2.9979 x 1010 cm/sec. The more recent measurements made around 1973 or so, gave a value of 2.9979245 x 1010 cm/sec, and this was the accepted value at that time. This generally remains the present day value, as given in some dictionaries of science (2) and the book Gravitation by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler (3).
It should be noted that most of the above experimental measurements of the velocity of light were made in the presence of gases, primarily air and possibly water vapor, and thus does not truly represent the velocity in vacuum. However, the error introduced is considered to be very minimal. Here. However, I will consider the accepted value to be 2.99792 x 1010 cm/sec, out to five decimal places only, so as to be of the sameorder of magnitude as for some of the other determined constants which will be used in the alternate calculations. Before doing so it is necessary to digress a bit to explain the nature of Planck’s Natural Units, which are basic to these determinations.
III. Planck’s Natural Units (PNU) ~
Max Planck published in 1914 a curious aside in his book The Theory of Heat Radiation. I first became aware of this aside in 1959, when Dover Publications released a reprint of this volume (4). Planck suggested that experimentally determined universal constants could be used to “establish units of length, mass, time, and temperature, which are independent of special bodies or substances, which necessarily retain their significance for all times and for all environments, terrestrial and human or otherwise, and which may, therefore, be described as ‘natural units’”. Planck chose the constants h, his Planck constant, C, the velocity of light in vacuum, and G, the gravitational constant. Planck expressed the numerical values of these constants in the CGS system of units, i.e., centimeters, grams, and seconds. By choosing the natural units so that each of the above constant assumes the value unity, he obtained the natural units:
Length = L* = ( G h / C3 )½ ~ 3.99 x 10–33 cm
Time = T* = ( G h / C5 ) ½ ~ 1.33 x 10 –43 sec.
Mass = M* = ( C h / G ) ½ ~ 5.37 x 10–5 gm
Using the data available to him at that time.
A paper by McNish which appeared in May 1959 (5) seemed to relish the potentials stated by Planck but expressed concern about the uncertainty of arriving at a sufficiently accurate value for the gravitational constant. However, it occurred to me at that time that these natural units could perhaps be the dimensions of the aether, but pressures of earning a living and raising a family delayed my looking into this further at this time. However, in 1975 I was able to devote a few months to further studies in cosmology, primarily a fresh look at the nature and structure of space/time, the so-called aether. I was encouraged by reports on a ‘structure’ for the vacuum as was given by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler (MTW) in their book (3). Especially interesting to me was their revision of Planck’s natural units (PNU), using the reduced Planck Constant,
h, rather than h, since this was in agreement with my own ‘structuring’ of a stationary aether. This I had reported later in my monograph, Rhysmonic Cosmology, which I released in 1985 (6). As a result, the PNU now became:
L* ~ 1.6161 x 10-33 cm
T* ~ 5.3906 x 10-44 sec.
M* ~ 2.1765 x 10-5 gm
Where the calculations were carried out to the most probable fourth decimal place, using
C ~ 2.9979 x 1010 cm/sec
G ~ 6.6732 x 10-8 cm3/gm sec2
h~ 1.0546 x 10-27 gm cm2/sec
where these values were averaged from the references cited here. Since C, G, and
hcan eventually be experimentally determined to higher orders of accuracy, the Planck Natural Units will also be determined more accurately in the future.
IV. Application of PNU to the Velocity of Light ~
In Rhysmonic Cosmology (6) the velocity of light in vacuum was predicted to be due to a matrix-type structure from the vacuum. Here, electromagnetic effects were the result of a propagation factor, C*, could be called the Planck Velocity, and was equal to L* / T*. Substituting in the more recent determinations of the Planck natural units,
C* = L* / T* = 2.99794 x 1010 cm/sec,
Which also is the experimentally determined velocity of light. It is surprising that this connection has not been mentioned by the quantum theorists (as far as I know) and especially by MTW. Therefore, it seems to me that the PNU really do describe the structure of the aether. In the above relation it is seen that the velocity of light would be constant in an undisturbed aether. The only way the velocity could change is if L* changes (which is possible in the presence of matte where the velocity would be reduced), or if T* changes, which some experiments could ascertain).
V. The PNU and Dimensional Analysis ~
Since PNUs appear to describe the very structure of a stationary aether they may be truly fundamental units. As such, one can refine the experimentally determined fundamental constants with dimensional formula analysis. Two examples are give:
h~ 1.0545 x 10-27 gm/sec2 (from experiment)
The numerical value of h can be determined from PNU thus,
h* = gm cm2/sec = M* L*2 / T* ~ 1.05449.
h~ 1.05449 x 10-27 gm cm2/sec (from PNU).
G ~ 6.673 x 10-8 cm3/gm sec2 (from experiment, Ref. 1)
G* = cm3/gm sec2 = L*3 / M* T*2 ~ 6.6736
G ~ 6.6736 x 10-10 cm3/gm sec2 (per PNU).
This technique was verified for many known constants, but with one notable exception: the value of, e, the quantum of charge.
e ~ 4.803 x 10-10 (gm cm3/sec2) 1/2 (from experiment).
e* = (gm cm3 / sec2)1/2 = (M* L*3 / T*2 )1/2 = 5.6226
e ~ 5.6226 x 10-10 (gm cm3 /sec2 )1/2 (per PNU).
Note that the PNU determined value of e is about 11.7 times larger than the classical experimentally determined value. This also explains why the so-called reciprocal fine structure constant, 1 / alpha, where e2 is used, becomes the value 11.7 2 or approximately 137. Thus, thus PNU determination of e questions the experimentally determined value of e, the quantum of charge.
The methods of Rhysmonic Cosmology (6) were basically used in the determination reported herein (with support from PNU and MTW). This material appears to confirm that there is a stationary aether, having a definite structure and very high energy content, probably related to the PNU and its many derivatives. The further study of this structure should interest many reader of New Energy News (NEN) and may possibly provide some clues to a more direct ‘extraction’ of the latent energy in space/time. As reported in NEN, this energy source might have been tapped in some past and current experimental tests. To unambiguously do so may provide the total energy needs of mankind in the future without polluting the earth. The writer hopes that many readers will consider the possibilities allude to herein.
(1) Francis M. Pipkin and Rogers C. Ritter: Science 219 (#4587), Feb. 1983; "Precision Measurements and Fundamental Constants".
(2) Penguin Dictionary of Science, 1943 edition; Penguin Dictionary of Physics, 1977 edition.
(3) Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne, John A. Wheeler: Gravitation; W. Freeman and Company (1973).
(4) Max Planck: The Theory of Heat Radiation, Dover edition (1959).
(5) A. G. Nish: Proc. I.R.E. (May 1959); "The Basis of Our Measuring System".
(6) G. Hodowanec: Rhysmonic Cosmology (1985).