20 Matter

What the Schrödinger equation tells us is therefore consistent with our earlier conclusions about light and electromagnetism and the ‘luminiferous aether’.

That suggests that we should look for the nature of matter, not in particles of an unspecified nature, but in the behaviour of the substance that seems to be the universal and only one, the aether. That means that we have to look for a hydrodynamic structure that has some stability, and the only candidate, much studied in hydrodynamics, is the vortex ring particle or smoke ring.

This has a circular cross-section and a through-and-over rotation. It is a perfect match for the Schrödinger equation, which therefore offers a dramatic confirmation that we might be on the right lines. Before we get too carried away with this as a solution to all our physical ills, we have to ask whether this curious creature conforms to a large range of requirements. Does it:

Fit with our models of a quantum well?

Produce waves to give us light, and do so in a way that is consistent with the Bohr equation?

Offer options for positive and negative charge, and do so consistent with our model of electromagnetism?

Fit with what we know of electromagnetic interaction, one of our four fundamental forces?

Provide for more complex interactions at close range, consistent with the strong and weak nuclear forces?

Provide a potential mechanism for gravity, so elusive for three centuries?

Well, yes, it does do all of these things, and this is a further confirmation that we may be on the track of something significant here.

We need to postulate that it vibrates, in ways that are normal for macroscopic hoop vortices. The change from one standing wave vibration, one integer number of wavelengths, to another provides our quanta of emitted light with a set frequency and a short envelope, in the manner of the standard model of light emission. In fact, subtracting one integer standing wave from another in a simplified way and using basic trigonometric algebra gives us both the characteristic frequency and the envelope, in the manner of the Rydberg formula and the verification of this picture by Krausz and colleagues, discussed earlier.

One peculiarity of the new model is that it suggests that a single emission of light might contain more than one (half-) cycle of the envelope. This is open to testing. Another peculiarity is that, when a particle goes from a lower energy state to a higher one, a smaller to a greater number of integer cycles, then we should be able to simply reverse the mathematics.

Yet this doesn’t necessarily suggest absorption of energy, rather that it emits the mathematical negative of the previous emission. But simply turning a wave upside down doesn’t alter its frequency or amplitude or energy, so the new model makes the somewhat unexpected suggestion that going up an energy level also creates a pulse of light, practically indistinguishable from the standard one. We will need to look shortly at where this energy might come from.

To model charge, we need to postulate additionally that there is a further rotation around the ring. This makes the particle chiral, meaning that it is no longer the same thing as its mirror image. One is a positively charged particle and the other its negative. The interactions between such particles are complex and particularly so at close range. This looks good, qualitatively, but whether this does properly model three of the four fundamental forces requires further checking, by hydrodynamic calculation, hydrodynamic experiment, and observations of fundamental particles.

The quantum well is a peculiar idea that, without the vortex ring particle, seems to make no sense. It is commonly depicted as a standing wave between two boundaries that are (a) rigid enough to maintain the standing wave, and (b) porous enough to leak energy into the surrounding region of space, with an exponential drop off. These requirements seem to conflict.

Yet these actual properties can be seen in a tornado. It has a clear boundary, but its effect is felt at range, diminishing with distance. Its rotation, and indeed any circular rotation when viewed from a distance is identical to wave motion from side to side. This is also the case with a smoke ring, and hence conceivably with a hoop particle.

It is not just rotational energy that is being transferred to the surrounding medium. Even between light emissions the continual vibrations of the ring particle are disturbing the aether rhythmically. This is a constant feature, even when an object is not glowing with emissions previously known as electromagnetic, and this energy diminishes as the inverse square law. We need to look at this shortly as a candidate for the long-mysterious mechanism for gravity.

Physical models create their own questions, and there are some further problems with this model that we will return to later. The agreement to dispense with such models in theoretical physics was always a fundamental failure to understand the nature of science and the world around us.

Matter as vortex ring particles has been tried before, and by some of the best in the business. William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin, worked long and hard on this in the mid-nineteenth century, adopting an idea of Helmholtz’[i] and postulating that matter was composed of vortices, or ‘vortex atoms’[ii] in the aether. The idea was picked up briefly by the unrelated JJ Thomson[iii]at the start of his illustrious career and these ideas are still under consideration today.[iv]

There is excellent work recently. Georgios Vatistas and colleagues, of Concordia University in Montreal, have experimentally verified JJ Thomson’s key prediction that groupings of vortex rings can be stable[v], even in a macroscopic fluid such as water. For groups up to six, ‘when destroyed, they re-emerge in their original form’ writes Vatistas. Vortex arrays have been observed experimentally in helium at Cambridge[vi]. There is therefore plenty of evidence that vortices can be stable and self-organising in the manner required for Thomson’s model.

Bergman & Lucas[vii] have calculated the natural dimensions of ‘electromagnetic’ hoop particles, and mirrored JJ Thomson by investigating how an atom might be constructed from these elements, and how they would then combine across atoms in molecules and chemical reactions. The structures they come to are wholly different from all past and current models of the atom, but straightforward and plausible nonetheless.


[i] Hermann von Helmholtz, “Ueber Integrale der hydrodynamischen Gleichungen, welche den Wirbelbewegungen entsprechen”, 1858, translated by P. G. Tait and published in English under the title “On Integrals of the hydrodynamical equations, which express vortex-motion”, Philosophical Magazine, vol 33, pp 485-512 (1867).

[ii] Thomson W. (Lord Kelvin) (1867) On vortex atoms, Proc. Roy. Soc. Edin., 6,. 94–105. 22.

[iii] Thomson J.J., A treatise on the motion of vortex rings, London: Macmillan (1883),1-124.

[iv] IUTAM Symposium on Hamiltonian Dynamics, Vortex Structures, Turbulence. Moscow, August, 2006.

[v] Experimental Confirmation of Kelvin’s Equilibria, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 174503 (2008)

[vi] Donnelly R.J., Quantized vortices in Helium ΙΙ, Cambridge University Press (1991).

[vii] At commonsensescience on the web.

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