THE FIRST AETHER CONFERENCE
By Hal Fox, Editor
A two-day Conference on the Aether was held in Pleasant Hill, California, on July 19-20, 1997. Chaired, organized, and hosted by Norman Silliman, this conference was a first in the developing struggle to improve our understanding of nature. The 12 attendees were mainly from California, Washington, and Utah. Three of the attendees had partial explanations of the aether that will require carefully-defined experiments to prove or disprove.
Various concepts of the aether were discussed. Most of the attendees could agree that there definitely is an aether and it acts like a gaseous or fluid media but is composed of much finer particles than those that make up matter. It was generally accepted that the aether is a primary factor in magnetism, electrostatics, and gravity.
In an attempt to find experiments that prove the existence of an aether, one of the attendees, Donald Roth, created several experiments. One of these experiments consisted of a beam about 14" long supported at its center by a nylon line. Onto one end of the beam was fastened eight small magnets about one inch square. Four magnets were parallel to the beam and four at right angles to the beam so as to reduce any interaction with earth's magnetic field. The weight of the magnets was balanced by positioning and fastened a rock (non-magnetic, of course) to the other end of the beam.
The balance of the rock and magnets on the suspended beam should convince an observer that this arrangement did not constitute a means for measuring gravity. One end of the beam was fixed with a thin metal band which was positioned so that it would partially obstruct a light and photo diode. The result is a signal that can be amplified and plotted using a personal computer.
When this apparatus was monitored over many hours, it was determined that there was about a two percent diurnal change in the beam balance. The plot from the computer-stored data showed that the diurnal variation was about sinusoidal with a maximum at midnight and a minimum at about noon. That is, the forces on the magnet(or the rock?) appeared to cause the magnets to indicate less mass at noon and more mass at midnight. Therefore, it can be hypothesized that there is a daily variation, due to the sun's motion, that affects such a balanced beam. We leave it to our readers to relate this experimental observation to the aether.
It is important to recall that Hodonowec's experiments using capacitors shows essentially that same type of daily variation. In addition, Donald Roth also used a barium titanate crystal loaded with a weight and measured the changes in the signal output over 24 hours or more. In this later case, it can be assumed that the weight of the mass placed on top of the crystal is simply a gravity meter. One might expect that such a device would sense the motion of a large body and its gravity influence. Therefore, this experiment should be repeated with careful plotting of both the position of the sun and of the moon because the moon should show strong changes in a local gravity field. Such measurements could be compared closely with the magnitude of the tides. Readers: Does this experiment show us anything about the aether?
In another experiment, a magnetic torsion beam was suspended and balanced at its center. A strong magnet is then placed on a table with one pole extended toward the suspended torsion beam. After many oscillations the beam would be attracted to the opposite magnetic pole of the magnet on the table. Donald Roth reports that after five days the magnet can be removed at considerable distance from the balanced torsion beam but that the beam will still be attracted as though the magnet was still there. This experiment should be duplicated by some of the NEN readers. If the experiment is repeatable, then this evidence could be used to claim that the aether can exhibit some type of memory or inertia for magnetic fields. The discovery of the Aspden Effect (see NEN, Feb. 1995, vol 2, no 10, p 1ff) or rotational magnetic inertia and this effect observed by Roth may have some common explanation. NEN readers: Do you have a good explanation? Is this evidence for an aether?
A Hall effect transistor, sensitive to changes in magnetic field strengths, also shows a diurnal variation. However, one must set up a very careful experiment to determine whether one is measuring a true effect of changes induced into a magnetic field by the nearness of the sun (at midday) or whether it is the earth's magnetic field that is undergoing daily variations.
VERTICAL AETHER FLOW?
Some of the attendees at this Aether Conference suggest that the aether flows into massive objects, such as the earth or the sun. It was suggested that this inward flowing of the aether toward a massive planet or star could be responsible for gravity (the shadow effect) and for the apparent bending of light waves (being distorted by this inward flow of aetheric particles). It was also suggested that the inward flowing of the aether could be a fundamental problem in measuring the speed of light using a horizontally arranged experiment (such as was done by Michelson and Morley). Therefore, it was a consensus of the attendees that the speed of light should be measured vertically and not horizontally. See Suggested Experiments.
Considerable discussion was held about the shadow concept of gravity (where some particle is responsible for gravity push by the "drag" between the particles and the massive objects through which the aetheric particles pass. For additional discussion, readers may want to read the article by Al Zielinski, "A New Theory that Unifies the Forces of Nature", (International Symposium on New Energy, April 25-28, 1996, pages 453-458 of proceedings). W. C. Wright of Fairfield, California, has been a proponent of "Push Gravity" for many years. Wright uses magnets, with their strong fields (about 40 orders of magnitude larger than gravity) to model some of the observed concepts of gravity. Note: Wright's use of magnets, with their locally strong two poles, allows him to make use of the repulsion of like poles to model his gravity push hypothesis. Such models are educational, interesting, but not conclusive due to the dramatic difference between magnetic fields and gravity including both magnitude and polarity factors. Most attendees would agree with Kenneth Shoulders' statement about gravity: "The earth and moon do not throw fish hooks." Harold E. Puthoff in an article titled, "Gravity as a zero-point-fluctuation force", (Phys Rev A, March 1, 1989, pp 2333-2342) provides a mathematical description of gravity beginning with the assumption that there is an energetic zero-point field (call it an aether, if you desire).
For one of the attendees, the aether is explained by being a flow of tachyons. It is even proposed that tachyons looping in a stable vortex are the matter particles. Tachyon flow, according to this proponent, explains all of the observed effects of the aether. Considerable discussion involved how tachyon flow could be responsible for the transmission of light through space. The discussion was firm but not conclusive. Considerable experimental evidence and interpretation is required to substantiate any currently proposed aether theory.
Norm Silliman has the following aether theory. Briefly, electrons circulate around the nucleus. Etherons flow into the electrons and force the electrons in toward the proton. Each electron has a hole (or submicroscopic pocket) in the side. Etheron flow spits out (like a rocket) and, thus, the electron is mobile. Therefore, the circulation of the electron around the nucleus is explained. Also electron repulsion can be explained by a perceived alignment of electrons and the Etheron flow in and out of the electron. A similar, somewhat mechanistic model is suggested for protons and neutrons. The topology of an array of protons and neutrons in the nucleus is what holds it together. This model may be too mechanistic for others, but it helps Silliman to visualize and explain certain observed phenomena.
The following three experiments have been reported in New Energy News and/or in the Journal of New Energy and are considered to be important as evidence that there is an energetic aether:
Aspden Effect: Dr. Harold Aspden discovered that when a permanent-magnet rotor was spun up to rated speed it required 3,000 Joules. If the rotor was stopped and then spun up again within a minute after stopping, it required only 300 Joules to spin up to rated speed. (NEN, Feb. 95)
Rowe Effect: Paul E. Rowe discovered that when an explosion takes place, excess hydrogen is always produced. (J. New Energy, vol 1, no 2, Summer 1996, pp 108-111).
Torsion Fields: Several groups of scientists in Russia have been studying torsion fields which appear to travel at superluminal speeds, can travel through hills and concrete, are very little diminished by distance, and may be related to the aether. (J. New Energy, vol 1, no 2, Summer 1996, p 27)
Other Experiments Possibly Related to an Aether:
Jerry Shifman said that Feynman had an experiment in which a steel bar, free to spin on its axis, was placed in a vacuum inside a spinning barrel. When the barrel would spin, the bar would begin to spin. Why?
A superconductor and a small aluminum mass is placed on a balance beam. The assembly is lowered into liquid nitrogen. The balance beam deflects because the superconductor is heavier than the aluminum. Then after five seconds, the balance beam takes another dip because the superconductor has changed its condition. The superconductor is deflected downward, therefore, it must be losing weight.
The following experiment was described. A lead ball is floated in a conducting wire loop in liquid nitrogen. Why does the ball float? The lead ball is heavier than the nitrogen. [We would like to see this experiment demonstrated. Ed.]
Suggested Experiments (by attendees):
It is hypothesized that the aether flows into the sun and bends light, and the bending of light is not due to warped space as Einstein suggested. Henry Lindner, a medical doctor, suggests a method of differentiating between the two effects in an experiment. Using a valley with 2 km. distance between hills, aether flow should bend the light into the valley. The theory suggests that there should be about seven centimeters change over two kilometers. Use water in hose to establish point A and point B at the same geographic level. The water in the hose will rise to the same level. Of course, it will require a long hose. The curvature of earth in 2 km. is about 2 cm. and should be taken into account. [Seven centimeters seems to be a large value. Can anyone cite Lindner's calculations? Ed.]
Attendees suggested that the Michelson-Morley experiment be conducted in the vertical plane. Many of the attendees suggest that the aether flows into massive objects. An alternative to the Michelson-Morley experiment would be to use the method designed by Stefan Marinov. Marinov uses two precision machined disks with holes near the outer diameter. Light is directed through the holes in two disks mounted on opposite ends of a two meter shaft and spun at a high rotational speed. Light through one hole would be slightly occluded by the motion of the opposite disk during the time that the light travels two meters.
It was suggested that the Aspden Effect be replicated using rotating permanent magnet rotors. Use two rotors and determine if the effect is transferable from one rotor to a substitute rotor (Move the just-stopped rotor out of the space and replace with the other rotor to determine if this rotational inertia effect is a property of the space or of the rotor.)
It is an experimental fact that it takes more energy to accelerate an object when the object is going faster. If light is a wave function in the aether, then the Mach effect found at sonic speeds in air may be replicated (at much higher velocities) in the aether. Therefore, an experiment for a "Mach effect" in aether should occur at about the speed of light. Use a magnetic field to keep a particle in orbit. Provide an energy pulse every time the particle completes an orbit (such as is done with a cyclotron.) Use a tangential escape window. A particle increases its mass with velocity. The time an escaping particle takes to go to a target from the tangential exit could be measured. Rado suggests that there will be a decrease in speed from the interaction of the high-speed particle with the aether.
For the above experiment, Donald Roth suggests that an electron cylinder be used to put in a modulated signal on the electron flow. Read the phase shift with a scope and measure the difference in vertical and horizontal to see if the vertical inflow of aether has an effect on the path of the high-speed electrons.
Donald Roth has done many experiments with magnets and finds that they have a left-over effect. (See above for the magnet-table experiment.) Roth suggests that the use of technetium, which does not naturally exist in nature. [Technetium has 43 protons in the nucleus; is a by-product of the natural decay of uranium; can be man-made by high-energy particle bombardment; and Tc-99 has a half-life of 213,000 years. Ed.] Roth suggests that Technetium may be devoid of an inertia effect. Because technetium is not a stable element, Roth suggests that whatever you do with technetium is new and, for example, would not require a loading time when used in a cold fusion cell. [However, technetium may not absorb hydrogen. The cost of technetium is about $100 per gram.] Donald suggests that the time for loading of palladium in a cold fusion cell may be due to the inertial effect.
Cameron Rebigsol has an interesting theory about hydrogen explosions that is the equivalent of the expanding universe (exploding from within rather than a big bang?). ["The Baptism of Fire for the Universe" paper by Cameron Y. Rebigsol.]
Norm Silliman stated that light (often defined as an electromagnetic wave) is not affected by electric fields nor by magnetic fields. The implication is that light should not be considered as an electromagnetic wave. [Readers: Can you suggest experiments with light that would support the existence of an aether? Ed.]
Steven Rado stated that a photon was invented only to explain the photoelectric effect. The concept is related to Planck's quanta concept. An aether particle need not be polarized but the fundamental building block is a toroid and has circulation, Rado suggests. However, two different circulations (such as clockwise and counter-clockwise) can be treated as polarized.
Note: There will be an ongoing battle among scientists about the existence of an energetic aether (or zero-point energy). We urge our readers to help with experiments that can more precisely define the nature of the aether and communicate your results with us. NEN welcomes your aetheric contributions. Ed.
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August 19, 1997.