The De Witte Effect
"If we ignore the facts contained in one part of the world, surely we are hampering scientific advance."
Sir Douglas Mawson (1882-1958)
As has been stated many times in this text, our solar system, and thus our earth, is moving at about 370 kilometers per second (kps), relative to cosmic microwave background radiation (i.e. CMBR).
One of the main purposes of the SR is to dispense with the concept of a URF and to replace it with the concept of a RRF. In other words, according to Einstein, the motion of our earth in space has no affect on anything that happens on earth, because the Universe itself is not a reference frame. This theory has already been disproven with the discovery of the CMBR. However, there is another experiment that more directly detects this URF - the Roland De Witte experiment of 1991.
During a 178-day experiment in Belgium in 1991, Roland De Witte detected a phase shift in the frequency of a 5 Mz signal sent 1.5 kilometers on a copper coaxial cable. But what was of profound significance about the observed shifts is that the phase shifts changed constantly and formed a sinusoidal curve with a nearly perfect "sidereal day" period for the entire 178-day duration of the experiment!
A "sidereal day" period can only be attributed to the motion of the earth relative to the Universe. In other words, De Witte detected a URF; something that Einstein said did not exist! Neither Einstein's SR, nor his GR, would ever predict an experiment with a sidereal day period.
As to why De Witte detected this sinusoidal period may be up for discussion, but the mere fact he detected such a period is indisputable proof that there is a URF. His data (ignoring his theories) is sufficient to prove that!
This chapter is designed to help people understand the De Witte experiment. The most common explanations I hear for why he got uniform phase shift patterns involve: ground temperature, the magnetic field of the earth, or other solar activity related items. Such explanations reflect a total misunderstanding as to what a "sidereal day" is. Anything related directly or indirectly to the orbit of our earth around the sun will generate data that synchronizes with a "calendar day," not a "sidereal day." A sidereal day is an entirely different phenomenon than a calendar day (i.e. solar day), as I will explain below.
The end result is that the De Witte experiment is one of the great experiments of the twentieth century and deserves to be replicated and understood by everyone.
Overview of the De Witte Experiment
During 1991, while at the Belgium Telephone Company (now Belgacom), Roland De Witte set up an experiment using 1.5-kilometer copper wires, six cesium atomic clocks and six phase comparators. A phase comparator gives a DC signal proportional to the phase difference variation between two signals. This DC signal was recorded 24 hours a day, during the 178-day experiment.
Three atomic clocks were set up at point A and three at point B, where A and B were both in Brussels. Point A and point B were 1.5-km apart (Note: generally the cable was north/south, but it was not straight). Two key signals traveled over separate underground coaxial cables. The signals from A1 towards B1 and from B1 towards A1 demonstrated a clear sinusoidal waveform (per the phase comparators) with a consistent sidereal day period for the entire experiment. The other clocks were used to establish a baseline.
The Definition of a Sidereal Day
A "sidereal day" is 23 hours and 56 minutes (and 4.09 seconds), as opposed to a "calendar day," which is exactly 24 hours. Our clocks are defined and calibrated to specifically measure one revolution of the earth relative to the location of our sun. That is the calendar day. In other words, as the earth orbits the sun, a calendar day is the rotation of the earth defined such that in 24 hours the same spot on the earth is again directly under the sun.
But a "sidereal day" is an entirely different matter. A sidereal day measures one revolution of the earth relative to some distant object, such as a distant star. A sidereal day has absolutely nothing to do with the rotation of the earth relative to our sun, but is based on the rotation of the earth relative to a very distant point in outer space, the further the better.
(Note: As usual, my discussions on astronomy are simplified so the reader can focus on the important concepts and not get distracted with issues not directly significant to the discussion. A "sidereal day" is technically defined as: "the length of time for the vernal equinox to return to your celestial meridian."
However, such a definition is neither intuitive nor instructive, nor is it any more accurate than my definition.)
To understand the difference between a sidereal day and a calendar or solar day, do this exercise. Pick a spot on your desk or table. Practice moving a pen or pencil in a large circle around the spot on your desk or table. The pen represents the earth. The spot on your desk represents the sun. The pen circling around the spot represents the orbit of the earth around the sun. Each circle represents one calendar year.
Actually the pen represents a line drawn through the center of the earth, from equator to equator. The point of the pen always represents the same point on the earth, which is on the equator.
Now orient the pen in two different ways. First, as you move the pen around the spot, make sure that the point of the pen always points to the spot. As the earth orbits the sun, after each 24-hour period the same spot on the earth (i.e. the point of the pen), points to the sun (i.e. the spot on the desk). If you were to twirl the pen around its center about 365 times as the pen makes one circle around the spot, you would have 365 calendar days. Each time the point of the rotating pen points to the spot on the desk is another calendar day.
Now let's do this a second way. This time pick a corner of a window pane, or the corner of something else, in your room, as far away as possible from your desk. Now as you circle the pen around the spot, make sure that the point of the pen always points to the corner of the window. Without twirling the pen, note that the point of the pen only points to the spot on the desk one time as it circles the spot. If you were to twirl the pen around its center about 365 times as the pen makes one circle around the spot, you would have 365 sidereal days. But in this case the beginning of the sidereal day is when the point of the pen is aimed at the corner of the window.
Thus, as you quickly twirl the pen around as it slowly circles the spot, whenever it points to the spot on the desk is the beginning of a new calendar day, but whenever it points to the corner of the window is the beginning of a new sidereal day. Study this for an entire circle of the sun and note how the calendar day and the sidereal day become totally unsynchronized with each other as you circle the spot.
Finally, do one last key demonstration. Position the pen and start the experiment so that a line drawn through the long axis of the pen points to both the spot on the desk and the corner of the window. Now, without twirling the pen, keep the pen pointed towards the windowpane and move the pen in a half-circle until it is on the exact opposite side of the where you started. With the pen pointed towards the corner of the window, slowly spin the pen until it points to the spot on the desk. Estimate how many calendar day "hours" (360 degrees equals 24 hours) it will take for the point of the pen to rotate until it points to the spot on the desk.
The correct answer is 12 hours. Over a period of half a year, a sidereal day and a calendar day drift about 12 hours apart! Over a period of 178 days, the length of the De Witte experiment, it is quite easy to determine whether the sinusoidal period of his data had a calendar day period or a sidereal day period.
So why is there a difference? From an astronomy perspective, there is no need to have a calendar day, it makes no sense. But people who go to work at 8:00 AM every morning, want to go to work in the morning all year long. They don't want to go to work at 8:00 AM in the middle of the night, as would happen sometimes if we used a sidereal day for our clocks.
Since the earth orbits the sun, it is convenient for people to measure time relative to the sun. The sundial was obviously oriented towards a calendar day. Thus the calendar day was adopted over the more correct sidereal day. Thus, on average, the sun will reach its pinnacle at about noon (per our clocks) on every day (as I said this is a simplification), anywhere in the world and on any day.
Theoretical and Actual Data
Let's look at a table showing how these two concepts become unsynchronized using theoretical data.
Column 1: The day number of the experiment, using standard calendar days. Note that on the chart 9 days are skipped between each row to better show the difference between a calendar day and a sidereal day.
Column 2: The calendar time, noon in this example, for the days shown. This is what our watch would read as each new calendar day begins (at noon in this case).
Column 3: The calendar clock reading when the sidereal day starts. In other words, if we look at our standard calendar watch continuously, this is the approximate time that the referenced sidereal day begins.
(1) (2) (3)
1 12:00 12:00
11 12:00 11:20
21 12:00 10:40
31 12:00 10:00
41 12:00 9:20
51 12:00 8:40
61 12:00 8:00
71 12:00 7:20
81 12:00 6:40
As can be seen, in less than three months the sidereal day begins more than 5 hours before the calendar day! By the end of a 178-day experiment the sidereal day and calendar day are about 12 hours off. In the actual experiment, a regression line drawn through the actual data was consistently very close to the theoretical sidereal day.
This is why temperature, solar activity, humidity, etc. cannot cause a sidereal day period. Temperature changes are synchronized with the calendar day (because the sun affects temperature). But the De Witte experiment was synchronized with the sidereal day!
From the standpoint of the De Witte experiment, the fact that his data had a sidereal day period is of profound significance, because it means his data is related to the universe, rather than to the sun!
Here is actual data from the De Witte experiment.
The first zero crossing time (i.e. the time where there was no phase shift) occurred on 3 June 1991 at 7h19 GMT or 22h20 Greenwich Sidereal Time. The measurements below represent zero crossing times compared to a sidereal day period; beginning with the first zero crossing time.
4 june 1991 +15m
11 june +20m
18 june +35m
25 june +15m
2 july 1991 -5m
9 july -10m
16 july -15m
23 july -5m
30 july +15m
6 august 1991 +15m
13 august +20m
20 august +10
27 august +25m
3 september 1991 +20m
10 september +25m
17 september +15m
24 september 0m
1 october 1991 -10m
8 october -5m
15 october +10m
22 october +25m
29 october +15m
5 november 1991 +20m
12 november +30m
19 november +10m
26 november +18m
By studying the regression line for this data (see his web site), the obvious answer is that his data represents a perfect sidereal day period, but there is minor noise.
Considering the number of variables during the experiment related to calendar days (e.g. temperature), some noise is to be expected, but the core of the data (i.e. the regression line) is clearly sidereal in nature!
It is currently not know why the De Witte Effect exists. I will discuss several possibilities for why his data resulted.
Let us consider a train that is headed down a perfectly straight train track at 150 kph. The train headed down the train tracks represents the earth's net motion in space.
On the front engine of the train, suppose there is a very loud horn pointed straight ahead, as they always do. The horn represents the 5 Mz signal sent down the copper wire. The sound waves will clearly be compressed to those people in front of the train.
Now let us rotate the horn as the train travels, and measure the sound wave compression, or expansion, from a point 100 feet directly in front of the direction the horn is pointed. For example, we could rotate the horn 15 degrees to the left of the tracks and measure the sound waves (frequency) 100 feet from the horn, in the exact direction the horn is pointed (i.e. not in the direction the train is headed).
Now suppose we measure the frequency of the signal every 15 degrees until the horn has made a complete rotation (that is 24 measurements in total).
If we plotted these 24 measurements on a graph, and then plotted a 25th measurement when the horn is again pointed straight ahead, we would notice a somewhat sinusoidal plot.
So what is it that represents the rotation of the horn? It is the rotation of the earth.
Just like a train headed down straight tracks, the earth is moving in a straight line in the direction of the constellation Leo. The rotation of the earth is equivalent to rotating the horn of a train, though things are a lot more complicated with the earth.
Now let us suppose that the train tracks were straight for many thousands of miles, and suppose we rotated the horn of the train continuously and smoothly so that it made one exact rotation once every sidereal day. If we plotted the frequency of the horn signal, we would see a sinusoidal wave (under perfect conditions) with a period of exactly one sidereal day.
If someone else came along, and didn't know anything about the speed with which the horn was rotating, he or she could look at the graph and conclude that the horn rotated once every sidereal day. The person could also determine the speed of the train by looking at the graph.
Likewise, we can look at the De Witte data, and conclude that the earth is rotating once every sidereal day. Even though we already knew this, it is earthshaking news that electrical signals are affected by something that is related to our motion towards Leo!
So where and why could the Doppler Effect happen? It must happen as the electrical signal is originally created. Because of ether drag, even though ether is needed for the electrical signal, the ether itself cannot have caused the Doppler Effect. If the Doppler Effect is the correct explanation, there must be something related to the universe (it cannot be our solar system or else he would have got a calendar day period) that ether drag does not filter out. What that might be I do not know.
The Moving Target Laws
Understanding this explanation requires a strong understanding of the Moving Target Laws (MTLs), which have been discussed in detail in an earlier chapter.
Suppose there is a train traveling at 100 miles per hour forever on a train track that loops the earth at the equator, meaning the train is traveling in a permanent loop around the equator of the earth. Suppose that on this train there are three flatbed cars. In the middle of the middle flatbed car there is an archer. On the car just in front of the archer's car there is a target 100 feet from the archer. Likewise, on the car just behind the archer's car there is a target 100 feet away.
Now let us suppose that the archer shoots his arrow at such a speed that in the time it takes the arrow to travel 100 feet the train moves 50 feet (obviously wind, momentum and a lot of other things are ignored to make this example simple). Relative to the train, if the archer shoots an arrow at the forward car, the arrow will travel 100 feet. But relative to the train tracks (meaning the air space or the ground), the arrow will travel about 150 feet (simplified).
In other words, if we marked a spot on the tracks below the archer at the exact moment the arrow was released; and then if we marked a spot on the tracks below the target at the exact moment the arrow hits the target, these two marks on the tracks would be about 150 feet apart. I call this the "virtual distance" the arrow travels.
Relative to the train, if the archer shoots an arrow at the car behind the archer, the arrow will travel 100 feet. But relative to the train tracks, the arrow shot to the rear car only travels about 50 feet (ditto yielding marks about 50 feet apart on the tracks).
Now a simple question: is the "time" it takes the arrow to travel to each target a function of the distance traveled by the arrow relative to the "train" or relative to the "train tracks?" Obviously, relative to the train tracks! Ponder that very carefully - "time" is measured relative to the ground, meaning the "virtual distance"!
Now suppose the archer is born on the train in a large covered boxcar and knows nothing about the train tracks or the ground, meaning he only knows about the box car he lives in. In other words, the boxcar is as big as the three flatbed cars in the prior example. Note that the traveler cannot see the ground near the train, nor can he see the sky. To a person born on the train, who can only see the box car, the box car is not moving because everything on the train has the same momentum. Thus the archer would grow up thinking that the box car is stationary and the box car is the only reference frame.
Now suppose the archer measures the time that it takes the arrow to travel to the forward car and suppose he measures the time that it takes the arrow to travel to the car behind the archer. He notes that both arrows have traveled 100 feet relative to the train, but he also notes that it took a different amount of time for each arrow to travel to their respective target. This would certainly puzzle the archer if he knew nothing about the train tracks.
However, eventually he would conclude that the train he lives on is not the only reference frame and that there must be a "second" reference frame other than the train!
Now suppose the entire boxcar frame slowly rotates completely during each sidereal day. In this case, the time he measures, if he shot the arrow every few minutes, would form a sinusoidal pattern with a sidereal day period.
That is basically what De Witte has done, he had detected a "second" reference frame that the earth is subject to (other than the earth itself). When the "velocity" of the earth has an affect on phase shifts in copper wires, there is clearly something significant going on. When the phase shift pattern follows a sidereal day period for 178 straight days, whatever is going on is related to the motion of the earth in open space.
Let us assume that the cable was pointed directly in the direction the earth is moving towards Leo. In the time that it takes the electrical signal to travel 1,500 meters, the earth moves about 1.5 meters (Note: the earth moves at slightly above 1/1,000th the speed of light). This means that the signal actually has to travel 1,501.5 meters to arrive at point B. This the "virtual distance," relative to CMBR, the signal has to travel.
Why could this affect the frequency of the signal? In essence, the signal is "stretched" out because of the Moving Target Laws at the atomic level. In other words, if a signal leaves point A, and by the time the signal gets to point B, point B is 1,501.5 meters away, the signal has to travel 1,501.5 meters to get to point B.
The point is that this "stretching" out (or "shrinking" 12 hours later) of the signal, at the atomic level, could very easily change the frequency of the signal. It fact it must change the frequency of the signal. What is not known, however, is how much the MTLs contribute to the overall sinusoidal wave.
Another possibility is that it is the constant change in the distance (between two consecutive measurements) the signal has to travel that causes the frequency change.
In fact, it is illogical to think that either the Doppler Effect or the MTLs could affect the frequency of electrical signals. But something causes the frequency of the signal to change! Data is data, even if it can't be explained.
The Cavity of the Copper Cable
Another possibility that is directly related to the MTLs is that the change in frequency is related to the copper wire itself. An electrical signal "bounces" around inside of a copper wire. This means that the outside surface of the copper wire essentially forms a "cavity," much like the cavity in the Blackbody Radiation experiment or the cavity inside of a fiber cable.
As the earth rotates, because of the MTLs and the motion of the earth towards Leo, the "pattern" of bouncing around constantly changes. For example, if the wire happened to be straight (which is wasn't), and the wire happened to be pointed directly at Leo, the center of the signal would barely "bounce" off of the sides. On the other hand, if the wire happened to be straight, which is wasn't, and was pointed perpendicular to our path towards Leo, the center of the signal would have been bouncing around quite a bit. This extra bouncing could very easily have changed the frequency of the signal.
A couple of subtle comments De Witte makes on his web lead me to favor this theory.
A Second Kind of Ether
De Witte, himself, believed he detected the ether. While it is true that without ether there would be no electricity, his opinion is in direct contradiction with my experiments, which have detected ether drag. Because the ether drag affects the surface of the earth, the only difference in the speed or frequency of light or electricity inside of the ether drag would have been related to the rotation velocity of the earth in Belgium (not the motion of the earth towards Leo). This is clearly not what De Witte detected. In fact, because his copper wire was buried in the ground, he would not have detected any type of change in the velocity of the electricity, due to the rotation of the earth, because the rotation speed of the earth would be constant (between the two endpoints of the cable).
Personally, I feel it is possible that there is a second type of ether, but I highly doubt that De Witte detected this type of ether, if it exists. The normal ether that this book has talked about transmits an electromagnetic signal. The De Witte Effect only deals with an electrical signal in a copper wire. It is doubtful that an electrical signal would be affected by a second kind of ether in an entirely different way than the magnetic portion of the signal would be affected by the main type of ether. This would mean that the electrical and magnetic portions of electromagnetic signals would always be out of phase with each other. This is not likely and has not been observed to my knowledge. In fact, Telsa claimed that electrical signals, by themselves, could be transmitted through the ether this book talks about.
In any case, because his electrical signal was passing through a copper wire, not the air, it is possible that the electrical signal could have been bound to the copper atoms and the issue of electromagnetic signals would be moot. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that a second kind of ether would deal with electricity in copper wires and the first kind of ether would deal with electrical signals in the air.
However, there is a slim possibility that there is a second kind of ether that is not subject to ether drag. This kind of ether would have to be unrelated to light or other electromagnetic signals or electrical signals. Nevertheless, it could have an effect on the physical equipment that generated the signal (see the Doppler Effect discussion). But even this is unlikely because if the second type of ether could effect the De Witte experiment, it probably would have affected the H-K atomic clocks.
The De Witte Experiment Needs to be Replicated and Improved
The reader might remember my lecture on keeping theories and data separate. The data of the De Witte experiment cannot be challenged in terms of it having a sidereal day period. Someone may disagree with my analysis and Roland's analysis, but the data cannot be disagreed with.
The De Witte experiment is one of the great experiments of the twentieth century. He deserves credit for his experiment. But perhaps just as importantly, his experiment needs to be redone, with several changes.
First, the copper wires should only be about 300 feet long (I don't know if there were any repeaters along his wire) and each should be "as straight as an arrow." It is very disconcerting to me that the wire he used was not straight.
Second, a fiber optic cable should be placed next to the copper wire, obviously parallel to the copper cable. This would allow a comparison of an electrical signal and an electromagnetic optical signal side-by-side. I have often said that I thought that "wander and jitter" in fiber optic signals was caused by our earth's motion in space. I came to this conclusion before I learned about the existence of ether drag or De Witte's experiment. But even with ether drag the De Witte experiment leads me to believe the De Witte Effect also has an affect on fiber optic signals, particularly if the MTLs are involved.
Third, very accurate celestial mechanics formulas need to be derived and synchronized with the exact direction the copper and fiber optic wires are pointed. In fact, this experiment should be done several times, with the wires and fiber pointed in different directions each time.
The end result is that we can determine the real value of the De Witte experiment, and probably the real cause. Personally, I believe the De Witte Effect can lead to some major discoveries in physics!