The Stanford Linear Accelerator Experiment
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
George Bernard Shaw
Before talking about the experiment under study, let us first talk about what happens to a bullet when it is shot. If you shoot a bullet horizontally, the bullet will hit the ground fairly quickly (because of gravity) while it is still in motion. But now suppose we shoot a bullet into the ocean. This bullet will not go very far. How far it goes depends on the shape of the bullet, the weight of the bullet, and so on.
Suppose we were given the assignment to shoot a bullet from 100 feet from the ocean's water at New York City, and we were told to make sure the bullet traveled all the way to France underwater, and that the bullet must accelerate all the way to France, while it was underwater. Now that is an assignment!
Obviously, our only choice is to build some type of apparatus and put it underneath the ocean's surface. It must stretch all the way from New York City to France. Let us assume we build a very long metal frame, and attached to this frame are a series of electromagnets. These electromagnets must be coordinated by a computer. As the steel bullet travels underwater, each successive electromagnet provides a little bit more magnetic energy than the one before it. The electromagnets near France will be putting out a lot of magnetism.
But now let's change things. Suppose when the bullet is half-way to France all of the remaining electromagnets emit exactly the same magnetic energy. In this case the bullet will travel at a fixed rate of speed for the rest of the trip. But note that it takes energy to maintain a constant rate of speed for the bullet. Now let's suppose that when the bullet is three-quarters across the ocean that the framework loses electricity and all electromagnets turn off. Very quickly after this happens, the bullet will stop its forward motion and will fall to the bottom of the ocean.
So why is this framework necessary? The reason is resistance. The water is very dense, compared to the air, and a bullet encounters a lot of resistance when it is traveling through water. Without an outside energy source, such as the framework of electromagnets, the bullet would quickly stop its forward motion.
The SLAC Experiment
It takes only 4 inches, and common household electricity, to accelerate electrons to 30% of the speed of light in a vacuum (this happens inside of television sets all the time). Thus it should only take about 13 inches to accelerate electrons to the speed of light using household electricity. But it doesn't. In fact, it takes an enormous amount of distance and energy to accelerate electrons to near the speed of light.
For example, at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) it takes 2 miles, massive amounts of energy, a long series of electromagnets (which are coordinated by a computer) and $300,000,000, to accelerate electrons to 99.999999992% of the speed of light in a vacuum. The SLAC experiments were begun in the 1960s. A person might wonder why it takes so much distance and energy to accelerate the very small electrons.
The reason it takes so much energy is explained by the "Photon/Relativity Model" ("PRM") by using terms such as "relativistic mass increase." The increasing amount of energy needed (i.e. caused by increasing relativistic mass) is calculated based on the Lorentz transformation as applied by Einstein to relativistic mass.
In the PRM, the electron could be considered to be a coordinate system and the observer could be considered to be a coordinate system (actually the observer is fairly meaningless and can be ignored because the velocity of the electrons is compared to c, the symbol for the speed of light, not the observer). "Relativity," meaning the "relative" velocities of these two coordinate systems, however, could be used as an explanation (i.e. postulate) for why it takes so much energy to accelerate the electrons to near the speed of light in a vacuum. (Note: Technically, a point on the imaginary axis of the earth should be the "at rest' coordinate system for the SLAC, but as just mentioned, the observer is meaningless.)
Based on the experiments at the SLAC, it appears that Einstein's SR is true. But again, since this experiment was done in a vacuum, the "theory" does not explain the "cause" of the data, except to say that the "mass" or "inertia" of the object increases. That is interesting logic because "mass" is a measurement of how much energy it takes to accelerate something.
Consider this logic:
1) The amount of energy required to accelerate a particle increases because the "mass" of the particle increases at increasing speeds,
2) "Mass" is defined as the "amount of energy required to accelerate a particle."
Thus by substituting the definition of "mass" from the second statement into the first statement we get:
3) The amount of energy required to accelerate a particle increases because the [amount of energy required to accelerate a particle] ... increases at increasing speeds.
This is not an acceptable explanation for "why" it takes massive amounts of energy to accelerate electrons to near the speed of light. No one says that the electron itself incurs any physical change (except perhaps to contract in size). Some, however, say that an electromagnetic shell or field forms around the electron. However, even if an electromagnetic shell forms, there must be some reason "why" it forms and grows as a function of the speed of the electron. And there must be some reason why it adds "mass" to the electrons, since electromagnetic fields (around an electron) do not have weight.
A person might think that it is the rapid acceleration that causes the need for increased energy or that causes an electromagnetic shell to form around the electrons. But there is a profound problem with this theory.
Suppose we travel to a point in the universe that is halfway between two large galaxies. We will call this "open space." At this point in open space we are many tens of thousands of light-years from any celestial body other than individual atoms (as far as we currently know). Suppose we replicate the SLAC experiment except that we accelerate the electrons very, very slowly - at 1 kps per year. In this case it would take about 300,000 years to accelerate the electrons to near the speed of light. The formulas of the SR apply exactly the same. It would take the same amount of energy to accelerate the electrons from 99.9999% of the speed of light to 99.99999% of the speed of light whether in the SLAC or in open space between two galaxies. The difference is that in open space this amount of energy would have to be applied for a long period of time, compared to the SLAC.
It is actually more interesting to think about the slow acceleration of electrons than the fast acceleration of electrons. Once the electrons get to 99.99999% of the speed of light in open space, it takes an enormous amount of energy just to keep them moving at this same velocity, even if we ignore the slow acceleration. Why? Have the electrons become bigger or smaller, and even if that were true, why would their physical size make any difference - open space is a vacuum after all. In fact the vacuum in open space is much better than we can create on earth. The SR is mute on an explanation.
An interesting question posed on the internet is this: "How Does Light 'Know' How Fast to Travel?" (H.E. Retic - http://www.gti.net/retiche/texts.htm)
One could also ask: "How does an electron in a vacuum 'know' how fast it is going?" or "How does an electron in a vacuum 'know' to stop accelerating when it gets to the speed of light?"
All of this reminds us of the bullet in the ocean example above. It would seem logical that the electrons inside of the SLAC facilities are getting resistance from some substance, force or field. This resistance applies not only to the acceleration of the electrons, but also to maintaining a constant velocity for the electrons in open space.
While there are a number of substances, forces and fields that exist in the SLAC vacuum (e.g. nutrinos, gravity, electromagnetic fields, the magnetic field of the earth, etc.), let us talk about ether.
It is obvious that the vacuum created at the SLAC does not affect ether, meaning the SLAC cannot pump ether out of a tube. The density of ether inside the vacuum is identical to the density of ether outside the vacuum. Ether could provide resistance to the electrons in much the same way that the ocean water creates resistance to bullets. The ether theory not only creates a physical cause for the experiment, but a logical one also. What is not known is whether this resistance is more physical than electromagnetic or more electromagnetic than physical.
In either case, Rado sees strong similarities between Mach's formula for air resistance (actually, at high speeds Rado saw the need to embed the Mach-number into the formulas for Newton's law on compressible flow) and the Lorentz transformation applied to relativistic mass. As mentioned before, Lorentz believed in ether and ether was clearly on his mind when he developed the formula for the Lorentz transformation. Rado claims that the similarity between Mach's formula for air resistance and the formula for relativistic mass are cause for believing that relativistic mass is actually caused by resistance to ether.
Thus, the ether model provides a physical and/or electromagnetic causal factor as to why so much energy is required, even if the electrons are accelerated very slowly. With ether, an electron "knows" exactly how fast it is traveling, just as a jet airplane would "know" how fast it is traveling through the air at a given altitude. The faster the electrons travel through the ether, the more physical resistance they encounter to the ether and the more energy is needed for them to maintain that velocity and even greater energy is needed to accelerate beyond that velocity.
This concept is so significant I have given it a name and an acronym. I call the resistance of ether to a particle: "Frontal Resistance and Obstruction of a Substance ("FROS")." Ether is the substance that causes the FROS to an electron, in this case.
I should note that any time the letter 'c' is used in formulas, it actually refers to ether, since the "speed of light" is only a formula or symbol and a formula does not affect matter. The speed of light, and supposedly the maximum speed of any physical object, is a function of ether's properties, thus when any formula uses 'c' it is an indication that ether is directly involved in the phenomenon. The famous formula: e=mc2 was derived from classical physics both before (i.e. when ether was believed to exist) and after the SR of 1905.
(Olinto De Pretto, per: http://www.italiansrus.com/articles/emc2.htm)
The SLAC is the beginning of a trend that will intensify as this paper progresses. The trend is that the PRM fails to supply a logical cause for the data, but the ether model not only provides the correct formulas, but also provides a logical and a physical cause. But things will get much deeper than that, as will soon be seen.