Quantum Medium View
(a logically sound explanation for observed light speed, c, and for related important phenomena)
To the reader:
The quantum medium view, a.k.a. qm view, is based on generally accepted
evidence. It is a different interpretation of this evidence that leads to conclusions about
important aspects of nature that disagree with generally accepted theory. We realize that the
qm view will initially seem wrong to most readers because it differs from accepted ideas and
theory. However, if readers take the time to review the premise, evidence, reasoning, and
mathematics behind this view, they should find that the qm view is sound theory. They
should find that it provides a realistic understanding of the previously inexplicable evidence
of light speed, c, and of a variety of other perplexing phenomena. This page briefly
explains the qm view and why this interpretation of the evidence is very likely correct.
The qm view is the result of trying to understand why the measured, unimpeded speed of light
(i.e. photons) is always the same speed, c, relative to the measuring apparatus (even if the
apparatus is moving at high speed toward or away from the photon source). It was found that light
speed, c, is a logical consequence of a quantum medium, qm, through which
energy quanta (e.g. photons), which are oscillations of the qm, propagate with an
absolute speed of light, ca, when in the vacuum of remote space
(i.e. far from any significant amount of mass/energy).
The qm view is based on the premise that all mass/energy — including all the "particles"
of the Standard Model of orthodox particle physics theory (the composition of which is extremely
uncertain) — is comprised of oscillations of the qm, and that particles having rest mass
(e.g. electrons, quarks) are systems of oscillations. The soundness of the qm view
does not depend on understanding the exact nature of the oscillations of the energy quanta or the
systems of oscillations, but it does depend on the Planck equation (e=h·f )
relating photon energy, e, Planck's constant, h, and oscillation frequency, f.
Consequences of the premise:
The observed constant speed of light, c, is one of many consequences of physical changes that
occur within all systems of mass/energy when their velocities through the qm are changed. When
any system of mass/energy (e.g. atomic clock) is at rest in the qm, the speed of the energy quanta
moving within the system is isotropic. But when the system is moving through the qm, the speed of a
photon through the system depends on the photon's direction of motion through the qm and on the system's
absolute velocity, va, through the qm. Consequently, when the system is moving
through the qm, the rate of energy exchange in the system is anisotropic and is slowed (and the rate of
round-trip energy exchange in the system approaches zero as va approaches ca). This causes
a slowing of all processes in the system (including clocks), and it causes a foreshortening of the system
along lines parallel to its absolute velocity. These are two of the four phenomena that always combine
to cause the observed speed of light, c. This website explains this light speed, c, illusion in detail.
Evidence of the qm:
Various phenomena, including inertial forces within bodies (which are logical consequences
of changes in velocity through the qm and which we can feel when rapidly changing speed or
direction in a car/plane/elevator/etc) and Doppler shifts of light (which cannot occur if a photon
having a constant oscillation frequency has the same speed relative to the source and the receiver),
are evidence of the qm. Also, the fact that the above assumption about the qm and mass/energy
in the qm exactly accounts for the observed constant speed of light, c, is strong evidence that
the assumption is correct. Every experimental determination of light speed, c,
is evidence of the qm because there is no other plausible explanation for this peculiar phenomenon.
The qm view also explains physical causes for a wide range of other important phenomena
(e.g. gravity, and the huge internal energy contained in small amounts of matter in accordance with
e=m·c2 ). This ability to explain physical
causes for a wide variety of significant phenomena is additional strong evidence that the qm view
Consistency with Newton's laws and classical physics:
The qm view explains the physical causes of the observed phenomena specified by Newton's laws.
For example, it explains why a body resists changes in the magnitude or direction of its velocity, in
accordance with Newton's first law of motion. It explains physical causes for the observed
gravitational attraction between bodies in accordance with Newton's law of gravity. It shows that,
contrary to popular belief, Newton's laws are correct in high velocity and high gravity circumstances,
if Newton's equations are modified slightly.
Therefore, the qm view is an expansion of classical physics theory as opposed to a correction
and replacement of classical physics theory, which relativity theory is widely believed to be.
The qm view shows that relativity theory is misleading because it is based on a misleading
postulate — the constant in-vacuum speed of a photon through all inertial reference
frames. The qm view shows that this illogical postulate is unnecessary. It shows
that this postulate is the modern equivalent of postulating "the sun orbits Earth" because this is
what is observed. When the qm view is understood, it becomes clear that the light
postulate is based on a "virtual" phenomenon caused by less obvious, real, "absolute" phenomena
occurring in the qm. It also becomes clear that basing scientific theory on inexplicable
observed phenomena can cause unrealistic ideas about nature.
How is light speed, c, possible?:
How is it physically possible for the photons from a light source to always arrive with the same speed,
c, relative to a light-speed-measuring apparatus that is initially moving rapidly away from the source
... then at rest relative to the source ... and then moving rapidly toward the source?
It is not physically possible, and the observed Doppler blue shifts during this imaginary, 3−step
experiment show that the photons are arriving with increasing speed, not constant speed. By assuming that
the photons always arrive with constant speed, c, relativity theory results in a strange, implausible,
artificial-spacetime, mathematical reality. The qm view shows that the measured photon speed
relative to the apparatus is the same in the three cases because the observers' system has different physical
standards of time and distance in the three cases due to its different speeds through the qm. This
results in different clock rates and different lengths of the light-speed-measuring apparatus, which
always combine to cause observed light speed, c.
Considering that the qm view explains physical causes for light speed, c, and considering that relativity
theory and other orthodox physics theory is based on light speed, c, but cannot explain it, is it not
logical that every well-informed student of physics should understand how light speed, c is possible?
The qm view should also be understood because it is a mathematical representation of a plausible
physical reality based on plausible premises having plausible logical consequences (without paradoxes or
different realities for different observers).
Probably, relativity theory's great usefulness and consistency with experimental evidence contributed to
the acceptance of the constant light speed, c, postulate, and made the postulate appear necessary.
It is not necessary because the qm view specifies (via simple mathematics) exactly the same
virtual phenomena that special relativity specifies. In addition, the qm view explains the
physical causes for the absolute phenomena responsible for the specified virtual phenomena.
The qm view shows why relativity theory can be in agreement with observed phenomena and at the same
time specify a very distorted picture of nature. This has happened before in science and may be
happening elsewhere in modern physics, as many realize.
Implications of the qm view:
Most physicists and philosophers realize that relativity theory has had significant philosophical implications
because it pertains to basic aspects of reality: distance, time, and mass/energy. Accepting
light speed, c, and relativity theory means rejecting universal distance, time, and mass/energy because
relativity theory makes it impossible for observers who are moving relative to one another to agree on
observed distances, times, and masses. The qm view maintains these fundamental aspects of
nature. It shows that the physical standards of distance, time, and mass/energy in every reference
frame depend on the frame's velocity through the qm. And it shows that the virtual phenomena observed in
different inertial frames having different physical standards can be converted into absolute phenomena
occurring in the qm on which all the observers can agree. Albert Einstein did not realize this because he
assumed constant light speed, c. Consequently, relativity theory does not involve a light-propagating
medium, and according to relativity theory, the physical standards of distance, time, and mass/energy in every
inertial frame are equally good.
Experimental evidence and the qm view show that the physical standards of distance, time, and mass/energy
in every inertial frame are not equally good. The physical standards aboard a spaceship moving through
the solar system with a relative velocity that observers on the ship and observers on Earth agree is
.9 c will differ greatly from the physical standards on Earth (which experimental evidence shows
are probably within .0002% of theoretical, "absolute," universal physical standards at rest in the
quantum medium). The length of a standard meter bar aboard the spaceship will vary from about
.436 absolute meter to nearly 1 absolute meter, depending on its orientation relative to
the ship's absolute velocity. Standard atomic clocks aboard the spaceship will evolve only
.436 times as fast as clocks on Earth, and the absolute mass of a standard 1 kilogram mass
on the ship will be 2.294 absolute kilograms. Observers aboard the ship who are not
aware of their distorted "virtual" physical standards will observe a distorted solar system having
flattened planets and sun.
Both the qm view and relativity theory specify that the observers on the ship (who assume constant
light speed, c) will also observe a distorted universe with stars and galaxies much closer together
along lines parallel to the ship's line of travel through the universe than along lines transverse to
the ship's line of travel. The qm view shows that the distortions are an illusion caused by
the light speed, c, assumption and the belief that the physical standards of distance, time, and
mass/energy are the same in all inertial frames. And the observed contraction of the universe
can be changed to any other direction by changing the ship's heading to that direction.
Presumably, most physicists will agree that the observed contractions of the universe are illusions and
do not involve any physical changes throughout the universe. The qm view shows that whenever
the magnitude or direction of the ship's velocity is changed, it causes physical changes throughout
the spaceship that contribute to a resulting observed change in the contraction, the rate of
evolution, and the mass/energy of the universe and all of its subsystems. The physical changes
in the spaceship are a natural and logical consequence of the qm and of the resulting changes in
energy-exchange rates within the ship when its velocity through the qm changes from near zero ca
to .9 ca and when the ship changes direction. If you understand the qm view,
it becomes even more obvious why all inertial frames are not equal.
Within academia there seems to be increasing awareness that our physical standards of distance, time, and
mass/energy on Earth depend on their locations relative to massive bodies and on their velocities.
For example, atomic clocks are known to run at different rates due to different distances from Earth.
And experiments show that atomic clocks run at different rates when they have different speeds through the
quantum medium (or different speeds relative to a given inertial frame). The qm view shows that
different locations relative to massive systems and different speeds through the qm both cause different
rates of round-trip energy exchange within physical standards of distance, time, and mass/energy, and
that the different rates of energy exchange within the standards cause the physical differences between the
standards in different reference frames.
The qm view is a significantly different view of distance, time, and mass/energy that has implications
in many fields of study (e.g. cosmology, particle physics, mechanics, philosophy). It shows that
opportunities for improving human knowledge have been overlooked due to taking the evidence of light
speed, c, at face value and ruling out the possibility of a light-propagating medium. It shows
that the light speed, c, assumption precluded a higher level of awareness of this phenomenon and of a wide
range of related and important phenomena.
We are all aware that people prefer not to question systems of thinking that have been learned and
accepted. However, we remain confident that the qm view will interest an increasing number of
inquisitive scholars who will find it far more realistic than theory based on light speed, c.
They will find that the qm view eliminates the great confusion caused by the hidden
physical causes of light speed, c. When these causes are known, and their widespread
impact is apparent, nature is seen to be significantly more logical. Many scientists may
welcome this finding because it fits with extensive other evidence showing that nature is logical
and understandable, if we keep questioning and searching.
To learn more about the qm view, you can step through the 30-plus short pages on this website by
clicking the "Forward" arrow on each page. Or, if you have a physics background, we suggest that you
follow this path ,
which steps through a dozen pages that, together, explain the qm view in detail.
This path includes the Equations, Facts, and Experiments pages, which can be accessed via the icons
below for a quicker (although less complete) understanding of the qm view.