Fundaments of a Theory of Aether – Part 1
The necessity of acknowledging the existence of a new chemical element is discussed. A new view of the electric current as a diffusion wave in a wire is advanced. The production of a magnetic field by an electric current is explained in terms of mechanics of surface waves.
Keywords: aether, aether acoustic wave, electrigen, diffusion wave, electric charge, electric current, magnetic field
This work is an improvement upon the ideas advanced in the work titled Rudiments of a Theory of Aether (2007). Its aim is to continue with the ambitious plan of giving a mechanical description of the phenomena of electricity, magnetism, gravitation and light. While the previous work still used the concept of electron and electric charge, this is not the case now. Scrapping the concept of electric charge naturally leads to reconsidering the nature of the electric current and of the cause of the magnetic field produced by it. It will be seen that the new view advanced here is fully consistent with the phenomena observed in electromagnetism.
A mechanical explanation of electromagnetic phenomena is very much desired and has been the ultimate goal of the great physicists of the last century. Mechanics operates with the most fundamental concepts in physics and therefore it is most fitted in explaining physical phenomena. The basic tenet of a mechanical theory is that the actions produced by matter are due to what matter does, not to what matter is. In explaining the nature of gravitation, and its power to act at a distance through vacuum, the concept of mass having an intrinsic power to attract another mass at a distance has been denied, as did Isaac Newton many times in his writings (see The Origin of Gravitation).
A similar procedure will be used now. Electrostatic actions are not due to entities called electric charges (positive and negative). Electrostatic attractions and repulsions are the result of molecular vibrations transmitted through the Aether and the artificial concept of electric charge is replaced with that of energy charge. The concept of electric charge has been very helpful in systemizing the phenomena of electricity, but this does not mean that electric charge and electric force must be elevated to the status of fundamental concepts in physics. They are so now because no mechanical explanation has been found so far.
Ever since electrical phenomena have been observed and recorded, two distinct processes have been identified: that bodies act a distance on one another, and that something in their constitution has changed, that they are in a new condition. Confusing these two has prevented researchers from finding a mechanical explanation of electrostatic phenomena.
On the one hand, Benjamin Franklin clearly noticed that something is being transferred from one body to another during friction or when being connected to an electrical machine. This change in constitution was related by him to the existence of an electric fluid that has been lost by one and gained by another.
On the other hand, charged objects act a distance on one another through attractions and repulsions. These interactions cannot be transmitted other that by vibrations in the intervening aether because they are observed even in vacuum and because the aether is a compressible inviscid liquid that can propagate interactions exclusively through longitudinal waves. If we are to find a mechanical explanation for these interactions, the only way is to think of them as being produced by what matter does, not by what matter is and proposing the matter is positive or negative. This further leads to the conclusion that electrostatic attractions and repulsions are due to matter set in a motion of vibration, in other words, that matter is charged with energy, not with “electricity”.
Thus, Benjamin Franklin’s electric fluid does not have to be a substance “charged with electricity”, it is sufficient to acknowledge its existence and to explain the electrostatic forces to which it gives rise by its vibration, that is, by its energy charge. In this work, this fluid is called electrigen.
The electrigen can be thought of as a chemical element. Following the scheme used in chemistry, its name stems from electri- (electrical phenomena) and -gen (gene - producing). Needless to add that it is a neutral substance, just as any other chemical element. And its name is not to be understood as implying that it is the only element producing electrostatic attractions and repulsions through its vibration. The other elements are equally potent when set in vibration but it is due to the electrigen having revealed the existence of electrostatic phenomena that such a name was assigned to it.
In acknowledging the existence of electrigen as a new chemical element, we find support from the most unexpected quarters, even from chemistry itself. Thus, no other that Dmitri Mendeleev, the founder of the Periodic Table of chemical elements, foretold the existence of elements x and y in Group 0. Look at Figures 1 and 2 of his table. In the present work, element x is identified as the Aether, and the element y as the electrigen.
A further support for the existence of electrigen comes from the phenomena observed in vacuum tubes. William Crookes called it the fourth state of matter, and later cathode rays. O.W. Richardson observed that electrigen can be evaporated from substances heated in vacuum, and that in such a state of vibration the electrigen behaves as a “negatively charged substance”. In a mechanical explanation of electrostatic phenomena what this means is that the vibrating electrigen repels itself and attracts other chemical elements.
Due to its lightness, the electrigen is easily set in vibration and its oscillations can be conceived as transferring to the aether small amplitude, high frequency waves. Other elements, being heavier, would impart to the aether waves of larger amplitudes and lower frequencies. As a result, elements placed in such aether acoustic fields will be attracted repelled according to their natural vibration frequencies.
The present work showed how a mechanical picture of the electrostatic phenomena can be constructed by using the new concept of Electrigen as a Group 0, Period I chemical element of the Periodic Table of Elements. In this scheme, the Aether occupies the Group 0, Period 0 cell of the sametable, consistent with Dmitri Mendeleev’s conception of elements x and y.
The electrostatic phenomena of attractions and repulsions are attributed to the vibrations of the various elements and to the acoustic fields they produce in the surrounding aether.
The electrigen is conceived as covering the atoms of elements and clinging to them due to the external aether pressure. When chemical reactions take place, the electrigen is transferred from one substance to another. In a chemical cell for example, it is accumulated on the dissolving electrode, and produces a diffusion wave through a wire when one is connected between the two electrodes of the cell.
The electric current is thus an electrigen diffusion wave that produces surface waves in the surrounding aether. The circular motion of aether particles which results constitute the magnetic field observed when an electric current flows through a wire. This view has further consequences on the validity of Ampere’s formula for electric current elements as well as on our conception of the magnetic field, which will be discussed in a future work.