Aether Redux


Not the unmemorable movie with Charlize Theron in such Memorable Leather!

However, I have to admit it beats physics. There are some equations you don’t ever need to write down to fully appreciate. Call that a gift from Nature.

No, the reason to revive the aether has to do with another obsession of a dark nature. I believe that the quantum theory we all know and love might be up for replacement. Theories are like buses, miss one and there will be another before too long!

However, having you catch that bus is no sure thing. The central question, as always on this blog, is was Erwin Schroedinger right? Are matter waves real?

On this front, I have just returned from a fine holiday in beautiful Langkawi, off the coast of Malaysia. While bobbing around like some stranded porpoise in the calm and warm waters of the Andaman Sea there was one single thought that struck me.

Waves ain’t so bad… especially between Margaritas.

I thought, momentarily, that I might be suspended by a bunch of over-agitated particles. However, that thought was well gone after the third Margarita. Only waves may be so kind as to transport you to dreamier dreams when the bar tab is well-extended.

So my mind is made up.

Waves it is. I am done with those pesky particles. They shall become history.

There is a flux across the Aeons… and within it I perceive a current of great comfort.

14 thoughts on “Aether Redux”

    1. Hi Helder,

      Yes I am familiar with David Hestenes work, but thanks for raising it.

      I read about it some 25 years ago as a grad student since I was then doing work on two-state quantum inference. This involves doing probability measure calculations on spinor fields. That got me into the quaternion algebra, octonions, hypercomplex algebras more generally and geometric algebra.

      I then let the whole thing lapse in my mind until last year when I got familiar with Hestenes work on Zitterbewegung (ZBW). The fellow is such a gentleman that most people still do not know very much about this.

      He was not one to really bignote his many and varied achievements.

      However, to round out the thought… The connections I see are as follows:

      1) The addition of vectors and scalars that many get hung up with in Geometric Algebra (GA) is less obviously weird once you have done a lot of quaternion or spinor algebra. Hestenes was careful to make those points but a lot of physicists are a bit goofy about this sort of thing so misunderstood GA.

      2) Hestenes is full of many and useful connections into the classical tradition of physics, vector algebra, and field theory which have been forgotten. There are a lot of quite famous idiots in quantum field theory who would have done better to pay attention to this but they were too arrogant, ignorant or both.

      3) In my mind, the topics of quaternions, Maxwell equations, spinor fields, Geometric Algebra and the force-free Trkalian and Beltrami fields that Theo Raptis has been posting about are all intimately connected. Finally, these topics probably relate to old-style Kaluza-Klein theory and Weyl spinors (the mysterious Vierbein business).

      If you want to understand the cosmological constant problem and reasons to take de Sitter relativity seriously then it would not hurt to curl up with Hestenes and follow that with a Weyl and Hamilton chaser.

      In short, I think Hestenes probably deserves a whole series of blog posts solely devoted to the many reasons to pay attention. To sum up, if you want to be that privileged first person to solve the coupled Maxwell-Dirac and Einstein-Maxwell-Dirac equations then you need to read Hestenes.



      1. Hi Kingsley.
        Tanks for the extensive reply. The approach of QM from the viewpoint of GA is very sound to me and I think that GA and STA are in the path of the future physics.

        In my oppinion there is no problem at all with the ‘cosmological constant’ ( The 1st paper in the link I provide is a formal demonstration that ‘matter’ evolve thru time and not space that expands, and GR is not needed to explain the evolution of the universe – larger atoms in the past cam explain the redshift).
        In the 3rd paper it is shown that if we use an invariant observer we can deduce Einstein Relativity and conclude more, that the absolute motion in relation to the background has consequences.
        Those papers are from a friend of mine.

        Several documents on GA are also linked.

        With the help of Hestenes ZBW I am trying to understand matter/antimatter properties and the why of the apparent distribution asymetry. I will use another comment to post my thoughts and I would like to have your oppinion, if you please.

          1. Thanks for posting that Helder!

            They are some interesting ideas you raise. That is what the blog is supposed to about. Raising awareness of alternate explanations.

            You may be familiar with Hoyle and Narlikar who did extensive work developing field theories in the spirit of Wheeler-Feynman source absorber theory.

            When I get time I hope to make a Mongol Physics website dedicated to a Wiki on these types of well-considered offshoots of the conventional wisdom.

            The purpose is not to “endorse” one favored approach but counter the news media driven “one true path” nonsense that gave as TOEs and GUTs and Strings and Multiverses to the exclusion of a whole bunch of more classically inspired work in a rich tradition of actual real physical phenomena.

            Thanks again for the post and the comment regarding non-constant physical constants or a sliding scale for the “rate” of time.

    1. Too funny! A buddy of mine at ANU (Canberra Australia) actually had the upside down Peter’s Projection map on his dorm wall.

      Really. This was in 1981.

      It freaked out any visitor from the USA 🙂

      Their heads would just explode on the spot.

  1. I usually don’t just jump in like this, but Mark Mansfield gave me a like to this site and I find it to be a quite interesting one.

    While I’m here I might as well ask if anyone here is interested in seeing a theory that is quantum and classical at the same time? Ultrawave theory (UT) uses very simple math and ideas to create an entire universe, namely ours. From its comprehensive nature, it can be used to answer any and all basic questions about the universe. From knowing how its components work to create everything, I can understand why one might think there was an aether, or why some particles seem massless even though they are not, or why dark matter and dark energy might exist when they don’t. I am always surprised to see new theories that point out some aspect of the SM that is lacking. I am also surprised by the results of new experiments that seem contrary to the SM, but I have no problem explaining with UT.

    I was just trying to convince Mark to assist me with compiling examples of unexplainable experimental results. By showing how simply they can be explained with UT, I think it would be of great benefit in supporting this new theory. I would appreciate any help I can get in this search. Just visit the UT site and leave me an email message if you have something to contribute. I just saw the latest one on photon molecules (what a terrible explanation), so I don’t need that one.

    Kindest regards,

  2. Hi David, I am not familiar with such ideas. However, there is an extensive literature on neoclassical models for elementary particles. Very little of this has made direct contact with experiment, except via phenomenology. Nonetheless, it is important to appreciate that the heritage of such models goes back over 100 years to Kelvin’s vortex atoms and the shell, sphere and ring models that were popular around 1900 through to 1920. In this era, the models have become interesting once more due to the realization that gauge fields should properly couple to their sources. In that sense, it has become popular once more to consider field and matter as one indivisible whole. However, it is doubtful that such an approach should rightly be called “classical” since the fields and matter are entangled and so exist on configuration space. Things have changed in the last hundred years, so this time around the elementary particle models of a coupled gauge field and its matter source look different.

    I am hopeful, however, that particle trajectory methods, such as have been commonly used in quantum chemistry for some years, may yet find an application in studies of elementary particle structure.

    Nobody really knows if such speculations will work, but it seems worth a look to see if the old ideas can be taken a step further now that we know more.

    Best, Kingsley

    1. Kingsley,

      You must not have looked at the theory or you would be aware that it does not follow current expectations. It truly is a classical theory; although, it does have some quantum aspects due to there not being a continuum at the subatomic level and only discrete quanta exits there. I just finished a philosophical argument for the absurd nature of the explanations given by the Standard Model and how to fix them. It’s only three pages long, but still too large to post here I would think. I can send it to you, as well as a Power Point presentation that takes care of the phenomenological details if you are interested. Anyone who is interested can drop me a line at and I’ll send them both.


  3. Kingsley,

    Also, you are correct in that this is very much like Parson’s magneton model or Kelvin’s vortex model so I guess you saw some part of the theory. The difference is that the torus of the model contains a string that travels at the ultrawave speed of approx. 8.9359E+16 m/s. The spherical charge shell surrounding it has a similar string. All fields are manifestations of these same strings, so fields including gravity are just byproducts of matter creation. I call the theory classical rather than quantum-classical (even though it is) so as not to be confused that it might contain any of the non-sensical ideas presented in the current Quantum theories.


  4. Hi David,
    I guess the challenge of every theory is a combination of economy and accuracy to the observed empirical facts. That will be the measure by which any new approach to the physics of matter and fields will be judged. The Standard Model is a pretty big target to take on with any novel mechanism to describe elementary constituents which does not in some way clearly inherit from the prior theory.

    I am not that bold, but accept that we do not actually know how to calculate the masses of elementary constituents (at least not in general). On that basis, some novel phenomenology might help, but the proof is in the pudding.

    Best regards,


    1. Kingsley,

      I don’t know how to calculate mass values either. The information is probably there to do it, I’m just not smart enough to figure it out. My math skills are limited to the simple stuff. It’s a good thing that’s all UT requires.
      The accuracy of UT is as good as the measurement of the electron mass. Everything of importance has a relation to it numerically, so the values of the other constants (electron volt, Planck’s, fine structure, and Rydberg) all change with the electron mass. All you need are some good ratios. The NIST historical values confirm this, as they all go up or down together. I don’t know if it was proposed before I posted it on my website in 2008, but I have definitely seen it mentioned in published papers since.
      It is impossible for me to ‘inherit’ from the QM if the proposals are not correct. I had to replace so many of the ideas that it would be useless for me to say that it includes QM as a special case like Relativity does with Newton’s gravity. You really do need to see the equations and the explanations that I provide in my PP presentation to see that they are basically the same as the early Parson magneton model. It is merely the change of velocity from c to Cc that allows them to work to give exact values for magnetic moment and particle size. If UT is wrong then someone has a heck of a lot of explaining to do to show how a wrong theory can do essentially everything right that one could ask of it.


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