Is there energy in space?

Copyright © 1998 Harold Aspden

To put the question of whether there is energy in space in context, note that we have in mind the notion of space as something devoid of matter. The question which then arises is whether such energy as does exist in space exists only by virtue of its proximity with matter, whether we see 'matter' in its familiar solid, liquid or gaseous embodiments or as 'matter' of the kind we refer to as photons and neutrinos.

Here I am venturing into what is known as 'field theory'. Fields as such are activated by the presence of matter. That we know. However, if you try to understand the modern trend in science which concerns the efforts to unify field theory you will be told that the answer is to be found in what is known as the theory of the 'superstring'.

Now, if any would-be scientist ventures into an academic bookshop in the hope of finding a book that conveys an understanding of 'superstring' theory, then he or she may as well buy a ticket for a New Year's Eve dinner dance and seek enlightenment by joining the string-like chain dance that is called the 'conga'. You wander about everywhere, vibrating from side to side in a string, led like sheep by someone at the front who wanders about aimlessly, but links everything together in a paganish kind of celebration which worships the event that the Earth has completed another revolution in its orbit around the sun.

You are thereby introduced to superstring theory. It is a theory for everything because in wanders about through everything. It tells us about vibrating strings but, if I am impatient enough to want to know more before New Year's Eve, I can only go in search of the information by reading what others, who have joined the chain of knowledge, have written on the subject.

Well, that is not strictly true, because, having published in these Web pages my own version of aether theory and its connection with field theory and the particle world, I have received an E-Mail letter which seeks to enlighten me by correction.

It was on November 20th, 1997 that Edward Stevenson sent me the following short message:

The present name for aether is superstring theory. And by combining these two we come to joining inertia and gravity and multi-dimensional space time. Even zero-point theory can be joined. A practical proof is a particle accelerator that produces a 100 amp beam at 60 kev. This will produce over-unity and gravity.
Edward Stevenson

Well, I wonder, how does one answer such a letter?

Firstly, I claim to have an 'aether' theory, but I would not dream of calling it a 'superstring theory'. I have linked the latter with the snake-like dance of the conga, but there might be aether models that resemble the matrix array of individuals performing an American line dance routine, whereas I see the aether as involving a more traditional dance of paired couples in which particles of matter have partnership with what I call 'gravitons'. I feel comfortable with my theory because it explains everything that superstring theory claims to explain but doesn't. For example, my theory explains gravitation, by which I mean the derivation of G, the Constant of Gravitation, and particle theory, by which I mean, for example, the derivation of the proton-electron mass ratio, and the quantum, by which I mean the theoretical derivation of the fine-structure constant.

'Over-Unity' involves us in the quest to extract energy from the aether and if superstring theory has been proved to do that then I have much to learn. If 100 amp electron currents at 60 keV, which is power of 0.6 of a megawatt are delivered from the aether by superstring theory then, Edward Stevenson, do tell us more!

Meanwhile, the closest my theory can come to explaining such currents is the theory of electron chains constituting filamentary currents in units of 19 amps as each electron steps on quantum-fashion at its Compton electron frequency. I have long thought that that was the reason the current discharges in the old-fashioned mercury arc rectifiers break up into sporadic actions as seen by cathode spots on the surface of the mercury pool.

Nor have I regarded my account of the excess energy delivered by the Correa plasma discharge devices Correa Web Site as needing superstring theory, given that a modest reinterpretation of what is presented in Clerk Maxwell's treatise on electricity and magnetism will serve that purpose. All one needs to do is to study the physics of the electrodynamic interaction as between free heavy ions and electrons, without just assuming that everything is the same as for the circuital current interactions of electrons. After all, there are experimental anomalies in plasma discharges. See, for example, my IEEE paper: [1986b].

It is interesting also to hear from Edward Stevenson that superstring theory explains zero-point energy. Now, apart from not being able to discover anything meaningful in what is called 'superstring theory' I have, as must many a reader of these pages, also wondered about what has come to be termed 'zero-point energy'. As I see it, all that means is that there is energy activity in what is seen to be empty space, but I hesitate to declare that that is fully embraced by what is referred to as the Casimir force.

First of all, the Casimir force is measured in our laboratory environment and not in empty space remote from all matter. I know that there are thermal effects at work in our laboratories and these will assure that there is thermal radiation everywhere in such an environment. So, if the Casimir Effect shows that forces can develop as between two parallel plates in close proximity in a vacuum by excluding radiation of long wavelength, then 'so what?' Even at absolute zero of temperature (of matter, that is) there can still be electromagnetic radiation in the aether and so some energy to be revealed in our experiments.

Then there is the inevitable cosmic background radiation at a temperature of 2.7 K, meaning that its electromagnetic activity is characteristic of radiation at such a temperature. That does not preclude cooling apparatus below that temperature. The radiation is still there. Indeed, cosmologists say it is a remnant of the Big Bang and so it cannot be excluded from consideration. As I see it, that temperature arises because whatever there is in the aether has itself a gravitational potential, owing to interactions with body Earth and the sun, so it must keep a store of energy to compensate for that. You see, gravitational potential is negative and I am not one to believe that we can sit in a field zone of negative energy density. The energy shed by matter coalescing owing to gravity will heat that matter, but the gravitational coalescence of matter and aether is something else and I suspect that the energy activity attributable to the aether will not disperse as does that of the matter-matter interaction. I would recommend that cosmologists should look to that phenomenon for an account of the 2.7 K background.

However, even recognizing that such 'zero-point' sources of energy do exist in space, that does not mean that these supply the 'free energy' that we aim to tap when we replicate Nature's habit of creating matter. The activity locked into that quantum dance that pervades the aether is the prolific source of energy that feeds our aspirations. That quantum dance is not the illusory vibration of the so-called 'superstring', of which it is said that its mathematical intricacies cancel phases so as to eliminate six of the ten dimensions of hypothetical space to reduce them to the reality of Einstein's four-space. Even so, I have yet to see any predictions from Einstein's theory compared with observation without the use of some further mathematical contrivance that converts four-space into our familiar three-space having its independent time dimension.

I tend to deplore the situation where physicists interested in the prospect of 'free-energy' begin their discourses on the subject by introducing the theme of the Casimir force as evidence of a hidden source of energy. The point made is merely one of principle but it invites ridicule because the scale of energy involved in that discovery, does not offer prospect of energy on a practical scale. One cannot suggest that, just because a weak force can be detected, that promises the levels of energy that are involved in matter creation.

It did not need a Casimir to tell us that matter was created when our universe came into being. I know that those who write popular works on science think that at time zero there was a Big Bang and since then all the matter that had been created has merely expanded to form the universe as we see it today. Matter exists. It was once created or it has always existed. The word 'always' implies that there is no zero-point in time - no beginning for a so-called Big Bang. So 'creation' is the key word and Nature must have a way of recycling energy to feed that creation unless we are willing to challenge the Principle of Conservation of Energy.

My way of looking at such problems is to say that we should delve into the secrets of the aether to try to decode its messages and understand how it functions to recycle energy, creating matter from its hidden store of energy, that all-absorbing energy sink that we associate with the word 'Entropy'.

We should begin, in our efforts to connect and unify phenomena, with the facts of physical science that we can measure here in our Earthly environment. There is no sense whatsoever in talking about vibrating strings, the strings being filamentary compositions of space, whatever that is!

I am not impressed when I read commentary such as:

Undaunted, Schwartz kept plugging away. "String theory is too beautiful a mathematical structure to be completely irrelevant to nature," he insisted. During the summers, he collaborated with Michael Green of the University of London, who had succumbed to the aesthetic appeal of the field and admitted to being hooked on strings". ..... slowly, string theory took shape. Then, in August 1984, working together at the Aspen Physics Institute in Colorado, Schwartz and Green found themselves on the brink of finding a cure for the anomalies and thus producing a self-consistent string theory that incorporated supersymmetry. Ten years work had led them to a single hypothesis; technically stated, it was that the anomalies disappeared when one calculated one-loop amplitudes with either of two internal gauge symmetry groups. The question of whether this proposition was true came down to a bit of simple arithmetic; multiplying 31 times 16. If the answer was 496, string theory would be liberated from its long bondage in the thicket of the anomalies.

The above is quoted from pp. 222-223 'The Whole Shebang - A State of the Universe(s) Report', by Timothy Ferris, published by Weidenberg and Nicholson, London, 1997.

As far as I could trace the relevance of these numbers, by discovering a few words on p. 226 of this book, 'String invokes 496 massless gauge bosons, while the standard model is content with 12.'

On pages 224-225 I read:

A field theory of strings should derive the masses of the proton and other particles, but no such theory has yet been devised. "The problem,", writes the physicist Michio Kaku of City College of the City university of New York, who has banged his head against this last difficulty as much as anyone, "is that no one is smart enough to solve the field theory of strings."

So, there you have a brief summary of superstring theory. It is too beautiful in mathematical terms to be wrong. It was vindicated when it was discovered that 31 times 16 is 496 but there is a problem because it cannot explain the proton-electron mass ratio or connect with field theory. Furthermore, those who work to develop superstring theory are completely unaware that there is already of record a theory which does explain the 1836.152 proton-electron mass-ratio! However, maybe I should correct that statement by saying that those who develop superstring theory do not know of a 'superstring theory for the proton-electron mass ratio', and 'theory' to them has to be nothing other than that associated with 'vibrating strings'.

One has to wonder how it is that those mathematicians or physicists or whatever breed of scientist they claim to be in their superstring endeavours can ever justify the support of university funding, when they do not pay attention to what is already of scientific record. The energy which fills all space has a way of materializing as protons and electrons in precisely that 1836.152 mass ratio. If 'superstring theory' is an 'aether theory', as Edward Stevenson tells me in his E-mail letter, then background research of record in scientific papers on that subject should not be overlooked by those researching the field. To say that no theory for explaining the creation of the proton and its mass in relation to the electron 'has yet been devised' is incorrect and it serves only to show that those who mislead by making such statements are ignorant of the foundations of their own subject.

This is a topic on which I can justifiably be adamant, having regard to my published work on this subject, the main core of which dates from 1975. [1975a]

I feel I am allowed to express such feelings, given that my efforts over several decades are ignored in this way? Well, it is only proper that I should do so after reading a November 24, 1997 commentary in The Times (London, Newspaper).

Science Editor, Nigel Hawkes, writes about the search to get something for nothing, meaning energy from the vacuum. He refers to the Casimir force and its verification by Dr. Steve Lamoreaux of Los Alomos Laboratory in New Mexico. Nigel Hawkes notes that the forces measured are quite small:

but that has not stopped some physicists touting zero-point energy as the solution to the world's energy problems, as the Scientific American staff writer Philip Yam reports in the December (1997) issue of the magazine. One of them is Dr. Harold Puthoff ... Dr. Puthoff and his colleagues have examined some ten different devices during the past decade and found that none can tap into zero-point energy. Dr. Puthoff is not discouraged. ... If you could, in effect, use atoms as miniature Casimir plates you could extract infinitely more energy than Dr. Lamoreaux managed, he says. ..... Dr. Lamoreaux told Mr. Yam "It trivialises and abuses my work." He is also irritated that people he describes as pseudo-scientists get support for their research.

Well now, here we see an expression of feeling. A scientist, it seems, can claim territorial possession over the field in which he operates and be irritated if others, who he sees as nothing other than 'pseudoscientists' trespass into that territory. It is, it seems 'abusive' to suggest that science may hold secrets attracting outsider interest, if someone already immersed in the relevant field cannot sense the underlying mystery which provokes that outsider interest.

It is no wonder that I cannot interest the 'superstring' theorist in my theory of the proton, given that he has claimed that as a quest yet to be solved only by 'superstring' theory.

So, still in search of enlightenment on the superstring issue and wondering about that number 31 mentioned above, I glanced at the index of the book 'The End of Science' by John Horgan, published in England in 1997 by Little, Brown and Company and earlier, in USA, by Addison-Wesley. It had 17 sets of page references to 'superstrings' but all I could see that warranted my attention was the statement on page 61:

The theory suffers from several problems, however. First, there seem to be countless possible versions, and theorists have no way of knowing which one is correct.

Nowhere could I find anything that could help me understand what really held superstring theory together. Nowhere in any of the numbered page references did I see that '31' given a mention. However, just browsing through Horgan's book and wondering why on Earth he had bothered to write it, I came to page 194. Here was a section of the book running from page 194 to 198 and bearing the titled caption: 'The 31 Flavors of Complexity'. The nearest 'superstring' page references in the index were p. 175 and p. 215, so I assumed there had been an omission of the superstring reference to pp. 194-198. After all, I had come to expect that number '31' to be something special in connection with superstring theory. But no, nowhere from p. 194 to p. 198 was there any mention of superstring theory.

Nor, to my surprise, was there any further reference to '31'. Its presence in the title to that section of the book is therefore a complete mystery. The book is about 'science' but that section of the book concerned something called 'complexity' which involves a breed of scientist called 'chaoplexologists'. One gem of wisdom I now quote from the book was the sentence on page 196:

But can scientists achieve a unified theory of complexity if they cannot agree what, precisely, complexity is?

So, this book was no help in solving the riddle of the number '31'. Why 'complexity' comes in '31' flavours is not explained, nor are the 31 flavours listed or mentioned again beyond the introductory wording of that title. All I can suspect is that a wild 'superstring' has wriggled itself into John Horgan's world of 'complexity', whereas I live in a real world in which science is applied to serve useful ends.

Searching through the book, again and again, I found a few words on p. 73 which read:

...scientists finally discover the answer to the riddle of the universe, and the answer is 42.

That was said to be a reference to something in 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy', a book of science fiction, but hardly something warranting mention in what purports to be a serious book telling us that John Horgan's survey indicates that science has virtually reached its zenith. There is little left that needs explanation.

One must wonder how our quest to discover the Holy Grail of 'free energy' fits into that picture. Well, maybe that is not something coming within the ambit of 'superstrings' or 'chaos' or 'complexity', but just something we ought to classify as 'future technology'. The word 'energy' did not feature in the 10 pages that John Horgan provided as the Index to his book, but I did find, on page 273, a title to a new, but very brief, mere one page section of text, the heading being: 'What About Applied Science?'

Ah, I wondered, is he now going to tell us that applied science has reached the end of the road, as well? I read:

A couple of critics faulted me for neglecting - and implicitly denigrating - applied science. Actually, I think a good case can be made that applied science, too, is rapidly approaching its limits. For example, it once seemed inevitable that physicist's knowledge of nuclear fission - which gave us the hydrogen bomb - would also yield a clean, economical, boundless source of energy. For decades, fusion researchers have said, "Keep the money coming and in 20 years we will give you energy too cheap to meter." But in the last few years ..... realists acknowledge that fusion energy is a dream that may never be fulfilled. The technical, economic and political obstacles are simply too great to overcome.

With that one solitary example from physical applied science, John Horgan, reaches his conclusion that the end is in sight - no further progress is to be expected. As to 'applied biology, its endpoint is nothing less than human immortality'. That is seen as a goal beyond the cure for cancer but Horgan concludes that: 'Maybe cancer - and by extension mortality - is simply too complex a problem to solve.'

What hope is there for the young would-be scientist of today who has the misfortune of reading John Horgan's book? Where is the incentive to develop new ideas for exploring the mysteries of science and expanding into the realm of new technology? There is real hope if one embarks on the study of the kind of 'Energy Science' introduced in these Web pages. The prospect of power from nuclear fusion is far from dead, given that 'cold fusion' lies before us. The only question there, however, is whether that will be more a subject more for the pure physicist, as opposed to the applied physicist, who might prefer instead to tap the energy of the vacuum by discovering something new in the application of magnetism.

I end this discourse by again referring to that E-Mail message from Edward Stevenson. His message was brief in saying that the modern aether theory was 'superstring' theory and that it holds the answer to gravity and 'over-unity' power generation. What I have said above is my reply.

P.S. In these Web pages I present a full account of the way in which the aether offers us a complete understanding of gravitation and further provides a link between gravitation and super-conductivity. In that account you will see that a pair of the virtual particle clusters which I have called the 'supergraviton' happens to have 31 times the mass and energy of the virtual particle cluster that emerges as the basic 'graviton'. So, if you see that prime number '31' appear elsewhere in these Web pages in that connection, I hope you will not think that my theory is a 'superstring theory'.

Press the following link button to proceed to the next Essay in this 'Question' series:

'Question No. 3'

Dr. Harold Aspden