Copyright Harold Aspden, 1997

I know that cosmologists will argue that Neutron Stars exist because they can think of no other way by which to give account of the rapid pulsation of the radiation we receive from some stellar objects. They believe that the radiating source is rotating at a frequency which can be of the order of only one revolution per second. A star the size of the Sun would have a peripheral surface speed exceeding the speed of light, if rotating that fast. It would be subject to enormous centrifugal forces which would far exceed the gravitational action holding it together and so it would explode long before it could reach such a fast speed of rotation. However, it is a bold leap to infer the existence of Neutron Stars based solely on the fast pulsation of some mystery sources.

I suggest, therefore, that the true nature of a pulsar is still an open question. It could be a phenomenon involving the periodic discharge in a stellar plasma drawing on energy which accumulates in the capacitative system of the star. Just as a star must have an electric potential owing to that charge density already mentioned, so the storage of that energy means it has capacitance. There could then be radial oscillations at a frequency of the order of the speed of light divided by the radius of the star. Indeed, thinking along these lines I do wonder if the research reported on the Correa invention [Energy Science Report No. 8 listed in the Book and Report section in these Web pages] may have some bearing on this cosmological issue.

To enlarge just a little on that theme, I am now going to delve into history. I will then ask a question and give you my answer. It will surprise you, but I defy you to find fault with what I say. First, I wish it to be understood that, unlike most scientists of this modern age, I believe we need to revive belief in the aether as a real medium.

Recently, I was asked by someone who had discovered my writings if I could recommend a textbook on aether theory. That person, Mike Dawson by name, said he was already familiar with Sir Edmund Whittaker's authoritative 'History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity' [1951 edition, published in U.K. by Thomas Nelson and Sons. My answer to that enquiry drew attention to Max Born's book 'Einstein's Theory of Relativity', my copy being the revised edition published in 1965 by Dover Publications Inc. I refer here to the section in this work dealing with Faraday's lines of force and quote below from pages 170-171 of volume 1.

"According to the theory of action at a distance, the effect of the dielectric is an indirect one. The field in the vacuum is only an abstraction. It signifies the geometrical distribution of the force that is exerted on an electric test body carrying a unit charge. But the field in the dielectric represents a real physical change of the substance consisting of the molecular displacement of the two kinds of electricity. Faraday's theory of contiguous action knows no such difference between the field in the ether and in insulating matter. Both are dielectrics. For the ether the dielectric constant equals 1, for other insulators it differs from 1. If the graphical picture of electric displacement is correct for matter, it must also hold for the ether. This idea plays a great part in the theory of Maxwell, which is essentially the translation of Faraday's ideas of lines of force into the exact language of mathematics. Maxwell assumes that in the ether, too, the production of an electric or a magnetic field is accompanied by 'displacements' of the fluids. It is not necessary for this purpose to imagine the ether to have an atomic structure, yet Maxwell's idea comes out most clearly if we imagine ether molecules which become dipoles just like material molecules in the field. The field is not, however, the cause of the polarization, but it is the displacement which is the essence of the state of tension that we call an electric field. The chains of ether molecules are the lines of force, and the charges at the surface of the conductors are nothing but the end charges of these chains. If there are material molecules present besides the ether particles, the polarization becomes strengthened and the charges at the ends become greater."
Now, with this historical background in mind, the question I now ask is how energy is stored in such an aether when subjected to an electric field. The statement that it is by some kind of tension is not sufficient. If our ultimate task is to unify the force of gravitation with electromagnetic theory, then we must be consistent. It seems improbable that one could ever explain gravitation in terms of the mechanical properties of matter. Our unification quest is more likely to succeed if we aim to explain everything in terms of electrical fundamentals. Therefore, if the aether can store electrical energy by 'tension', that 'tension' must itself arise solely from electrical force.

It really suffices to note that if two planar layers of uniformly distributed electric charge, one of positive and one of negative polarity, are spaced apart slightly in a mutually parallel relationship then there is a mutual attraction between those charge layers. Energy is stored in the intervening space owing to their mutual electric potential. Now, if those layers are the two plates of a parallel plate capacitor separated by a vacuum, the aether in that vacuum can be regarded as the seat of a multiplicity of pairs of charge layers that are pulled apart when the capacitor is charged. Each such layer has the same distributed charge as that on one of those plates. The energy density in the intervening spaces is the same, however numerous those pairs of charge layers.

So, one could adopt conventional practice and merely regard the vacuum as a void between the two electrically-charged plates and formulate the energy accordingly, or get the same result by imagining that a real aether medium exists between those plates and still get the same energy formulation. However, the charge displacement concept, as an aether property, serves another purpose. Owing to its analogy with the dielectric properties of a real solid medium, it gives a basis for understanding electromagnetic wave propagation at a finite speed that is a function of the properties of that medium.

When I first considered the physical form that the aether might have I opted for it being a plenum, containing no voids and comprising a uniform continuum of charge of one polarity in which there is a distribution of identical aether particles having the polarity opposite to that of the background continuum. My reason for this was simple logic. If I had regarded the aether as being a void containing electric discrete charges of both polarities and assumed that there would be no mutual annihilation of charge pairs, then I would be unable to justify an equilibrium state in which the charges take up sites in a lattice having the structure needed to characterize a solid. You see, I knew that Maxwell's equations demand a solid-like structure to sustain the lateral oscillations associated with wave propagation. I also knew that I had to set up a model in which the aether particles could take up sites from which they could be displaced to become subject to a restoring force proportional to the displacement. I knew that the continuum model would meet that requirement and I suspected that I was the first to conceive an aether with an in-built asymmetry of this kind.

I found that the structure of the aether would be simple cubic, meaning that those aether charges will be located at corner sites in a cubic array. This implies planar layers of charges and planar boundaries. The aether model was simple and easy to analyze in mathematical terms. I was well satisfied with the fruits of that analysis. Nature's aether is not the least bit complicated. It has structure, but its structure is not close-packed-hexagonal or body-centred cubic or face-centred cubic, as were the ferromagnetic substances I knew of from my main subject of research. I pictured the aether as having the properties of a fluid crystal. Where present the local energy fields set up by matter affects the aether and promote its local crystallization nucleated on that matter.

Reverting now to that cosmological theme, I saw a star as having a spherically-bound structured aether, capable of sustaining the propagation of waves at a finite speed determined by the structural properties of that aether model. I went further and studied how energy could be stored in that aether by displacing each of those aether particles from its neutral position. I saw each such particle as having a quantized orbital motion about that neutral position. That gave me the link I needed to relate the aether to quantum theory and Planck's constant. More than this, I imagined what would happen if the system I had just envisaged were to spin as a whole, sharing the rotation of a star. That led me to see how there was electric charge displacement relative to the spin axis, resulting in a distributed core charge and a compensating charge at the spherical boundary of the whole system. I saw the coextensive matter content of the star as being ionized and so compensating the aether charge electrically but not compensating it magnetically or gravitationally. My reason was that, if the aether lattice structure is the frame of reference for electromagnetic wave propagation, the frame's distortion or motion cannot set up gravitational or electromagnetic fields.

For the purpose of this general introduction I can summarize the situation in the following way. Inside any astronomical body there is a kind of 'ghost' form, a crystal-like structure that is aetherial. It comprises electric charges set in an oppositely charged background continuum. This structure cannot withstand linear forces because it will yield as a fluid with a counterflow which compensates and nullifies its overall linear momentum. A spherical body of that structure can, however, rotate about an axis through the centre of the sphere and the aether in this mode can store angular momentum. Similarly such a spherical structure can exhibit some elasticity in resisting radial compression or expansion. In short the solid aspect of the aether within a star will serve to prevent the star from collapsing under gravity, even though its own distributed charge induced by rotation cancels the free proton charge that accompanies ionization.

The star, as a gaseous plasma, would, if there were no aether, compact to a form in which its internal gravitational interactions just balance the charge interactions of the protons released by the ionizing contact of the hydrogen atoms. However, with the aether present and rotating to set up a charge displacement which neutralizes the proton charge in the star, the electrical repulsive forces within that stellar gas are no longer present but the gravitational compression is transferred to the lattice structure of the aether. This prevents the compaction of the star beyond the ionizing limit already determined before the aether in the star acquired its spin.

The physical sequence of events by which this process can be formulated involves firstly the stellar material being a finely dispersed 'dust' comprising hydrogen in its fully ionized form. Then something on a grand cosmic scale occurred, such as the condensation of the aether to form its lattice-like structure. By analogy with the ferromagnetic state which requires crystal order and further cooling before magnetism appears, so eventually the phenomenon of gravitation appeared on the physical scene. This then caused the protons to accelerate rapidly to some focal point, together with the hydrogen atoms that had been formed by ion recombination, and the primordial stellar form then appears with its positive core charge. The size of this stellar object is limited by the contact of the K-electron shells of adjacent hydrogen atoms. There will be more ionization arrested, as already described, by the balance of the gravitational and electrical forces. But along with these events, that charge of the newly formed star will promote radial displacement in the coextensive body of aether and that is a recipe for that body of aether to begin to spin. Indeed, as the electric field cancels to shed the electric potential energy, which came from the release of gravitational potential, so the aether spin absorbs that energy as kinetic energy needed owing to its angular momentum property.

It will be seen from this that we have a whole new scenario to explore, thanks to the aether being recognized as a real medium. The thought that the aether within a star can display elastic properties in response to radial compression and expansion means that it can oscillate radially. If it does that in a background of charge associated with the matter constituting the charge, where a distributed core charge of positive polarity exists balanced by a cancelling electron charge in the ionospheric boundaries of the star, then some fascinating possibilities emerge.

The spherical boundary charge of the aether sphere could be subject to a rhythmic oscillation which penetrates sequentially outwards and inwards through the electron ionosphere at a frequency of the order of one cycle every second. Pulsating bursts of radiation must then occur. Hence we see scope for understanding the pulsar without assuming that it rotates at what, in stellar terms, is an inconceivably high rate. Stars rotate with periods measured in days, not seconds!

The enigma of the pulsar warrants a review of the orthodox belief that is linked to the Neutron Star theme and the Black Hole. It may be difficult for some readers to accept the revival of an aetherial basis for physical reality, but this makes far more sense than imagining the existence of Black Holes and Neutron Stars. Note that I shall have much to say later on the subject of the apparently enormous concentrations of energy radiation detected in radio astronomical observations. What follows will prove to be so comprehensive that it will pay to read on rather than halting and assuming that these ideas stand in isolation. What has been said about the equilibrium of the core charge in a star held in position by gravitation can be put to the test, because its initial cancellation by charge induced by aether spin has some fascinating implications. When the star sheds some of its angular momentum and breaks up to create planets or form a binary system, the ultimate state of aether spin is at a much lower speed. There is then only partial cancellation of the gravitationally induced electric charge.

For a star, the ionization prevails and if the star sheds, say 98% of its initial spin angular momentum in creating planets, as is the case for the Sun, then the resulting magnetic moment of the star will be 98% of the value we expect from the assumption that its charge density (in esu) is equal to its mass density times the square root of the constant of gravitation (in cgs units).

For an astronomical body such as Earth, which no doubt formed as an ionized object before solidifying, the ultimate state is one where there is no residual core charge held in place by gravitation. The gravitational forces are then absorbed by the compaction of the atomic substance and its resistance to compression. In this case the only source of a geomagnetic field is the aether spin associated with body Earth as sustained by inertia, after it has shed the Moon. However, that spin condition induces charge displacement in the aether and the Earth's substance responds to set up a cancelling displacement of electrons. The result is a geomagnetic field having a magnetic moment determined, not by G, the constant of gravitation, but by the properties of the aether and the rate of spin which it shares with body Earth.

It is then somewhat fortuitous that the formula involving G happens to be in reasonable accord with what is observed for body Earth, but there is an associated misfortune in the history of the subject, because scientists tried to confirm the validity of the formula from detailed tests on body Earth, not realizing that its true validity was restricted to the plasma systems of the stars.

The next Lecture in these Web pages summarizes that history. I told the story in the 1966 edition of my book entitled 'The Theory of Gravitation' and, some 31 years on from that time, I reproduce the text unamended, except for the use of the notation (x)1/2 so signify the square root of x, so that the square root of G is written as G1/2. Also the Greek symbols used are replaced by words in brackets, such as (beta) and (pi).

To continue to the next Lecture press:

Lecture No. 4