Journal of Theoretics  Vol.3-6

A New Concept in the Structure of Matter and Space as an Alternative to Special Relativity

Author: Chiang H. Ren <>
Senior Aerospace Engineer, ANSER*


Abstract: With recent experimental results that further complicate our understanding of the relativistic postulates, this paper presents an aggressive concept exploration effort in identifying alternative non-relativistic universal constructs. Given the sparseness of evidence and its rate of dispersal, this analysis centers on developing a viable but mutable model for matter and the structure of space that permits the re-explanation and expansion of fundamental physical relations. The objective of this model is not to achieve a new absolute theoretical end-state, but rather to show that there are new avenues of research in physics that can and should be considered.

Keywords: Relativity, Alternative Concepts, Structure of Matter, Space.

The light speed experiment announced last year by Wang, Kuzmich, and Dogariu in Nature further complicates our understanding of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity [1]. The results may have revealed that light does not travel at its highest speed in space. Though this does not strictly violate the postulate of light in space travels at the same speed for all observers regardless of motion, though they do appear to be counterintuitive to the notion of space being an empty divide between relative reference frames with light being the universal absolute across reference frames.

Years before this latest experiment, a small but growing number of physicists had already begun to question the completeness or even the correctness of special relativity. Though current evidence is insufficient for validating a theory that replaces special relativity, it is more than sufficient for justifying exploratory analysis of alternative concepts in universal behavior in order to stimulate new avenues of critical research.

The concept developed in this paper is achieved through a systems engineering style “black box” analysis, which seeks in an unconstrained manner to define a potential universal construct that adequately explains the many diverse physical observations without any preconceived relativistic assumptions. As such, it is meant to be a new point of departure, not necessarily precise or complete, but to offer thoughts on how the universe might be as we have previously assumed.

Briefly summarizing the historical debate over the nature of the universe, one can start with Gottfried Liebniz's opposition to Sir Isaac Newton's view of inertia as an innate property of matter within a universal reference frame. Leibniz's argument that empty space cannot sustain a constant reference frame to base acceleration was later expanded by Ernst Mach into the principle that there is no absolute space and that all motion is relative [2]. Though influenced by Mach's Principle, Einstein undertook an astounding conceptual leap in postulating that the laws of physics governing mass, length, and time are all relative to moving frames of reference. Given substantial experimental observations, he further postulated that the speed of light is constant across all reference frames, regardless of their motion. The equations stemming from these two postulates have served as cornerstones of modern physics. However, both these two postulates have been and are still being challenged by a few physicists. Among those who questioned the postulate on light were Parry Moon and Domina Spencer, pioneers of radiosity research. Based on the argument that physical properties must be describable in an Euclidean expression for space, Moon and Spencer established their concept for the velocity of light based on a postulate of universal time. They also developed new equations for the force between moving charges as a function of their relative velocities [3]. This return to more Machian concepts was later followed by Assis, who continues to develop theoretical constructs that challenge special relativity [4]. While this path of research, which relies upon other sets of assumptions, is still highly debatable, questioning the absoluteness of the speed of light gained more validity with the experimental discovery of Chao that photons, when tunneling through specific types of barriers, may actually travel faster than photons in free space [5]. Further laboratory experiments by other physicists have led to the conclusion that tunneling time is invariant to the thickness of the barrier. However, because the light was distorted in these earlier experiments, doubts about the results lingered. What Wang achieved by firing a pulsed laser through a chamber of cesium vapor was nearly the same wavefront pulse that left the chamber 310 times faster than it would have taken a photon at standard light speed to traverse the chamber’s distance.

The questioning of Einstein’s relative reference frame postulate in part stemmed from Haisch and Puthoff's research, which claims that space may not be empty as assumed by Leibniz, Mach, and Einstein [6,7]. Experimental results and quantum derivations stemming from William Unruh's (University of British Columbia) work in the 1970s that seem to indicate the existence of a radiant heat bath for objects accelerating in what was previously considered empty space. Based on these findings, Haisch and Puthoff formulated the Zero Point Field (ZPF) theory that describes space as being filled with virtual particles. Inertia is theorized as being a result of high-frequency electromagnetic drag caused by the field, and gravity is theorized as being a side effect of zero point fluctuations in charged matter. Though the ZPF theory is highly controversial, the finding that space may be a continuous medium suggests that we should rethink the Newtonian notion for space and inertia [8]. Could the yet undiscovered nature of this medium lead to a more tangible definition for the non-Euclidean properties of space and the reaffirmation of a universal reference frame? Even a few conservative physicists are suggesting that some of Einstein's equations may have to be corrected to fully explain real world behaviors [9, 10] while others are aggressively exploring additional theories regarding space as a tangible construct along with matter and energy [11].

Concept Formulation
Given new observations, an aggressive concept exploration effort needs to allow the nature of light to remain something to be defined even though the speed of light may still be a constant to all observers in space, as well as to look beyond the use of relative reference frames in deriving physical relations.

The first test of a viable concept is that it must re-explain the known relationship between electromagnetic energy and the properties associated with mass without relativistic assumptions. The speed of light in the relationship must be considered the speed of light in known space rather than a defining constant. The second criteria for a viable concept is that it must explain the behavior of light, observations which had originally supported the conclusion of relative reference frames, as well as new observations which are counterintuitive to the notion that light in empty space should be at its maximum speed. Thirdly, the concept must lead to a re-derivation of the equations associated with objects traveling at high speeds in known space. Beyond these bounds, the concept of a new universal construct, being inside a “black box”, can be almost anything we choose to image. 

a. Re-explaining the Relations between Energy and Matter 
With the known relationship between energy and mass, the simplest conclusion is that matter is converted into energy or vise-versa. However, we actually know very little about this process at the subatomic level, and our decision to not use the concept of relativistic mass in the derivation of E=mc2 presents a challenge. Also possible in developing a relationship between energy and matter, though more complex, is a concept where at the subatomic level matter is constructed in a manner that internally stored energy, accounting for properties such as gravity and momentum that we currently measure to determine mass, can be lost. However, such matter may nevertheless possess other properties that we cannot yet directly measure, which account for its continued existence.

E = mc2 could be explained as an energy transformation process where the derivation does not require relativistic assumptions. Until recently, we have no reason to explore a more elaborate construct for matter or any other ways to re-derive E =mc2. However, as the next section will show, this elaborate construct lends itself well to some emerging observations about the universe.

In defining an energy transformation process, we note that electromagnetic energy does exist in part within the thermo-kinetic states of matter. Thus, it should also exist in the quantum kinetic vibrations of matter, which are near the speed of light. Since energy associated with kinetic activity is directly tied to our measurement of mass, the energy in the kinetic activities of subatomic particles is: 

Ekinetic = ½ (Associated Mass) x (Velocity of the Kinetic Motion)2

Once mass is reduced, the corresponding energy from quantum vibrations would be released.. The second half of the energy released is the energy stored in the matter structure that causes said “mass properties”. We know that this energy has a certain associated mass and we know that this energy will travel at the speed of light in known space. Therefore, we can again use the equation for kinetic energy and say that the stored energy accounting for mass properties is: 

Ematter = ½ mc2

Simply applying the rule of conservation of energy before and after release from matter, we arrive at the classic relations: 

Etotal = Ekinetic + Ematter = mc2

Considering that light in known space continues to exhibit mass (particle) properties, the notion that energy in matter is the cause of mass properties, is not beyond the realm of possibility. 

b. Explaining the Behavior of Light
The concept that matter may have a far more complex structure than we initially believed, creates very profound implications when combined with recent findings. The probability that light travels at a slower set speed in known space, and the possibility that a radiant heat bath exists for objects traveling in known space lead us back again to the consideration that space is not simply emptiness, but a continuous medium. The concept that the structure of matter may continue to exist even after mass can no longer be detected, leads us to the notion that the space medium is composed of a physical collection of structures for light to propagate through and moving objects to distort. This is in contrast to the virtual structure for space as proposed by Haisch as well as the late 19th century concept of a space ether which carries light. Since light travels through this space medium and not on it, like a ship on water, the normal motion of the medium would not affect propagation, and thus the Michelson-Morley experiment would not have been able to detect the medium. Nevertheless, this medium could provide an understanding of light propagation.

If light travels in and out of the structures forming space, this propagation process could yield a limiting speed, which explains why light is not traveling at maximum speed once in empty space, and a mechanism for the wave nature of light. If this propagation process is altered, perhaps by sending a laser pulse through a cesium vapor chamber, the speed of light can be near instantaneous, almost invariant to distance. With space as the limiting factor to the speed of light, the motion of the source does not factor into light propagation calculations within the universal/space reference frame. However, why would a moving sensor still measure the speed of light as being the same, relative to its frame of motion? If light is traveling in a universal reference frame, then it must undergo velocity contraction or extension effects before reaching the moving sensor. One way for this to occur is for the space structures around a moving objective to be distorted in shape by the motion of the object. Thus, light entering into compressed structures in front of an oncoming object would effectively slowdown before meeting a sensor on the objective, counterbalancing the velocity of the object in Euclidean space. And, light entering into dilated structures at the trailing end of a departing object would effectively speedup to meet a sensor on the object. Since the moving observer only perceives space according to the structures around it, the relative distortions are not perceived, and the only thing that is measured is the net result of light speed remaining the same. This compressible nature of structures will have additional meaning in later derivations.

The existence of a space medium would establish a universal reference frame that implies that the Doppler Shift mechanism should apply very similarly to space. However, the Doppler Shift equation for light corresponds with the derivation acquired through relativistic assumptions. To explain this, we must note that even without relativity, certain motion effects like perceived time dilation have been demonstrated and needs to be included when high-speed phenomena are considered. The next section will show that by including perceived time dilation effects into traditional Doppler Shift equations, we get the Doppler Shift for light. The existence of a distortable space medium further implies that certain perceived non-Euclidean effects could be achieved in Euclidean space. Therefore, the recent Lense-Thirring Effect experiment, which showed that a particle's orbit in space can be altered by the spin of an attracting body, may not be an affirmation of relativistic assumptions as currently considered [12]. Finally, the existence of space structures similar to the structures of matter suggests that there may be residual, trace, levels of energy associated with mass properties. If so, then the search for an explanation of dark matter, the unaccountable mass in the universe, may have a new direction [13]. This residual energy may also explain the radiant heat bath on objects in motion as discussed earlier. 

Re-deriving the Motion Equations
The centerpiece of special relativity is the collection of time, mass, and length dilation equations that are associated with objects undergoing high-speed motion. While the absolute validation of relativistic postulates can still be debated, the experimental evidence showing that perceived time, mass, and length do dilate in motion is quite convincing. To develop an explanation for this dilation with our model for universal behavior, we must return to the idea that kinetic energy is a true form of energy that is conserved, not simply as potential energy, but as another energy form such as electromagnetic radiation. Thus, when an object undergoes high-speed motion, the kinetic energy associated with the motion must be drawn from some other source of energy. This is in addition to the relationship between force and kinetic energy as described by Newton’s second law of motion. Exploring where the kinetic energy of motion can be drawn from in matter then leads us to an alternative derivation of the classical time, mass, and length dilation equations.

a. Time Dilation 
To re-derive the classic time dilation equation, it is important to note that our only way of perceiving time is through change. If change is slowed within an object, then effectively time, or more appropriately termed “perceived time”, has been slowed for the object. The drawing of energy from an object as a result of motion could create this slowdown if the energy is taken uniformly from the base kinetic activities within the object. In other words, every time-based event down to the subatomic level is proportionally reduced to provide energy for the macro-state of motion. To quantify this reduction of activity using the parameter of time, let us consider a simple model of a particle revolving in a circle inside a fast moving object, as representing kinetic activity on a fundamental level. Initially, the particle revolves at vo and a time of to = 2πr / vo is required for one revolution. As the object increases its external speed vm, the internal revolution slows to v so that t = 2πr / v. This means that the change in revolution can be expressed as t / to = vo / v and that the change in the energy of internal kinetic activity can be expressed as Ekinetic-o / Ekinetic = (t / to)2. This change in energy at the base kinetic state is then captured in the energy of motion.

To complete this derivation, one must establish a reference point for the total energy within this base kinetic state. From previous discussions, this total energy should be largely composed of the kinetic activity linked to mass properties in matter structures, approximately expressed as     Ekinetic= ½ mc2. Using this reference point, one can then subtract the external kinetic energy of motion to complete this relationship as follows:

(t / to)2 = Ekinetic-o / Ekinetic = ½ mc2 / (½ mc2 - ½ m vm2
Reduces to:    t = to / (1 - vm2 / c2)½

Since the energy of the base kinetic state is so high, appreciable perceptions of time dilation would not occur until the object has achieved extreme speeds. Further, since sensor activities on the moving object would be proportionally slowed, this perception of time dilation would not exist for observers moving with the object.

b. Doppler Shift of Light 
The slowdown of base activities means that light will be emitted more slowly from a moving source and detected more relative to the perceptions of a moving observer. Since the speed of light is governed by the space medium, this change is expressed as the amount of energy released or measured at the photonic level. Because photonic energy can be expressed as a function of frequency, the standard Doppler Shift equation needs to have a temporal effects multiplier when being applied to light. Thus, Doppler Shift for a moving light source becomes:

Shifted Freq. = Initial Freq. [ 1 / (1 + vs / c)] x to / t  (percent slowdown)
                       = Initial Freq.
[ 1 / (1 + vs / c)] x [(1 - vs / c)½ (1 + vs / c)½]

And, the Doppler Shift for a moving light receiver becomes:

Shifted Freq. = Initial Freq. [ 1 + vr / c ] x t / to  (perceived capture level) 
                       = Initial Freq.
[ 1 + vr / c ] x [ 1 / ((1 - vr / c)½ (1 + vr / c)½)]

These two equations can be expressed as the common equation for Doppler Shift in light. However, the physical effects at a moving source and at a moving receiver are distinct.

The slowdown in awareness also leads to a shift in perceived distance traveled or perceived velocity. Though a traveler under our concept has not departed from the universal reference frame, he will go from point A to point B in a much shorter time by his perception. If his velocity is treated as invariant between his perception and the perception of those not moving, then he must perceive length as being contracted across the distance of travel, relative to when his velocity was slower.

Perceived Distance = True Distance (1 - vm2 / c2)½ 

Since Euclidean space remains intact, the question of three-dimensional space could present a problem, in terms of contraction. However, if we are no longer using relativistic assumptions, perceptions of velocity could be allowed to vary between moving and non-moving observers, instead of distance. The perception of a moving observer in the universal reference frame would be very different from the actual length dilation of moving objects as observed in the universal reference frame.

c. Mass Dilation
Since energy is not released from matter structures in the course of high-speed linear motion within the universal reference frame, mass as defined by internally stored energy should not change by our concept. However, the properties associated with mass could change if such properties are also linked to behaviors that are caused by motion. In our earlier derivation of E = mc2, we suggested that the energy in matter structures which caused mass properties is closely linked with the kinetic energy of matter structures which is driven by the mass. In a nuclear reaction, the two energy forms are released in parallel. In the course of high-speed motion, however, the kinetic energy is extracted for motion as described, leaving the energy stored in matter structures to be behaviorally dominant. Given this dominance over the state of the matter structure, it is then reasonable to consider that mass properties would actually increase with motion. The question is then whether mass would change inversely to the kinetic energy transformed or time dilated. Since mass properties are most likely linked to the physical status and changes of the matter structure, an inverse proportionality with time is a reasonable consideration.

m/mo = to / t = (1 - vm2 / c2)½ 

When two objects are moving in parallel at the same velocity, both their kinetic states will be equally altered. Thus, in the interaction of mass properties, neither side should gain a behavioral advantage, creating the effect of a common reference frame. The concept that properties between two objects are governed by the interaction of their masses is straightforward. However, what is intuitively difficult about the above assumption is that such an interaction for objects in motion is not based on mass in an absolute sense, but rather on all the additional behaviors affecting the measurement of mass. In fact, without special relativity, the observation that two equally fast objects will not reveal mutual increases in mass properties, affirms (to a degree) our notion of mass properties being governed by many factors.

d. Length Dilation
The contraction of objects in motion, unlike the perceived distance discussed, is a true phenomenon under our concept. To explain this behavior, we need to return to the idea of compressibility in the structures forming matter. If we further consider that a portion of the base kinetic state of matter lies in the spin motion of mass structures, a derivation for the dilation of length can be established. 
In a spinning structure, energy can be withdrawn by reducing the spin radius instead of the spin rate. Thus, as energy is drawn from the base kinetic state to support object motion, that portion which is coming from spin might promote a yielding of the matter structure to compression. Without attempting to discover an exact equation for an oval type spinning matter structure, we can still establish a ratio of initial and final spin radius along the direction of motion to match the proportional change in kinetic energy. This reduction in spin radius along the direction of motion should be proportional to the reduction of length for a moving object.

(Spin r / Spin ro)2 = (length/ lengtho)2 = Ekinetic / Ekinetic-o  where r = radius 
Reduces to: length = lengtho (1 - vm2 / c2)1/2 

The above derivation is based on a concept of compression at the fundamental level. Likewise, one can consider a portion of the kinetic state as being within the motion of an electron orbit, and conduct a similar analysis for revolution radius. Furthermore, the conclusion that the spin rate of a matter structure is invariant to motion suggests that there is a uniquely associated subatomic property. Based on observations, charges in subatomic particles could be that property because they too are invariant to motion. Also, the conclusion that electron orbital velocities are invariant to motion implies that material properties, such as temperature, should not change as the velocity of an object approaches the speed of light. In contrast, special relativity does not fully explain why charges and material properties are not altered by relativistic motion.

The above explanation of Lorentz contraction presents some problems in explaining the relations between electricity and magnetism. Resolving these problems may depend upon an expanded understanding of the behavior of charged particles, which is explored below.

The Structure of Matter and Other Quantum Effects
Although our model for matter does not necessarily challenge the rest of quantum physics beyond special relativity, the extension of the model to key physical phenomena may yield a new dimensionality in understanding. The three areas that we will address now in a preliminary manner are the concept of wave-particle duality, particle formation, and nuclear interaction. Through this exploration, perhaps additional merit can be gained for our path of analysis. As stated in the beginning, the goal of a “black box” analysis is to continuously question and refine what could be in the “black box”.

a. Wave-Particle Duality 
In our earlier definition of light propagation across the structures composing space, the concept of wave-particle duality began to take-on a physical manifestation, revealing energy interacting with structures in space. Photons, by our model, are momentary creations as light enters space structures. If light is trapped in structures, then mass properties will appear and a matter particle will form. However, in space light propagation is literally successive wavefronts of point sources. If light can become a particle in such a manner, then the reverse should also be true, where particles releasing energy can behave like waves.

The simplest way for this to occur is when a particle undergoes structural containment instabilities as a result of a change in motion or kinetic status. Electrons in acceleration experience a well-measured release of energy. The propensity for electrons to lose energy leads us to consider their structures as being very similar to, if not exactly like, the structures in space. If a random near empty space structure can be instantaneously deposited with enough internal and kinetic energy to form a true particle like an electron, then pure energy waves can truly become new particles at any point in space and such particles can breakdown into waves. If the exact energy for a particle can be contained within a spatial region around the particle, as perhaps in the case of an atom’s electron cloud, then a particle at any very small period may not be a true particle.

b. Particle Formation
Earlier, we suggested that charges, being invariant to motion, might be related to the spin in matter structures, also invariant to motion. Considering spin directions as indicating positive and negative charges, we can get a good model for particles repelling, attracting, and combining with one another. However, this concept of spin is somewhat different from the spin described by current quantum theory. With opposite spin directions, between a proton and electron for instance, particles can achieve contact based on kinematics and become synchronous with the ability to transfer spin kinetic energy to each another. This could weaken containment, resulting in the absorption of internal energy from the lesser to the dominant structure, with new properties emerging in the dominant structure.

In the case of a negative electron coming into contact with a positive proton, the resulting particle is the neutron with a greater mass and higher-level kinetic state that is not clearly definable as spin. In reverse, a destablizing neutron could perhaps eject the precise amount of energy into a surrounding space structure to form an electron.

In like manner, a whole class of particles similar to the electron may exist. They could include the currently identified lepton and meson particles. Starting from the empty space structure with traces of energy, one can suggest a particle like the neutrino with barely detectable internal energy, no measurable spin, and high stability. As the internal energy increases beyond what is in the electron, the stability or mean life of the particles should be reduced. The muon, with double the mass properties of an electron, could only retain its energy for 2.2 x 10-6 seconds. The meson particles, such as pions and kaons, release their energy in as short as 2.5 x 10-19 seconds. Since many of the meson particles can be formed from the decay of negative as well as positive heavy baryon particle, mesons also have positive and negative charges.

Stable proton, the lowest mass of the current baryon particles, has over double the rest mass of the short life kaon particle. This suggests that either space structures can reach a second stable point when energy is deposited, or that protons represent another type of matter structure. Either way, observations indicate that such structures also become progressively unstable as additional energy is deposited, to create the various hyperon particles. Since hyperons decay as fast as many of the meson and lepton particles, we are led to the consideration that these latter heavy particle structures may still be very similar to the structures forming space. The universe in its infinite complexity might actually be one continuous medium with varying concentrations of energy.

Finally, with the above concept of particle behavior, we can begin to explore the association between electricity and magnetism under our model. Since relativistic spatial distortion can no longer be used to explain disproportionate charge effects in an electrical current, we must identify other potential electron motion based phenomena that may be associated with the formation of magnetic fields. One phenomenon from our model is the distortion of electron structures in motion.

Given the propensity of electron structures to lose stability, structural distortions could lead to a shift in the mechanism for magnetic force. We have indicated that our concept of spin is different than that in quantum mechanics. However, traditional quantum spin and angular momentum must still be expressed as some form of motion in a matter structure. With our model, we can speculate that such a motion would increase a structure’s tendency to expel the internal energy associated with mass properties as well as to pull the energy back into the structure. In such a case, a dipole configuration for associated force, perhaps magnetism, would develop. This is in contrast to the mono-pole characteristics of force from a particle charge. The extreme nature of this mechanism in matter structures could then explain the strength of magnetic force. On the opposite end, the weak force of gravitation could simply be anthropomorphically described as the desire of matter structures to combine based on the level of internal energy, but without a sense of urgency as in magnetism or a sense of compatibility as in charges.

If the unification of internal energy in matter is the common thread between all known forces, there could be an explanation of the relations between force and distance. The force based on awareness (gravity) should have the greatest distance. The force based on urgency (magnetism) should have the next greatest distance, while the force based on compatibility (charges) would be short range. 

c. Nuclear Interactions
In the last section, we discussed particles with match spins naturally joining with each other and transferring energy. In contrast, particles with the same spin could not come in contact with each other and would thus generate a repulsive force. However, we can further observe that neutral particles in a nonspin kinetic state could be combined with spin particles under fusion level forces. Further, in the case of an atomic nucleus, we observe that energy is not only transferred but is also spilled, in the course of a fusion reaction. With our model for the structure of matter, we must further consider that the lack of sufficient energy for particles to exist in an independent state may explain the formation of atomic binding force as eluded to in the previous discussion. Once adequate energy is supplied, nucleus separation could occur.

Extending this concept, the level of energy spillage, thus binding force, may vary with the quality of particle contact based on the geometric configuration for large nucleus. Observations indicate that beyond 56 or so particles in a nucleus, the binding force per nucleon begins to drop. Perhaps this drop is caused by the inability of nuclear formation forces to reach the center of large nuclei. If so, the phenomenon of fission occurs when fragments of split nucleus contain enough binding force to reintegrate the weaker linked particles in a partial fusion process.

As described at the start of this paper, a “black box” analysis may not always arrive at the exact explanation initially, but it could introduce profound possibilities. In a research environment committed to the correctness of special relativity despite experimental results that should introduce doubts, the model for matter and space presented in this paper offers a cogent argument that new avenues of physics research beyond proving special relativity should be considered.

As further experimental results emerge, perhaps due to the stimulus of those who are willing to think beyond special relativity, this or other models which are mutable and expandable, could become analytical tools for developing more precise theories that could lead us closer to understanding the true nature of the universe. Now is not the time for the physics community to argue over old and new theories, rather it is the time to develop theories which can give us a better picture of the universe and remain valid in light of new and future data.

* This paper was developed under independent research and does not reflect the official position of ANSER, a nonprofit public service research institute, or the U.S. government.

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