The Local-Ether Model & Quantum Electromagnetics theories of Prf. Ching-Chuan Su
If you are open to the concept that a medium for the propagation of electromagnetic waves might exist as a real substance, I invite you to consider the Local-Ether Model and Quantum Electromagnetics theories of the late Prof. Ching Chuan Su.
Prof. Su postulates an ether concept he calls the local-ether model. It is based on the classic principles of absolute time and Euclidean space. It is different from almost all other ether concepts in that it is not a universal model: it does not form an absolute reference frame at rest with all of space and is not universally isotropic or homogeneous.
Instead, it is analogous to the gravitational potential field.
I think we can all agree that the gravitational potential field exists throughout space with a magnitude that varies with respect to the distance, r, from a celestial body:
φ(r) = GM/r
• The gravitational potential field of a celestial body, φ₁, envelops the body in a roughly spherical halo. The field magnitude decreases inversely proportional to the distance (r) from the center of the body.
• The gravitational potential field/halo of a celestial body, φ₁, (e.g. the Earth’s) is embedded in the field/halo of another (usually larger) celestial body, φ₂ (e.g. the Sun’s). The radius of φ₁ is roughly equal to the location where the gradients of the fields go to zero: ∇φ₁ = ∇φ₂ = 0.
• The gravitational potential field accompanies its celestial body as it travels within the field that it is embedded in (e.g. the planets in orbit around the Sun). In other words, the field is entrained by the celestial body.
• The gravitational potential field/halo does not rotate in space (why should it?). For the Earth, this is equivalent to the Earth Centered Inertial reference frame (the ECI).
• A crucial point is that a celestial body rotates freely within its gravitational potential field/halo. There is no force to cause the field to rotate with the celestial body.
These are also the properties of Prof. Su’s local-ether except that it has a real but extremely minute mass density proportional to φ(r) and propagates electromagnetic waves as classical waves in a medium at the characteristic wave velocity of the medium, √(1/μ₀ε₀) ≝ c.
So what’s to prevent the local-ether from having properties like the gravitational potential field? Is it really such a radical concept? I presume the reason the universal ether model (e.g. the Lorentz ether) is so universally assumed is that it is simple to imagine. Even Einstein based his rejection of the ether concept on the assumption that it conformed to the universal ether model.
The local-ether model even accounts for the apparent null results of Michelson-Morley type experiments. It implies that the motion of a location on the Earth’s surface with respect to the Earth’s local-ether is only due to the Earth’s rotation (~350 meters/second at 40 degrees latitude). This can be clearly detected by ring lasers. Ring lasers are examples of the Sagnac effect which is first order in v/c. However a Michelson interferometer is second order in (v/c)² and 350 meter/second is too small for it to unambiguously detect.
Note that a Michelson interferometer on an orbiting spacecraft could easily detect its motion with respect to the local-ether/ECI due to its orbital velocity (~7500 m/s).
So why should one consider this local-ether model? I assert that it is superior to Einstein’s Relativity. This is because it provides qualitative and quantitative explanations of the same fundamental phenomena that are conventionally cited as evidence supporting Einstein’s Relativity (and many others). However Prof. Su’s explanations are far simpler and clearer. Also, the theory doesn’t require one to scrap their common sense about the nature of time and space.
For example, since the local-ether model is based on universal time, there is, of course, no Twin Paradox to worry about.
For more details including a summary of Prof. Su’s theories with abstracts of and links to his 20+ papers, see
The best paper to read first is:
C.C. Su, “A local-ether model of propagation of electromagnetic wave”. European Physical Journal C, 21, pp. 701-715, Sept. 2001, DOI:10.1007/s100520100759, https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.509.6294&rep=rep1&type=pdf
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