This concerns a Letter by H. Aspden to the Editor of 'Physics Education', v. 28, pp. 202-203 (1993), a periodical for physics teachers published by the U.K. Institute of Physics.
Commentary: The author had been attacked in an article by Hellingham published in Physics Education, v. 27, pp. 112-115 (1992). I was quoted as the example of a professional physicist who did not understand the basic principles of Newtonian theory and was ridiculed for paying attention to the claims of those who conduct experiments aimed at demonstrating anti-gravitational phenomena.
This was my defence and I argued from the basic principle of energy conservation, as I suggested that laws of force depend upon how energy is deployed in physical processes and that we should not exclude the aether as a participant in such energy exchange. I emphasized in particular the need to see mechanical effects as having their ultimate foundation in electrical phenomena and this, of necessity, brought the aether into the picture. Hellingham had deliberately avoided introducing electromagnetic action in his attempts to expound on my lack of understanding of basic mechanics, whereas I cannot see mechanics as something that can be separated from electrical science, at least not when it comes to trying to understand anomalies that intrude into the mechanical scene experimentally.
The gist of this contribution cannot be expressed in a few words as it really needs to be read in full, but I deem that what I have said under this heading 'The Law of Perpetual Motion' is important. I may add that, though I did not mention it in that text, I am really astounded that physicists of very high calibre persist in saying that action balances reaction, for steady state current interactions, without the aether getting a mention. They think that an electrodynamic force acting in a current in a segment of an electrical circuit can be balanced exactly by forces acting on displacement currents which close the circuit through a vacuum. To them a charged particle and its field as an extension of the particle are all there as the matter form and the rest is a void. Those displacement currents comprise motion of aether charge - charge belonging to the vacuum state - and I see no way of exerting a force on something called 'displacement currents', which have a 'will' of their own and independence, without that force acting on the system constituting the charges associated with those currents. There has to be scope for asserting forces on the aether itself and setting up a reaction! How can energy be exchanged between matter and the aether unless forces can be asserted too?
Yes, indeed, physicists do have a lot to learn and Hellingman's provocative comments certainly make me feel that it is time to speak out and point to those elementary basic issues which physics teachers have accepted without question. It does not make sense to build a programme of physics education exclusively on experience that is only limited experience conveniently based on steady-state conditions which are easily measured. We must adapt as anomalies intrude and we cannot pretend they do not exist just because our teaching curriculum has been cast in a mould and cannot be changed. Of course there can be perpetual motion to satisfy our human needs, so long, that is, as something in the universe is alive and kicking and can therefore shed energy and that something is the aether! The only problem we really face is how to extract energy from that aether, because it somehow finds a way of create protons and electrons, otherwise there would be no universe for us to see. That is what my research is all about, as you will have seen from perusal of these Web pages, namely understanding the aether and its role in proton creation and the setting up the gravitation action.
The last sentence of this Physics Education paper reads:
" Hellingman has raised interesting points that may help to clarify historical aspects of Newton's mechanics and certainly give teachers food for thought, but it is hoped that the debate developing will have an eye to new physics and the future, as otherwise education in physics will be a barrier rather than an open doorway to future energy research."