Lensing by Refraction…Not Gravity?


Hubble looks for dark matter in colliding galactic clusters using theory of gravitational lensing. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/M.Markevitch et al.; Lensing Map: NASA/STScI; ESO WFI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al., of the Bullet Cluster.

Lensing by Refraction…not Gravity?
By Andrew Hall

Big Bang cosmology has its challenges – it also has its challengers.

The Electric Universe community is a challenger to the standard gravitational model, believing space-time to be a misinterpretation of the Universe. The things we see in the cosmos — from large scale filamentary structures connecting galactic clusters, to Earth’s climate and meteorology — are plasma phenomena driven by electromagnetic forces. In fact, even gravity can be seen as a manifestation of electromagnetic forces as shown by Wal Thornhill in his EU2015 conference presentation, “The Long Path to Understanding Gravity.”

Electric Universe Theory is not the only challenger to standard gravity theories, however. Many gravity-based theories also challenge the mainstream from within their own community. It is unfortunate we have a separation of communities at all since it is scientific progress that suffers. Nevertheless, alternative ideas still abound and the theories often comport more with EU Theory than with their parent gravitational model.

Professor R. C. Gupta at the Institute of Engineering & Technology in Lucknow, India has presented such a theory in a paper entitled, “Bending of Light Near a Star and Gravitational Red/Blue Shift: Alternative Explanation Based on Refraction of Light.”

The paper asserts that the theory behind gravitational lensing — one of the evidentiary “proofs” of General Relativity — is wrong, and that the lensing effect is caused by refraction through the “atmospheres” of stars and galaxies.

The paper also presents the mathematical basis for refraction and shows that refraction closely predicts the same lensing effect as attributed to gravity.

It is a plausible theory based on the presence of plasma atmospheres that pervade stellar and galactic formations at every scale. Dr. Gupta shows that a stellar, or galactic atmosphere will bend light, the same way it is refracted by water as the light passes from lower density to a higher density medium.

It is the kind of simple answer based on classical physics and the known behavior of electromagnetism that EU Theory rigorously requires, unlike the General Relativity concepts that require theoretical, unproven mass and energy.

The idea that refraction causes the lensing effect traditionally attributed to General Relativity has also been proposed by Dr. Edward Dowdye, Jr., a physicist and laser optics engineer formerly with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He derived the mathematical solution for lensing using refraction instead of gravity and presented his findings at the Eu2012 conference in his talk,”The Failed Attempts to Detect Macro Lensing.”

Dr. Dowdye points to the fact that observations of solar lensing are in the plasma ionized atmosphere of the Sun, as predicted by refraction, and not at varying elevations from the mass of the Sun, as predicted for gravitational lensing. He also points to the lack of gravitational lensing observed in the stars rapidly orbiting the Milky Way’s galactic center. He writes,

“…evidence of gravitational light bending at the site of Sagittarius A*, as is predicted by the light bending rule of General Relativity, is yet to be observed.”

The Standard Model predicts a massive black hole at the galactic center. Astronomers have observed stars in fast elliptical orbits around the galactic center for over a year, some having completed entire orbits. Although the stellar orbits are cited as indirect evidence of a black hole, and the validity of General Relativity, they do not exhibit the predicted optical distortion to indicate gravitational lensing.

To test for refraction as the cause of lensing, Dr. Gupta’s paper suggests no lensing effect will be seen near a body without an atmosphere. This may be difficult to observe given plasma pervades space to a greater degree than often recognized. Even our distant planet Pluto has been found to have a substantial atmosphere and a cometary tail of plasma streaming from it.

Another test is chromatic aberration in the light bent through refraction. Diffraction is a natural consequence of refractive lensing as in a prism. General Relativity predicts no diffraction with gravitational lensing since gravity warped space-time should bend all wavelengths equally. General Relativity theorists suggests the lack of diffraction in lensing is evidence their theory is correct. Yet “Einstein Rings” are blue.

An “Einstein Ring” is a special case of lensing when the focal point of distant light is directed at the observer to create a ring of light around the intervening galaxy. The blue color is an indication of diffraction.

Predictably, instead of looking at classical physics for answers, General Relativity theorists are developing ad-hoc theories to explain how light is diffracted by gravity to make the “Einstein Rings” blue. At the same time, of course, they maintain no diffraction as evidence lensing is gravitational, and not refractive. How contradictory. But that is what happens when a theory relies on theoretical math instead of observation.

Dr. Gupta asserts we don’t know the refractive index, or the density of the matter light passes through, so may not be measuring the small diffusion that results in all cases. Let’s hope he gets the attention he deserves to test his theory.

Remarkably, the paper goes on to postulates that gravitational attraction is only between material bodies – bodies with mass – and that light waves have no mass, so cannot be affected by gravity.

The long held assumption of General Relativity, that the speed of light c is constant, is also challenged by his theory, as is the cause of gravitational red/blue shift in light witnessed from distant galaxies.

These ideas are also predicated on refraction because the energy of light is not changed by refraction.

Max Planck’s equation for quantum energy is,

E = hν

Where E is the quantum energy of light, h is the Planck constant, and ν is the frequency of light.

Frequency ν is expressed in terms of the speed of light c, as ν = c/λ, where λ is the wavelength of light. Hence, E can be expressed as,

E = hc/λ

General Relativity assumes c to be constant, and red/blue shifts occurs because light gains gravitational energy from a body as it passes through its gravitational influence (E goes up.) With c constant, and the total energy of the light rising, the wavelength of light must go down (blue shift.) Conversely, the energy is reduced as light escapes a gravitational field and the wavelength goes up (red shift.) Wavelength varies inversely with frequency if c is constant because ν = c/λ.

Gupta’s paper postulates that no energy is gained from gravitational forces by a mass-less light wave. So, E remains constant, and no change in frequency occurs. Thus, E = hν stays constant as light passes a massive body in space.

Instead, c, the speed of light is slowed by the medium it passes through, and hence wavelength, λ decreases (blue shift) since λ = hc/E. Conversely, red shift occurs when light leaves a dense medium into the vacuum of space, because c increases, so λ increases.

That’s an easy concept to grasp. General Relativity does not like to use such simple and classical explanations. It requires mind-bending concepts of things we can’t see or explain — like gravitational distortions in space-time.

General Relativity is the stalwart theory behind almost all theoretical astro-physics. Einstein proposed gravitational lensing as one of three tests. The standard interpretation of red-shift as a measure of recessional velocity is another. Refraction theory could pull both of these legs out from the old, rickety three-legged stool.

Electric Universe Theory can agree with refraction as a cause for lensing. It suggests, however, that the “atmosphere” for refraction is the classic ether of James Clerk Maxwell’s field theory as derived by Oliver Heaviside.

As Wal Thornhill explains in “Towards a Real Cosmology in the 21st Century“, the Electric Universe theorizes neutrinos form the ether and provide the mechanical substrate of the universe. Neutrinos have mass, albeit infinitesimally small, and envelop stars and galaxies in a density gradient which causes refractive lensing.

At the time Einstein developed the theory of General Relativity, the pervasiveness of plasma was not known nor had neutrinos been observed. It was thought that there was no medium to cause refraction in the vacuum of space. Now, we know about the electromagnetic plasma environments of stars and galaxies. We know neutrinos pervade space. In accordance with the classic physics of light and optics, it is inconceivable that light passing through a medium does not experience refraction.

Gravitational lensing is used to study the presence of “dark matter” in galactic clusters. If refraction is the actual cause of lensing, a major assumption driving the dark matter search would be swept away. Because of such assumptions, critics suggest that even after decades of searching, dark matter remains dark — because it does not exist.

As pointed out by John Moffat, an eminent doubter of dark matter and the concept of a constant speed of light, this costly issue matters to all of us:

“It may be that ultimately the search for dark matter will turn out to be the most expensive and largest null result experiment since the Michelson-Morley experiment, which failed to detect the ether.”

The search for dark matter is more than 80 years old. The presence of all the known, observable, detectable, normal matter cannot account for the gravitation “observed” according to General Relativity. Despite abject failure to find dark matter, General Relativity theorists are convinced it is out there.

Electric Universe theorists have no such difficulty explaining the Universe.  They consider  the neutrino is the normal matter that pervades space and provides the structure for field theory and that charge separation is the driving force shaping the cosmos.  No need to invent dense matter or the other undetectable D, dark energy.

As Dr. Gupta has shown similarly with known optical science, answers are found with classical physics. We just need a science community to look at it.

Other EU resources regarding gravitational lensing:

Ed Dowdye, Jr.: Solar Gravitation and Solar Plasma Wave Propagation on Interaction | EU2014

Wallace Thornhill: Grey Matter vs Dark Matter

Andrew Hall is an engineer and writer, who spent thirty years in the energy industry.  He can be reached at hallad1257@gmail.com or https://andrewdhall.wordpress.com/

The ideas expressed in Thunderblogs do not necessarily express the views of T-Bolts Group Inc or The Thunderbolts Project(TM).

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