Friday, 16 July 2010

The Way

We know we have the Sun to thank for our daylight, and our warmth - but how many of us have ever shown the Sun any kind of gratitude for our planet's rotation? The basis of Leedskalnin's theory is that it's not energy conserved by the Earth's mass which drives the forces of rotation, but energy supplemented by the Sun. What's more, the forces at play in the rotation are implemented by a hitherto unseen substance. Below, is an extract from his book "Magnetic Current". Magnetic current is Leedskalnin's terminology for what we call electricity. A copy of the book is available here, thanks to:

"North and South Pole magnets are not only holding together the earth and moon, but they are turning the earth around on its axis. Those magnets which are coming down from the sun they are hitting their own kind of magnets which are circulating around the earth and they hit more on the East side than on the West side, and that is what makes the earth turn around."

This one little paragraph is so potent with new insight about the physical world, blatantly contradicting everything that we think we know about the Universe, that it becomes virtually impossible to know where to even begin the attempt to try and explain it. It appears that what Leedskalnin is describing somekind of mechanism that is responsible for the rotation of the planet, and he speaks of it in such a way, that he might just aswell be talking about the effect of water striking a paddlewheel.

"The North and South Pole magnets they are cosmic force, they hold together this earth and everything on it. Each North and South Pole magnet is equal in strength, but the strength of each individual magnet doesn't amount to anything. To be of practical use they will have to be in great numbers.

In permanent magnets they are circulating in the metal in great numbers, and they circulate in the following way: Each kind of the magnets are coming out of their own end of the pole and are running around, and are running in the other end of the pole and back to its own end, and then over and over again."

If I am interpreting Leedskalnin correctly (and there's every possibility that I'm not!) I think that his circulating "magnets" are describing a substance from which a magnetic field is made. The magnetic fields of both the Earth and a bar magnet are seen as examples of a magnetic dipole. If we pretend that the Earth's core has a gigantic bar magnet inside it, then it's easier to imagine how the Earth's magnetic field, or geomagnetic field, might look. A magnet's magnetic field is seen as being static, or at rest, while the Earth's geomagnetic field is constantly changing.

Image: Dipole field from NASA.

In current theory, the magnetic field lines of a bar magnet are considered to be a mathematical concept, and as such, do not physically exist. The field line is an imaginary line in a field of force, and is used only to indicate that the direction of the line at any point is the direction of the force at that point. Mathematical theory dictates that the magnetic field lines of a magnetic field must form closed loops, and must not intersect. A magnetic field (and also a static electric field) is supposed to consist of a flux of particles, known as "virtual photons," which pop in and out of existence so fast that they fail to obey the laws of natural physics, making them impossible to pin down, and practically non-existent.

Virtual particles are subatomic particles that form out of "nothing" (vacuum fields conceptually analogous to lines of force between magnetic poles) for extremely short periods of time and then disappear again. Such particles permeate space, mediate particle decay, and mediate the exchange of the fundamental forces (electromagnetic, weak, strong, and—in accord with quantum theory—gravititational forces). Virtual particles are real and have measurable effects, but the same uncertainty principle that allows them to come into existence dictates that they cannot be directly observed.

Leedskalnin on the other hand, implies that field lines are not simply imaginary, but are describing a physical phenomena, one that is made up by an invisible, yet material substance - his so-called "magnets." The idea that the magnetic field is describing a physical substance is not as far-fetched as it at first might appear. The question of whether magnetism was indeed describing a material, or immaterial substance had been something which, before we settled on it being nothing more than a mere mathematical entity, has incessantly bothered philosophers for centuries.

Up until the triumph of the Newtonian philosophy in the eighteenth century, the metaphysical reality of magnetism was the primary problem. That reality could not be denied; magnetism existed, even though the metaphysical conditions of its existence were difficult to define. Magnetic influence could not be dismissed as unreal, or occult, or magical, or erroneous superstition. Hence the nature of this magnetic reality or “substance” was the primary focus of philosophy. The main question was, is magnetism material or immaterial. For Tales it was immaterial soul, Empedocles saw it as a corporeal substance, like air that could only be detected indirectly by its effects.

When Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867) first investigated the phenomena of magnetic fields produced by electromagnets, he too thought of the field lines, or as he called them "lines of magnetic force," as representing a physical substance. Quite the most startling relevation to be drawn from this, is that Faraday is describing force itself as a substance. This point is made succinctly by historian Nancy J. Nersessian in her paper "Faraday's Field Concept":

"The specific features of Faraday's field concept, in its 'favourite' and most complete form, are that force is a substance, that it is the only substance and that all forces are interconvertible through various motions of the lines of force."

The term "lines of force" was first introduced by Faraday to help explain the apparently continuous curves being traced out in metallic filings near a magnet - what we today refer to as the magnetic field. Faraday believed that these physical lines of force described stresses and strains in a medium which occupied the vacuum of space. After all, iron filings seem to reveal that physical forces are taking place in the space surrounding the magnet. What was the nature of this medium that supported the lines of force, exactly?

Magnetic lines of force of a bar magnet shown by iron filings on paper.

Faraday imagines the lines of force as a material substance, but from what I can gather from history books, he is somewhat reluctant to draw conclusions about the space surrounding the lines of force. It appears that Faraday was quite content to imagine that the vacuum of space was, erm... well, nothing but space. But if the lines of force were made from a material substance, where did the material come from? Surely, the lines of force have not simply materialised from "nowhere," but have come into effect through a surrounding medium?

There are instances however, where Faraday seems to have no problems acknowledging that space was not just empty void. In one instance, when referring to the magnetic power of a vacuum, Faraday concedes that the medium of space may be thought of, not as a material substance perhaps, but as something a bit more immaterial; he writes:

"What the magnetic medium deprived of all material substance, may be, I cannot tell, perhaps the ether."

Material or immaterial, it remains that the medium of space has substance - something ethereal, and untangible, but a substance nonetheless. The aether was a substance that had been familiar to philosophers throughout the ages, and prior to Einstein, some physicists believed it to be the very substance responsible for supporting the propagation of electromagnetic waves.

"Contrary to popular myth, modern science isn't incompatible with, and does need, the aether concept. In fact, modern science could not be defined without incorporating some form of its definition into its foundation. Let's remember that the basic definition of aether is nothing more than a "physical medium permeating the entire universe, endowing it with measurable physical qualities". Currently, modern science uses the term "fields" or "fabric" instead of aether, since the term aether has become associated with a specific set of 19th century conceptual models considered to disproven and thus invalid."

If we adopt the aether as an all-permeating, all-pervading substance of space, magnetic lines of force can now be seen as lines of tension in a physical medium - which is precisely how James Clerk Maxwell came to interpret Faraday's results. This led directly to Maxwell producing his famous equations, from which he was able to formulise the electromagnetic field in the 1860s.

James Clerk Maxwell (1839 - 1879) enjoyed great success when he found a set of equations which beautifully described how light waves could travel through such a luminiferous aether. He showed that light waves are composed of oscillating electric and magnetic vectors in an x-y plane for a wave traveling in the z-direction. For a waves to exist at all, it is natural to suppose that there is some sort of supporting medium. Such a medium must possess elasticity (a spring like property) and also inertia, (a mass like like property). In fact, the velocity of a wave in any medium is equal to the square root of the stiffness divided by the density of the medium.

In 1864 Maxwell presented his paper "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field," which includes a revealing quote taken from Faraday. It is a shining example of just how much Faraday was instrumental in influencing Maxwell's perception of the medium of space. In the quote, we find that Faraday not only mentions the aether as the medium responsible for supporting the propagation of light, but also includes the pioneering suggestion that it could be the exact same medium responsible for magnetic, and electric phenomena. The quote Maxwell used is given below:

"For my own part, considering the relation of a vacuum to the magnetic force and the general character of magnetic phenomena external to the magnet, I am more inclined to the notion that in the transmission of the force there is such an action, external to the magnet, [rather] than that the effects are merely attraction and repulsion at a distance. Such an action may be a function of the [medium] aether; for it is not at all unlikely that, if there be an aether, it should have other uses than simply the conveyance of [light and heat] radiations."

One of the facts to emerge from Faraday's experiments, reinforced incidentally by Maxwell's equations, is that a changing magnetic field creates an electric current in a conductor, and an electric current in a conductor creates a magnetic field. In 1831, Faraday carried out numerous experiments in his attempt to prove that electricity could be generated from magnetism. He demonstrated that when a magnet was moved into, or moved out of, a coil of wire, the motion produces, while it lasts, currents of electricity in the coil. Such currents are known as "induced currents."

"Electrical current can be generated by moving a metal wire through a magnetic field... Besides moving a wire through a magnetic field, you could also create an electric current in the wire by moving the magnets and keeping the wire stationary.

Another technique to create a current is to keep both stationary but vary the magnetic field. That method is used to change the voltage of AC in electrical transformers."

The meaning behind the term "induction" is, I think, highly suggestive. It's taken from the Latin "induco" - I lead, bring or conduct in or into somewhere. To induce is to lead, as to a course of action, by means of influence or persuasion. It had been known since antiquity that a permanent magnet, or lodestone, could "induce" temporary magnetization in a bar of soft iron. It could be said that a permanent magnet is leading, or bringing something into the iron, thereby influencing a change in the soft iron's behaviour.

A lodestone is any strongly magnetized rock, especially one containing magnetite. Of some interest perhaps is the fact that the word "lode" is derived from Old English, meaning the "way or path" - making a lodestone a "way-stone." Now, it could be seen that the lodestone is showing us the way, such as being a tool for navigation, or it could be telling us something about a property of the stone itself. Is the path that we ultimately seek to be found hidden inside the lodestone?

Magnetism can be induced in a magnetic material by several means. The magnetic material may be placed in the magnetic field, brought into contact with a magnet, or stroked by a magnet. Stroking and contact both indicate actual contact with the material but are considered in magnetic studies as magnetizing by INDUCTION.

When the permanent magnet is removed, the temporary magnetization of the soft iron is then lost. Magnetic, or ferromagnetic materials can be divided into magnetically "soft" materials like annealed iron which can be magnetized but don't tend to stay magnetized, and magnetically "hard" materials, which do. One way to make a permanent magnet is to heat a bar of magnetic hard material to redness, and then let it cool in the presence of a strong magnet.

With soft magnetic materials such as iron, small external fields will cause a great amount of alignment. However, because of the small restraining force only a little of the alignment will be retained when the external field is removed.

With hard magnetic materials such as Alnico a greater external field must be applied to cause alignment of the domains, but most of the alignment will be retained when the field is removed, thus creating a stronger permanent magnet, which will have one North and one South pole.

If the applied magnetic field is strong enough, such as one produced by an electromagnet, it's also possible to induce permanent magnetization without heating the material. An electromagnet is a type of magnet whose magnetic field is produced by the flow of electric current. When the field is applied by an electromagnet, the iron may retain some of the magnetization, and become a permanent magnet itself. The process of inducing magnetism in this way is known as electromagnetic induction.

If the lines of force which emanate from a magnet are describing tension in a surrounding medium, it would therefore suggest that it is the structure of the magnet which is responsible for producing the effects of stress and strain in the medium. Put another way, the magnetic material is inducing, it is leading the aether through its' structure, thereby generating tension in the surrounding medium. What is the defining structure of magnetic material that enables it to produce the effects of magnetism?

~~Continued in Part III

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