Through Editorial: The Einstein Myths— Of Space, Time, and
July-August, 2001 In Infinite Energy Magazine, Issue
by Eugene F. Mallove,
Einstein, the most celebrated
scientist of the twentieth century, remains an icon of the power of
human reason to penetrate mysterious nature. For billions of people
who have been taught the essence of his relativity theories, he
changed (or muddled) their very conceptions of time and space. He
destroyed the common sense concept of a universal now— the absolute
simultaneity of events in different relatively moving reference
frames. Physicists grant Einstein full credit for having abolished,
at least while his influence has reigned, the pervading
"luminiferous aether," which was the medium for the transmission of
light waves— universally accepted in the nineteenth century.
Will Einstein's stature extend far
into the twenty-first century? Not likely. Enduring will be his
justified fame for:
1) explaining the Brownian movement (the visible
jostling of particles in liquid suspension from molecular
buffeting), which effectively ended the debate about the existence
2) his quantum explanation of the photoelectric effect
(for which he won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics); and
3) his well-known social conscience and beliefs in
what has been called "cosmic religion." He is also justly famous for
his extreme displeasure with the probabilistic underpinnings of
quantum mechanics. ("The theory yields much, but it hardly brings us
closer to the Old One's secrets. I, in any case, am convinced that
He does not play dice."— from a 1926 Einstein letter to Max
But believers in Einstein's infallibility will be
lucky if the physicist's relativity theories survive beyond 2005,
the 100th anniversary of his so-called annus mirabilis
(1905), the year in which his Special Theory of Relativity and
two other major works were published in Germany's Annalen der
For all their apparent predictive power, Einstein's
relativity theories are deeply flawed, as the critical papers in
this first of two Infinite Energy special "Einstein
Reconsidered" issues will demonstrate formally. Einstein criticism
is, of course, not new. (We are obviously not referring to
Nazi-inspired, anti-Semitic tracts against relativity that were
published in the 1920s, which disparaged his relativity theory as
"Jewish science" or worse.) There are many sources of technical
critiques of Einstein's work, such as the dissident journals
Galilean Electrodynamics,1 Physics
Essays,2 Apeiron,3 Journal of
New Energy,4 etc., as well as books by thoughtful
critics: Harold Aspden,5 Petr Beckmann,6 Peter
and Neal Graneau,7 Ronald Hatch,8 Herbert
Ives,9 Thomas Phipps, Jr.,10 and Franco
Selleri,11 to name but a few. There is even an
organization, the Natural Philosophy Alliance (NPA),12
which holds regional and national meetings devoted to critiquing
modern physics, especially Einsteinian relativity. This community of
dissidents and publications has been completely ignored by a
self-satisfied Physics Establishment, which preserves its power and
prestige, in part by mystifying veritable "scientific saints," such
as Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
What is very new in Einstein criticism, however, is a
body of emerging experimental evidence for an energetic aether,
which could be tapped to run electrical machines and generate
anomalous heat. Actually, it is the re-emergence of this
evidence for an energetic aether after it was rejected by
officialdom in the 1940s and 1950s. Also, a handful of theorists
have come to believe that aether-based models of subatomic
structures are necessary to explain the anomalies in the cold
fusion/low-energy nuclear reaction field. The last issue of
Infinite Energy featured the landmark article by Dr. Paulo
and Alexandra Correa, "The Reproducible Thermal Anomaly of the
Reich-Einstein Experiment Under Limit Conditions" (p. 12). This told
of Albert Einstein's inappropriate explaining-away of an important
thermal anomaly associated with Faraday cages (metal boxes) after
the phenomenon was brought to his attention in early 1941 by Wilhelm
Reich. If this and related electrical anomalies evidencing mass
free charge from an energetic aether are real, as I for one am
reasonably sure they are, then it is clear that the standard
conceptions of physics, particularly Einstein's relativity theories,
cannot be correct. This, despite their elegant foundation in only a
few postulates, such as the relativity principle relating
specifically to electromagnetism (which Einstein borrowed from Henri
Poincaré) and the supposed constancy of the speed of light in vacuum
with respect to any observer, which was his own invention.
Einstein himself at various times had expressed
doubts about the edifice of modern physics that he had helped to
create— witness the remarks that follow.
Perhaps his most serious expression of doubt came in a 1954 letter,
the year before he died, to his friend Michel Besso: "I consider it
quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept,
i.e. on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains
of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, and of
the rest of modern physics."13 Biographer Abraham Pais
hastens to excuse this slip from contemporary certainty about
relativity theory, claiming that virtually all physicists think that
this self-assessment at the end of Einstein's life was "unreasonably
harsh." But just a few years earlier (1948), in an introduction to a
popularized book about relativity, Einstein was also circumspect
about physics, in a more general sense: ". . .the growth of our
factual knowledge, together with the striving for a unified
theoretical conception comprising all empirical data, has led to the
present situation which is characterized— notwithstanding all
successes— by an uncertainty concerning the choice of basic
In my estimation, Einstein was a person much more
cautious about dogmatic expression than those who have claimed
invincibility for his relativity theories. In a letter to J. Lee in
1945, Einstein wrote: "A scientific person will never understand why
he should believe opinions only because they are written in a
certain book. Furthermore, he will never believe that the results of
his own attempts are final."15
On the other hand, Dr. James DeMeo has unearthed
ambiguities in Einstein's reaction to the threatening experimental
results from Dr. Dayton C. Miller, who in June 1933 published in
Reviews of Modern Physics, "The Ether-Drift Experiment and
the Determination of the Absolute Motion of the Earth."16
In the present issue, DeMeo (p. 72) provides an outstanding critique
of the Miller work and its apparently glib rejection by others, such
as Einstein's biographers, who dismiss Miller's work outright.
Though Miller's extensive experimental work is not crucial to
Einstein criticism, Einstein's and others' reaction to it is very
McCausland, in "Anomalies in the History of Relativity" (p. 19),
traces some of the historical reasons for Einstein's rapid rise to
dominate the world of physics, following the eclipse observations by
Eddington and others in May 1919. These were widely believed to have
confirmed Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (1916), which
extended the 1905 Special Relativity Theory (SRT) to the realm of
gravity and formulated a geometrization of space-time curvature as
gravity's "explanation." From Time magazine (December 31,
1999, p. 58), this historical truth is acknowledged: "Einstein,
hitherto little known, became a global celebrity and was able to
sell pictures of himself to journalists and send the money to a
charity for war orphans. More than a hundred books were written
about relativity within a year."
But as McCausland reveals, the 1919 eclipse
observations were flimsy, indeed, and were in no sense a validation
of General Relativity. But from that point on, it was impossible to
stop the Einstein juggernaut, even in the face of alternative
theories to relativity and experimental observations which
contradicted it. Today, some physicists seem to believe that Special
Relativity has been elevated to the level of fact, not
theory— criticism of it is neither allowed nor respected. By
implication, those who do criticize it are foolish
incompetents. Witness Caltech Professor David L. Goodstein in his
video-taped lecture, "Atoms to Quarks," part of "The Mechanical
Universe and Beyond" video physics lecture series (generally an
excellent overview of conventionally accepted physics):
. . .there's a point of view that says that the only
way that science can make progress is by showing that theories are
wrong. The argument goes like this: It's impossible to prove that
a theory is right no matter how many experiments agree with it,
but if one single experiment disagrees with it, then the
theory must be wrong. Well, that itself is a theory of
knowledge, which is wrong! Because, there are theories in science,
which are so well verified by experience that they become
promoted to the status of fact. One example is the Special
Theory of Relativity— it's still called a
theory for historical reasons, but it is in reality a simple,
engineering fact, routinely used in the design of giant machines,
like nuclear particle accelerators, which always work perfectly.
Another example of that sort of thing is the theory of evolution.
These are called theories, but they are in reality among the best
established facts in all of human knowledge.
No one who calls himself a scientist should
ever declare that any theory is beyond future
revision, even drastic revision, no matter how solid the support for
the theory may seem to him. Goodstein has fallen into the trap of so
many physicists today: They confuse the apparent mathematical fit of
several or many of a theory's descriptive formulae with the right to
conclude that the theory must be fundamentally correct and without
contradiction. Those apparent contradictions that are
admitted, are patched over with ad hoc arguments to save the
epicyclic masterpiece. For example, Special Relativity can't
properly deal with extended or rigid bodies (i.e. real
bodies), though it is seemingly fine for point-particles. See
comments about that topic in this issue by Thomas Phipps (p. 37) and
William Cantrell (p. 12).
The certainty with which the physics establishment
reveres Einstein's relativity theories has become a dominant feature
of the intellectual milieu of our age. More examples: A brief
passage from Marcia Bartusiak's Einstein's Unfinished
Symphony:17 "'The worship of Einstein, it's the only
reason we're here [working on an expensive federally funded device,
LIGO, to test General Relativity by trying to detect gravity waves],
if you want to know the truth,' says Rainer Weiss of MIT. 'There was
this incredible genius in our midst, in our own lifetime. . .There's
Ronald W. Clark, one of Einstein's most illustrious
biographers, wrote, ". . .the unqualified acceptance and the
experimental verification that had long ago put the Special Theory
beyond all dispute were still lacking here [for General
Relativity].18 Special Relativity "beyond all dispute"?
Such incautious words.
It is well known that Time magazine emblazoned
Albert Einstein on its December 31, 1999 cover, designating him
"Person of the Century." Inside that issue he was called "first
among the century's giants," "its greatest scientific genius," "the
person who, for better or worse, personified our times and will be
recorded in history as having the most lasting significance," "a
symbol of all the scientists," "the world's first scientific
supercelebrity," "the century's greatest thinker," and even ". .
.the patron saint of distracted schoolkids."
Time et al. should have heeded this sentiment
by Einstein himself:
"It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad taste, to
select a few individuals for boundless admiration, attributing
superhuman powers of mind and character to them. This has been my
fate, and the contrast between the popular assessment of my powers
and achievements and the reality is simply grotesque." (From a
1921 interview with a Dutch newspaper, reprinted in Reference 15,
Next in line for sainthood in physics has been Stephen
Hawking, whose involvement with virtually mystical (unproved but
highly mathematized "radiating black holes") has catapulted his A
Brief History of Time book's sales into the high seven-figure
range. In his "Brief History of Relativity" for Time's
Einstein glorification issue, he declares that Einstein "cut through
the ether and solved the speed-of light problem once and for all."
Hawking states, "I still get two or three letters a week telling me
Einstein was wrong. Nevertheless, the theory of relativity is now
completely accepted by the scientific community, and its predictions
have been verified in countless applications." This shows that even
scientific "saints" such as Hawking, are fallible. Correction for
Dr. Hawking: Just as the physics establishment refuses to fairly
judge the cold fusion/low-energy nuclear reaction experiments of
recent vintage, the historical record back to the turn of the
century overflows with relativity-falsifying experiments that are
marginalized as "unimportant" — just as no doubt are those
Einstein-critical letters which Hawking likely does not read.
Time magazine's editorializing suggested that Einstein's
reputation would endure at least one thousand years. Hawking was
much more bold: "The equations of general relativity are his best
epitaph and memorial. They should last as long as the universe."
The hyperbolic adulation heaped on Einstein's
achievements might have been a hint that something was seriously
amiss. Personally, I had been brow-beaten into unquestioning belief
in Special Relativity, until in the 1990s I began to question much
that is taken for granted by the physics establishment and its army
of journalist sychophants. Note these commentaries in books that I
have examined over the years:
". . .all barriers are surmounted by a superhuman
endeavor which up to now has withstood all tests and attacks. This
is the story of relativity."(1954)19
"Einstein's special and general theories of
relativity have permanently changed our view of space and time and
"The intellectual culture of our time cannot be
fully understood without taking into account the impact of the
this theory. Not only electrodynamics of moving bodies, but every
physical theory that has been formulated since them has had to
confront Einstein's revolutionary changes in notions of space and
Perhaps the best interpreter of this institutionalized
arrogance has been Thomas Phipps.10 This passage from his
paper in this issue bears repeating: "Toward the end of his life
Einstein remarked that he wouldn't want to be starting over again.
He died in 1955, at which time he didn't know the half of it. Had he
lived another fifty years, he wouldn't have wanted to start to be
starting over. For by that time the character of physics had
changed: The Einstein doctrines had been set in concrete and the
kind of heretical departure from the status quo that his special
relativity theory (SRT) originally represented had become
'dissidence'— despised, ridiculed, and banned from the literature by
all properly indoctrinated, right thinking physicists. In that short
but fateful interval of time Albert Einstein had become the new
Claudius Ptolemy and the little world of professional physics had
voluntarily condemned itself to a thousand years of trimming down
the great world to fit into a bed of 1905 philosophical truth."
To all this Einstein might have replied with good
humor, as he did to a friend in 1930, "To punish me for my contempt
of authority, Fate has made me an authority
There are many reasons to be concerned about
the persistence of the Relativity theory's aura of invincibility. It
introduced a permanent sense of paradox and confusion about time and
its relation to space. (If such paradox were necessary, we could
live with it— "philosophical taste" is not the fundamental issue in
Relativity criticism.) Relativity allowed such probable fictions as
Big Bang cosmology and "black holes" to exist— if there is no
space-time, only time and space, then there is no possibility of
expanding space and time from a singularity at the "beginning of
time." Most important is Einsteinian relativity's totally
unwarranted abolition of the aether and all that an aether might
imply: just possibly, the aether might be a source of energy; it
might be a transmission medium for barely imaginable things; and,
horror of horrors, it might have something to do with the
functioning of life itself, as Wilhelm Reich had seemed to find in
his experiments. These speculations aside, there simply never was a
good reason for throwing out the aether. It had been the plenum and
medium for light waves to wave, once in the nineteenth century it
began to be more accepted that light did indeed have wave-like
properties. Earlier, Isaac Newton had insisted that light consisted
of tiny corpuscles, and his arguments had dominated for over a
century. Then in the early twentieth century there emerged with the
birth of Quantum Mechanics a chimeric version of light as
both wave and particle. Precisely what light is, how
it or some essence travels across space, and how it is emitted and
absorbed are still matters subject to experiment and debate.
The spirit in which Einstein put forth Special
Relativity is best captured in his statement, "Physical concepts are
free creations of the human mind and are not, however it may seem,
uniquely determined by the physical world." (1938, in a book with
his associate Leopold Infeld, The Evolution of Physics.) A
bad beginning, or so it transpired, to have placed a bet on a mental
construct without tethering it firmly to the experiments of others.
His theory, which (it was later said) attempted to explain
the experimental record of the late nineteenth century by a novel
combination of postulates, was but one of several possible
theoretical alternatives that might have preserved invariance
of physical laws within frames of reference moving at constant
relative velocity (see William Cantrell's "Commentary on Maxwell's
Equations and Special Relativity," (p. 12). Heinrich Hertz, Hendrick
A. Lorentz, and Henri Poincaré had already developed mathematical
structures that could have been applied more judiciously over a
longer period of time to evolve an appropriate and non-paradoxical
theory to deal with the admitted non-invariance of Maxwell's
equations. Instead, Einstein with his two postulates made what
amounted to an untested, brilliant gamble or guess. He proudly
termed it a "free creation of the human mind"— so ambiguously
connected with past experiment to the extent that historians
continue to debate what Einstein knew or did not know of
Michelson-Morley et al. and when did he know
it.22,23 Einstein's lucky guess applied the sledgehammer
of the Lorentz transformation (the multiplying factor = (1-v2/c2)-1/2),
where v is the relative velocity of two inertial frames) to time and
space. When the world of physics prematurely latched onto this
"ingenious" formalism, the rush-to-judgment bypassed the careful
consideration of alternatives.
The several alternatives to SRT, which are by now
substantially developed, do no violence to our basic concepts of
time and space as distinct entities. As William Cantrell states
eloquently: "Einstein's SRT tampers with space and time in order to
force the speed of light to be constant with respect to all
observers. And it pays the price. The theory is reminiscent of a
balloon animal. If squeezed at one end, it expands at the other,
yielding an overall conservation of paradox." And as the Correas
point out in their paper in this issue, "Consequence of the Null
Result of the Michelson-Morley Experiment: The Demise of the
Stationary Aether, The Rise of Special Relativity, and the Heuristic
Concept of the Photon" (p. 47), the Albert Michelson-Edward Morley
experiment of 1887 (at the Case Institute in Cleveland, Ohio)
appeared to rule out a static aether. But certainly, this experiment
did not eliminate a dynamic aether of some kind that might
form something like an "aetherosphere," which was, at least near the
surface of our planet, nearly in rotation with it.
It is not the aim of this short editorial space to
discourse extensively on the manifold failings of relativity theory,
or to detail the alternative theories to SRT which address these.
The papers and references we have noted and selected for this issue
and the next serve that function well; they are among the best of
that technical criticism, but they are just a beginning. (Our
apologies to all those other critics of relativity whose excellent
work is not showcased.) Our central objective is to show that such
criticism does exist, that it is reasoned, and that there have long
been open questions about relativity, which have been
deliberately ignored by the Physics Establishment. We hope
that this coverage will inspire those who remain free-thinking and
who are not intimidated by the prevailing intellectual tyranny that
passes for physics today. We hope especially to reach the
uncorrupted— young students of physics who
may help pioneer new ways of experiment and understanding.
Yet here lies a central problem and a paradox in its
own right. Some critics of Einsteinian relativity have correctly
observed that their criticism is weak, because it has lacked a
generally accepted replacement theory that could satisfy most
critics. There are, to be sure, too many competing dissident
theories. Thus, the single rallying point of the mainstream, SRT,
has triumphed by default. Yet, in striving for a new corrective
point of view, one should be cautious not to sanction a new
The Path Beyond Relativity
There is no question that in the late nineteenth
century physics needed to try to find a theory that would extend the
relativity principle of Newtonian mechanics to optical
phenomena and electromagnetism. Einstein's bold, but flawed
synthesis seemed to be workable. That its formulae led to excellent
quantitative fit in some experimental regimes concealed its all too
apparent logical inconsistencies and inability to encompass other
experiments. The physics establishment fell in love with the idea
that a lone genius, Einstein, had stood on the shoulders of others
to come up with the radical synthesis that abolished the aether and
conventionally understood space and time. This elevated the
profession of physics by establishing an elite group, which boasted
that it could comprehend the spatialization of time and the many
paradoxes inherent to SRT.
Many may be surprised to learn that the most
perceptive critics of Einstein's relativity theories employ rational
methods of scientific argument and analysis; they have performed the
essential mathematical treatments. It is natural that newcomers may
have misgivings about these critics, because they have been
bludgeoned with what have been claimed to be iron-clad proofs of SRT
predictions, such as length contraction and time dilation. In truth,
the experimental record contains no proof of length
contraction and it has a highly muddied collection of "proofs" of
time dilation per se. No, the existence of altered decay of
subatomic particles such as muons does not prove time dilation, no
matter how often that canard is repeated in textbooks (see, for
example the critique by Cantrell). Even the famous E=mc2
formulation, supposedly one of Einstein's most original concepts,
has alternative derivations, some of which were in an advanced state
by the time SRT burst forth onto the scene. And, SRT's famous mass
increase with velocity can be viewed quite differently. The infamous
"twin paradox" can be abolished. Not only that, there is no reason
why advanced space ships could not far exceed light velocity (see
Dr. Cynthia Kolb Whitney's papers and conclusions, referenced and
summarized on p. 65-66). She notes, ". . .long-distance space travel
is seen to be not impossible in principle. We are now limited not by
the speed of light, but rather by the speed of thought, which the
present author submits is actually infinite when thought is
liberated from dogma."
The late Herbert E. Ives of Bell
Laboratories, one of the most illustrious of Einstein critics,
published one of his many perceptive articles in the Journal of
the Optical Society of America, "Genesis of the Query, "Is There
an Ether?,'"24 which we have reprinted in this issue (p.
30). In this short piece he appears to shred the illogic of
Einstein's second postulate (the supposed requirement for the
constancy of the velocity of light measured by all observers), and
he defines the false constraints (no use of moving clocks to
synchronize other clocks), and other problematic assumptions of
Einstein's SRT. No matter— you will be hard-pressed to find mention
of Ives' compendious work in any of the biographies of Einstein and
books about relativity. Perhaps the well-documented approach of
Ives' should become a starting point for relativity criticism (see
introduction to Ives' work, (p. 29).
It must be admitted that most
alternatives to Einstein's relativity theories seem to focus on
mathematical alterations to eliminate the theories' inconsistencies
with the experimental record. But it now appears probable to this
reviewer that something much more profound has been missed by most
of the critics— the possibility of new experimental
investigations heretofore overlooked. This new direction is
being pioneered by Dr. Paulo and Alexandra Correa, whose laboratory
work builds upon the experimental findings of Wilhelm Reich in the
middle of the last century and casts their experimental findings in
a formalized theory with full mathematical support. (See their newly
released materials, available on a new website— http://www.aetherometry.com/— which was to appear
shortly after this issue went to press.) Their new publication
stream began with their paper in the last issue of Infinite
Energy,25 continues with their second paper in this
issue, and with another Einstein-related paper to appear in our next
issue ("The Sagnac and Michelson-Gale-Pearson Experiments: The
Tribulations of General Relativity with Respect to Rotation").
They summarize the essence of their new direction in
their current paper: "The authors propose that Einstein's heuristic
hypothesis be taken as factual— the result being that
electromagnetic radiation becomes secondary to an energy continuum
that is neither electromagnetic nor amenable to four-dimensional
reduction. It follows that the second principle of SR only applies
to photon production, which is always and only a local
discontinuity. It does not apply to non-electromagnetic radiation,
nor, a fortiori, to the propagation of energy responsible for
local photon production." [Editor's note: Einstein's "second
principle" is the postulate of the supposed constancy of light speed
in vacuo to all observers.]
In another profound assertion, which goes directly to
the heart of unraveling the mystery of E=mc2, they state:
"We have proposed our own aetherometric analysis of these type of
experiments, where it it shown that the experimental velocities of
massbound charges are predicted by a theoretical model that does not
take recourse to any of the Lorentz transformations. That means— no
time dilation and no relativistic mass increase with acceleration of
inertial mass. The inertial mass of a system is only a measure of
its rest energy, unlike what SR proposes it is." They have contempt
for the relativistic and other orthodoxies that presume to have
abolished the aether: "Having become the official
logico-mathematical theory of physics, relativistic orthodoxy, as
much as quantum and wave mechanics, refuses to conceive of any form
of energy that is not electromagnetic or associated with
mass-energy. To speak of the aether these days only brings smiles of
contempt from institutional physicists— they have already found
something better: the intangible 'swarming of virtual particles'."
So, will the aether return with a vengeance and an Aether Energy Age
soon begin? We shall see.
Finally, what shall we take as the most important
thing to be learned from the almost century-long Einstein hiatus in
physical theory? As with cold fusion and LENR, which is for all
practical purposes the return of alchemy— proved this time in
scientific studies— is that even the most sacrosanct of ideas,
Einsteinian Relativity, can be dead wrong. In fact, the late Richard
Feynman may have said it best when he identified what he considered
to be the most important implication of Relativity, though in the
context in which he voiced this, he certainly did not mean that he
thought Relativity itself was wrong!:
What then, are the philosophic influences of
the theory of relativity? If we limit ourselves to influences in
the sense of what kind of new ideas and suggestions are
made to the physicist by the principle of relativity, we could
describe some of them as follows. The first discovery is,
essentially that even those ideas which have been held for a very
long time and which have been very accurately verified might be
wrong. . .we now have a much more humble point of view of our
physical laws— everything can be
As regards physics of the late twentieth century and
early twenty-first, Feynman (a.k.a. "Genius," so-called by author
James Gleick) was profoundly wrong about the "humble" part. But
indeed, almost everything was wrong, and we must begin anew
to correct it, with arduous experiment and new theory.
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Clark, R.W. 1971. Einstein: The Life and Times, World
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Other Works Consulted
o Aczel, A.D. 1999.
God's Equation: Einstein, Relativity and the Expanding
Universe, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York.
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