The constant, absolute speed of light (ca) on which the quantum medium view is based
In contrast to the assumed constant speed of light, c, which has been so strange and
inexplicable, the quantum medium view assumes that a light-propagating quantum medium (qm) pervades our
universe. (This qm may be the same physical entity as the quantum vacuum that orthodox physics theory assumes is present
throughout our universe.) Photons, and energy quanta in general, are propagated through the qm at a constant
absolute speed of light, ca, which is a fundamental constant of nature.
The absolute speed of a body or photon is its speed through the qm. A body's absolute speed can be
expressed in units of ca, and must be less than 1 ca, for reasons explained later.
The above figure now shows the qm (light blue)
pervading all space. Photons emitted from the stars and spaceship all travel at a constant speed, ca, through this
medium, regardless of the velocities of the stars or ship through the medium. Therefore, the speed of light
relative to a star or spaceship (cr) depends on the velocity of the star or ship through the
medium. In order to understand the qm view, it is crucial to keep in mind that light (energy quanta) moves
through the qm with constant speed, ca, and that, consequently, the speed of light, cr, relative to a
body or reference frame moving through the qm depends on the direction of the light through the qm and
the direction and speed of the body or reference frame through the qm.
(For examples and clarification click here.)
If the stars in the above figure are at rest in the qm and the spaceship is moving through
the qm with a 0.5 ca absolute velocity toward B, then the photons from B have a velocity of
cr=1.5 ca relative to the ship, and the photons from A have a velocity of cr=0.5 ca
relative to the ship. Similarly, within the atomic structures of the ship, its occupants, and their
instruments, energy quanta move in the A-to-B direction with only a third of the speed of the energy quanta moving
in the B-to-A direction. We will show that this asymmetry of the speeds of energy quanta within the ship
causes physical changes in the ship including a slowing of all processes in the ship.
We also show why observers aboard the ship observe the illusion that photons from stars A and B, and
photons moving in any other direction in the ship, all have the same speed, c, relative to the ship!
Beginning on page 11, we look carefully at the consequences of a body's velocity through
the qm and see that the consequences combine to cause a variety of interesting observed phenomena including the illusion of
constant light speed in the observer's reference frame. But first we need to introduce terminology and
discuss briefly other strange phenomena that are predicted by relativity theory, observed in experiments,
and explained by a quantum medium.