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Consciousness, Physics, and the Holographic Paradigm

Original Essays and Shadowless Poetry by Alan T. Williams

All matter is immersed in it and it penetrates everywhere. No doors are closed to ether.
- Albert Einstein, The Evolution of Physics 1

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Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Section 6

Chapter 3:  The Unexamined Alternatives

Section 1:  Einstein, Maxwell, and Energy:

James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein are inextricably linked in scientific history through Maxwell's electrodynamic field theory, Einstein's quantization of electromagnetic radiation in his paper explaining the photoelectric effect, and the special theory of relativity.

Following classical (Newtonian) physics Maxwell developed A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field as his mathematical interpretation of Michael Faraday's laboratory experiments in electricity and magnetism. Einstein was born in 1879, the year Maxwell died at age 48. He submitted the special theory of relativity (SRT) – a critique and extension of Maxwell's electromagnetic field dynamics (kinematics) – as his second paper of 1905.

Einstein's first paper of 1905, the explanation of the photoelectric effect, used Max Planck's quantum of energy in an unexpected way by quantizing the energy-matter interaction of light. As it turned out, the quantization of electromagnetic radiation was more revolutionary than even Einstein himself imagined because it not only provided the specific heat solution for 19th century thermodynamics, it also provided the second small step toward understanding nonmechanical, nonmaterial energy-matter interactions in the 20th century. Planck's intuitive discovery of the energy quantum was the first step.

Einstein's writings suggest that he concluded the popular luminiferous ether of the 19th century was untenable sometime prior to 1905. Nonetheless, his radical excision of the material ether in special relativity failed to solve the persistent theoretical problem of discovering the common foundation from which classical physics, thermodynamics, and Maxwell's equations could be derived. Indeed, another century would pass before the universal principle of energy (TUPE) and the fundamental, irreducible nonmaterial primordial energy domain (NED) were discovered.

Einstein himself inflexibly continued to think exclusively in atomistic and deterministic terms. While he openly removed the rigid Lorentzian ether from his special theory of relativity, he quietly replaced the rigid mechanical connections with Lorentz's invariant transformation equations. During the development of general relativity theory Einstein moved beyond Lorentz invariance to generally covariant field equations in order to solve certain mathematical problems he encountered. 2

Nonmaterial energy theory and experiment, however, had already suffered nearly fatal damage in the early 20th century. Declaring the rigid Maxwell-Hertz-Lorentz ether superfluous was instrumental in disrupting the search for a viable alternative to the material ether by interested others, particularly in the physical chemistry community. Happily, the unexpected discovery of the universal principle of energy (TUPE) provides new insight into the fundamental, irreducible nonmaterial primordial energy domain (NED) which, following Einstein, is characteristically absent in 20th century physics.

Maxwell's view of energy:

Thomas Young (1773-1829), the chemistry, physics, and biophysics researcher, lecturer, and first Professor of Natural Philosophy at The Royal Institution of Great Britain in London, England, proposed in 1801 that the concept of potential and kinetic energy be used in conjunction with the mechanical force described in Newton's Second Law of Motion.

Elaborating on the significance of Young's innovative concept of mechanical energy in 1877, Clerk Maxwell wrote:

    Physical Science, which up to the end of the eighteenth century had been fully occupied in forming a conception of natural phenomena as the result of forces acting between one body and another, has now fairly entered on the next stage of progress – that in which the energy of a material system is conceived as determined by the configuration and motion of that system, and in which the ideas of configuration, motion, and force are generalised to the utmost extent warranted by their physical definitions. 3

    We are acquainted with matter only as that which may have energy communicated to it from other matter, and which may, in its turn, communicate energy to other matter.
    Energy, on the other hand, we know only as that which in all natural phenomena is continually passing from one portion of matter to another. 4

Clearly the 19th century concept and physical definition of the energy present in a material system was limited to mechanical potential and kinetic energy. Thus, although enhanced by the discovery of many different forms of mechanical energy, contemporary classical and quantum physics are traditionally limited by adhering to Young's early definition.

Einstein's energy assumptions revisited:

The numerous imponderable fluids of the 18th century were reduced to only two in the 19th century; namely, imponderable radiant matter and imponderable radiant energy. The search for radiant matter led from electricity and magnetism through Ampère, Faraday, Maxwell, Helmholtz, Hertz, and Crookes to J.J. Thomson's 1897 discovery of the electron. Thomson's experiments demonstrated that the electron possesses mass and is, therefore, ponderable matter.

The search for radiant energy led from electricity and magnetism to thermodynamics through Faraday, Maxwell, Clausius, and Boltzmann to Max Planck's intuitive 1900 discovery of the massless quantum of energy in blackbody radiation. X-rays, discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen in 1895 and originally thought to be radiant matter, were later proved to be an integral part of the massless, radiant electromagnetic energy spectrum.

Inexplicably, Maxwell's dynamical electromagnetic field theory was not included in the curriculum during the years Einstein was a student at the Polytechnic Institute of Zürich (ETH). Hence, as a voraciously inquisitive reader of extracurricular material while others attended class and took notes they later shared with him, Einstein learned Maxwell's electromagnetic theory through self study.

Subsequently, for the rest of his life Einstein conflated his own understanding of Maxwell's work with Henri Becquerel's 1897 discovery of radioactive radiation and its further development by Pierre and Marie Curie, each of whom shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics, by unconventionally treating all radiation – including the massless photons of imponderable visible light and the massless photons of imponderable heat radiation – as if it was an atomic or molecular gas statistically analogous to radioactive radiation that possesses material mass (α and β decay).

In his 1938 book, The Evolution of Physics, Einstein wrote:

    Energy, at any rate kinetic energy, resists motion in the same way as ponderable masses. Is this also true of all kinds of energy?
    The theory of relativity deduces, from its fundamental assumption, a clear and convincing answer to this question, an answer again of a quantitative character: all energy resists change of motion; all energy behaves like matter; a piece of iron weighs more when red-hot than when cool; radiation traveling through space and emitted from the sun contains energy and therefore has mass, the sun and all radiating stars lose mass by emitting radiation. This conclusion, quite general in character, is an important achievement of the theory of relativity and fits all facts upon which it has been tested.
    Classical physics introduced two substances: matter and energy. The first had weight, but the second was weightless. In classical physics we had two conservation laws:  one for matter, the other for energy. We have already asked whether modern physics still holds this view of two substances and the two conservation laws. The answer is: "No." According to the theory of relativity, there is no essential distinction between mass and energy. Energy has mass and mass represents energy. Instead of two conservation laws we have only one, that of mass-energy. 5

Einstein correctly perceived a fundamental relationship between mass and energy. Nonetheless, his mass-energy equivalence is limited by classical physics and the de facto absolute reference frame of a closed or isolated (conservative) material system adopted from physical chemistry that he unilaterally generalized to physics as a whole.

Following the classical energy physics developed by Young and Maxwell, Einstein's assertion that "energy has mass and mass represents energy" describes only the mass-energy equivalence of mechanical work performed in a closed or isolated (conservative) material system. Thus, in essence, Einstein simply exchanged Ernst Mach's absolute space for an Einsteinian absolute closed or isolated material reference frame while leaving the definitive nature of material mass unexplained.

Therefore, if potential and kinetic mechanical energy are removed from consideration in the rest energy quantity of the E = mc² derivation, a specific quantity of nonmechanical energy that represents invariant mass of an undefined nature remains.

The unexpected discovery of the universal principle of energy (TUPE) resolves the historical enigma and points directly to the nature of mass. In addition, TUPE not only implies a complex open (nonconservative) nonmaterial/material universe, it also implies that our holonomic universe is embedded in a fundamental, irreducible, nonmaterial primordial energy domain (NED) within which particulate matter/mass is created, contained, and maintained.

Mass:

Mass has been quantified but poorly defined in historical physics, perhaps because the indispensable first principle that reveals the hidden nature of mass was wholly unknown prior to the discovery of the universal principle of energy (TUPE). Hence, TUPE may be constructively compared with the discovery of thermodynamics in the 19th century. Indeed, TUPE clearly represents the vanguard of a new physics based on the irreducible nonmaterial primordial energy domain (NED).

Interestingly, Einstein's mass-energy equivalence is valid only in his de facto absolute reference frame within which material mass and various forms of mechanical energy are conserved. Thus the apparent equivalence between the rest energy and the so-called relativistic mass of a material particle as expressed in the equation E = mc²; is inappropriately generalized to high energy/low mass physical systems like our own nonmaterial/material universe.

Einstein's assertion that "all energy behaves like matter" is certainly not valid in compound open (nonconservative) nonmaterial/material systems like the subatomic/subnuclear energy bubbles of accelerator/collider experiments, or in massless open or closed nonmaterial primordial energy systems that contain no particulate matter.

Even so, Einstein's 1938 position is consistent with his view that the universe is a deterministic closed or isolated (conservative) material system, with his lifelong atomistic view of physical reality just-as-it-is, 6 and with his explicit rejection of massless nonmechanical, nonmaterial energy as either a heuristic or a fundamental principle. 7

Einstein's original rest mass equation:

Twenty-six years after James Clerk Maxwell died, Einstein described a gedanken (thought) experiment in which he derived the apparent equivalence of the mass and energy manifested by a material particle at rest in a closed or isolated (conservative) material system. Published as 1905 paper number five, Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?, the result was the equation  m = E/8 where m is the so-called rest mass (relativistic mass), E is rest energy, and c is the speed of light. When transposed m = E/ becomes E = mc²9

The gedanken experiment considers a body at rest that emits plane waves of light ("ebenen Lichtwellen"). The result has unquestionably acquired worldwide fame. In the 21st century however, as noted above, it is not generally recognized that Einstein's summary expresses a certain amount of confusion concerning mechanical energy, the nature of material mass, and the propagation of massless (imponderable; nonmaterial) electromagnetic radiation.

Moreover, the language he uses seems to imply that the radiation, i.e., the energy emitted by the body under consideration, can change its state after leaving the body. Indeed, in this instance – despite his well known protestations elsewhere – Einstein seems to assign the change of state to chance:

    If a body releases the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass decreases by L/. Since obviously here it is inessential that the energy withdrawn from the body happens to turn into energy of radiation rather than into some other kind of energy, we are led to the more general conclusion: 10

    Gibt ein Körper die Energie L in Form von Strahlung ab, so verkleinert sich seine Masse um L/. Hierbei ist es offenbar unwesentlich, daß die dem Körper entzogene Energie gerade in Energie der Strahlung übergeht, so daß wir zu der allegemeineren Folgerung geführt werden: 11

In the notation Einstein used in his 1905 paper, L is the idealized electromagnetic radiation energy of visible light emitted by the body under consideration, and V is the speed of light. In modern notation, L becomes E and V becomes c, where E is the energy of the radiation emitted, and c is the speed of light. Einstein's derivation of the decrease in mass m of the body under consideration can now be seen as m = E/.

A zeroth law of physics:

A zeroth law of physics might well state that scientific knowledge is progressive, therefore it is perpetually incomplete.

The electromagnetic spectrum was essentially unknown in 1905. After Einstein's annus mirabilis nearly a century passed before the universal principle of energy (TUPE) was discovered. TUPE not only points directly to the fundamental, irreducible nonmaterial primordial energy domain (NED) that is characteristically absent in contemporary classical and quantum physics, it also implies that our holonomic material universe is in principle an open (nonconservative) material system embedded within the all-encompassing, pervasive NED.

Thus, compared to a relatively simple, stand-alone closed or isolated (conservative) material system, The Energetic Holographic Paradigm (TEHP, pronounced "teep") model of physical reality just-as-it-is postulates that our holonomic material universe and space-time continuum are part of a complex open (nonconservative) nonmaterial/material system which is embedded in, pervaded by, and interacts with the transcendent, extremely high frequency energy and information of the fundamental, irreducible, nonmaterial primordial energy domain (NED).

Continued in Chapter 3, Section 2:  Beyond Mechanical Paradigms:  From Old to New Physics, Part 1

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Reference Notes (Click on the Note number to return to the text):

1  Einstein, Albert, and Infeld, Leopold. The Evolution of Physics, Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York NY, 1938, p. 167. Copyright renewed 1966.  ISBN 0-671-20156-5

2  Stachel, John. "Einstein's Search for General Covariance, 1912-1915;" Einstein from 'B' to 'Z', Birkhauser, Boston MA, 2002, pp. 301-337.  ISBN 0-8176-4143-2

3  Maxwell, James Clerk. Matter and Motion (1877), Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola NY [1952] 1991, preface.  ISBN 0-486-66895-9 (pbk)

4  Ref. 3, p. 89.

5  Ref. 1, pp. 197-198.

6  Einstein, Albert. "Theoretical Atomism" ("Theoretische Atomistik"). Paul Hinneberg, ed. Die Kultur der Gegenwart. Ihre Entwicklung und ihre Ziele. Part 3, sec.3, vol. 1, Physik, ed. Emil Warburg. Leipzig, Teubner, 1915. Anna Beck, translator; The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein: English Edition, vol. 4, Doc. 20, pp. 232-245, Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1989.  ISBN 0-691-02610-6.

7  "In 1913, [Einstein] wrote in praise of Planck's 1896 essay against the energeticists ...,'in which it is shown that energetics is worthless as a heuristic method, indeed, that it even operates with untenable concepts'... ." Einstein from 'B' to 'Z'; supra, p. 132, footnote 12. (cf. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein: English Edition, vol. 4; supra, Doc. 23, p. 272.)

8  Einstein, Albert. "Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhängig?", Annalen der Physik, 18 (1905):  639-641. Anna Beck, translator; The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein:  English Edition, vol. 2, Doc. 24, p. 174, Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1989.  ISBN 0-691-08549-8.

9  Ibid. In the notation used by Einstein in his 1905 paper, "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?," L is the idealized electromagnetic radiation energy of visible light emitted by the body under consideration and V is the speed of light. In modern notation, L becomes E and V becomes c, where E is the energy of the radiation emitted, and c is the speed of light. Einstein's derivation of the decrease in mass m can now be seen as m = E/ = E/9 × 1020.
    Transposed, the result is the more familiar energy equation E = mc². Note well that Einstein's idealized thought experiment of 1905 derived the virtual or apparent so-called relativistic mass of a particle at rest in a closed or isolated (conservative) material system. Thus, contrary to modern practice, momentum is not a factor in his derivation of the equation. (cf. The more detailed description of Einstein's derivation of m = E/ in Chapter 5, section 2.)

10  Einstein, Albert. "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?"; Annalen der Physik, 18 (1905):  639-641.
Anna Beck, translator. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, vol. 2, The Swiss Years: Writings, 1900-1909; English Edition, Doc. 24, p. 174. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1989.  ISBN 0-691-08549-8.

11  Einstein, Albert. John Stachel, editor. "Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhängig?", p. 314. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, vol. 2, The Swiss Years: Writings, 1900-1909; original papers in German. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1989.  ISBN 0-691-08526-9

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Back to Chapter 2, Section 1:  The Universal Principle of Energy

Index:  Consciousness, Physics, and the Holographic Paradigm

Last Edit:  September 21, 2008.

Comments and suggestions welcome.

This paper is a work in progress.
Please check for the latest update before quoting in other venues the concepts and hypotheses presented here.
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