Maxwell’s Aether: A Solution to Entanglement

Blog 20160601 Maxwell’s Aether: A Solution to Entanglement

[As I have mentioned many times, the contradictions in quantum mechanics result from aether denial. I occasionally receive papers and essays that explain things better than I could. This is one of them. It is a preprint of a paper to be presented at College Park, MD at the Chappell Natural Philosophy Society meeting in July.]

Duncan W. Shaw

This paper argues that the solution to the problem of entanglement lies in viewing entanglement in the context of the medium of aether as conceived by James Clerk Maxwell, rather than as a phenomenon of quantum mechanics. It is argued that the apparent correlation of ’spin up’ and ’spin down’ photons that is said to constitute entanglement, is in fact a phenomenon caused by polarization of the medium of aether, not by traveling photons as envisaged by quantum mechanics.

1.    Introduction

Entanglement is said to occur where there is corre­lation between spin-up photons and spin-down photons that are propelled from a common source in opposite di­rections. The correlation is that if the photons traveling in one direction from the source are spin up, the pho­tons traveling in the opposite direction from the source will be spin down, or visa-versa. Many experiments have been carried out to prove correlation and to establish a ra­tional explanation for the correlation. The correlation has been well proven, but the experiments have not provided an explanation that makes sense. This has led to spec­ulation that there must be instantaneous communication between the receptors of the photons that triggers the cor­relation. This explanation does not sit well with most sci­entists because they believe that communication between separated points must take some measurable time.

From the writer’s reading on this subject, it has be­come apparent that all the experiments and investiga­tions into this phenomenon are based upon the quan­tum mechanics theory. It is a fundamental cornerstone of quantum mechanics that photons physically travel from source to destination. This proposition is in conflict with the aether theory, which says that space and matter are permeated with a sub-atomic substance called aether, and that electromagnetic radiation occurs by way of waves through the medium of aether, like sound waves through the medium of our atmosphere.

This paper argues that basing the entanglement experi­ments on the quantum mechanics theory is a fundamental error. This error has inevitably led to the incorrect specu­lation of instantaneous action-at-a-distance between the receptors. This paper further argues that, if entanglement is considered in the setting of Maxwell’s aether theory, it leads to a rational explanation and eliminates the need of communication between the receptors (instantaneous or otherwise).

2.    Aether Versus Quantum Mechanics

In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell published his seminal treatise, The Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field [1]. In his treatise, Maxwell rejected the concept of instantaneous action-at-a-distance. [2] He posited that there must be a substance through which electromagnetic phenomena occur. [2] He called this substance ’ether’. He described it as consisting of ’parts and connections’ that have the property of elasticity and the capacity to propagate waves. [3] Further, he described polarization as a ’forced’ state of aether that is placed under stress by electromotive force. [4]

Maxwell’s aether theory has since fallen into disuse, largely as a result of the Michelson-Morley experiments that many scientists say disprove the existence of aether, and partially because Einstein, in his Special Relativ­ity paper, On The electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, opined that if his theory is accepted, there would be no need for aether.

The present author, in an article entitled Reconsid­ering Maxwell’s Aether, published in 2014 [5], argues that Maxwell was on the right track with his aether the­ory, and that it should be reconsidered. The article sets out fundamental problems with quantum mechanics as raised by various prominent physicists, including David Griffiths, J. D. Jackson, Richard Feynman, Alastair Rae, Bryan Cox and Jeff Forshaw, George Greenstein and Arthur Zajonc, and Patrick Cornille.[6]

In 1935, Albert Einstein, D. Podolsky and N. Rosen, in their ’EPR’ paper, Can Quantum-Mechanical Descrip­tion of Physical Reality be Considered Complete? [7], concluded that the description of physical reality posed by quantum mechanics is incomplete.

The Reconsidering Maxwell’s Aether article points out that acceptance of Maxwell’s aether opens up poten­tial explanations of numerous problem areas of electro­magnetism. [8] One of those areas is entanglement. The present paper considers how entanglement may be ex­plained in the context of Maxwell’s aether.

3.    Entanglement Experiments

In The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition [9], George Greenstein and Arthur Zajonc describe numerous experiments that have investigated entanglement. The experiments range from those of Clauser, Horne, Shi-mony and Holt in the 1960s, Freedman and Clauser, Kas-day, Ulman and Wu, and Lamehi-rachti and Mittig in the 1970s, Aspect, Grangier and Roger, Aspect, Dalibard and Roger, and Ghosh and Mandel in the 1980s, Green­berger, Horne and Zeilinger, and Greenberger, Horne, Shimony and Zeilinger in the 1990s, and Bouwmeester, Pan, Daniell, Weinfurter and Zeilinger in the year 2000. [10]

One common element of all the experiments stands out. They were all based on the assumption that the par­ticles that were being tested (generally photons) were considered as having travelled from the source of the transmissions to the receptors. None of the experiments were analyzed on the assumption that the emissions were waves through the medium of aether. The experiments assumed the correctness of quantum mechanics and ig­nored the possibility of the so-called ’arriving’ particles being in fact aether cells located at the receptors and be­ing activated by waves traveling through the medium of aether. None of the experiments considered the possibil­ity that Maxwell’s aether might provide an explanation for the correlation of the data recorded by the receptors and a solution to the evident absurdity of the action-at-a-distance concern.

This paper questions the premise of applying quantum mechanics to entanglement and suggests that what is in fact occurring is the transmission of waves through a medium, that medium being Maxwell’s Aether.

4.    The Aether Approach

Maxwell considered aether as being made up of indi­vidual parts. He said: [11]

"Thus, then, we are led to the conception of a compli­cated mechanism capable of a vast variety of motion, but at the same time so connected that the motion of one part depends, according to definite relations, on the motion of other parts, these motions being communicated by forces arising from the relative displacement of the connected parts, in virtue of their elasticity."

Maxwell’s parts (the present author calls them aether cells) do not travel from source to destination. Rather, they form a medium through which vibrations of electro­motive force are transmitted as waves. When the waves arrive at the destination, they activate the aether cells in the medium at that location. The activation of these aether cells gives the impression (albeit a false impres­sion) of the arrival of ’photons’.

The distinction between photons and aether cells is important in regard to the phenomenon of polarization. As noted earlier, Maxwell considered polarization as the forced state of a medium caused by the application of electromotive force.

In contrast, in the quantum mechanics approach to en­tanglement, polarization is viewed as the state of pho­tons that are travelling from source to destination, such as spin-up and spin-down.

With this distinction in mind, visualize space as being permeated by the medium of aether. Make the assump­tion that aether can be polarized by electromotive force. Picture polarization forcing aether to collectively form into three-dimensional patterns, with these patterns pro­viding planes of polarization through which electromag­netic waves travel. The planes of polarization can rotate [12], and when they do, this causes rotation of the elec­tromagnetic waves. [12] [13]

The next step is critical. Visualize a central source sending out electromotive energy in opposite directions. If the aether theory is applicable, the electromotive force will polarize the aether medium in both directions. As­suming that this in fact occurs, it stands to reason that the patterns of polarization in both directions will be cor­related. The correlation is caused by the polarization re­sulting from the common source of electromotive force being applied to the common surrounding medium.

Because the electromotive force that causes the polar­ization emanates from a central source and is directed outwards in opposite directions, it follows that the pat­tern of the polarized aether in one direction will be the mirror image of the pattern of the polarized aether in the opposite direction. Thus, the recording of the nature of the waves arriving at the receptors should give opposite readings. Further, while the readings at the receptors may be characterized as spin-up and spin-down, but the recep­tors are actually receiving rotating waves, then it seems reasonable to assume that the readings are being mischaracterized and are in fact of rotations of the electromag­netic waves.

In this picture of events, no instant communication be­tween the receptors is needed. Indeed, no communication at all is necessary. This is because entanglement is the result of polarization of the aether medium, and the po­larization is set by the electromotive force that emanates from a common source. Thus, apart from the receptors being recording devices, they play no role in entangle­ment.

2.    Conclusion

Maxwell’s aether provides a rational explanation of entanglement. Quantum mechanics does not.


1. J. C. Maxwell, The Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1996.

2. J. C. Maxwell, The Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, Wipf and Stock Publishers, page 34, 1996.

3. J. C. Maxwell, The Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, Wipf and Stock Publishers, page 35, 1996.

4. J. C. Maxwell, The Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, Wipf and Stock Publishers, page 70, 1996.

5. D. W. Shaw, Reconsidering Maxwells Aether, Vol. 27 Phys. Essays 601, 2014.

6. D. W. Shaw, Reconsidering Maxwells Aether, Vol. 27 Phys. Essays 601-602, 2014.

7. A. Einstein, B. Podolsky, and N. Rosen, Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?, Vol. 47 Phys. Rev. 777, 1935.

8. D. W. Shaw, Reconsidering Maxwells Aether, Vol. 27 Phys. Essays, at pp 604-606, 2014.

9. G. Greenstein and A. G. Zajonc, The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2nd ed., 2005.

10. G. Greenstein and A. G. Zajonc, The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2nd ed., pp. 149-184, 2005.

11. J. C. Maxwell, The Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, Wipf and Stock Publishers, page 39, 1996.

12. E. U. Condon, Molecular Optics, Handbook of Physics, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill Book Company, at pp. 6-113 to 6-130, 1967.

13. R. Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Definitive Edition, Pearson Addison Wesley, pp. 33-1 to 33-7, 2006.

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