Certain questions just have to be asked, in response to the current total absence of any physical means of communication in so-called Empty Space.
Of course, Einstein's Space-Time continuum provided a non-physical, yet somehow effectible, Reference-System, as a means of formally fitting patterns to what occurs there, but only by taking that basis completely out of physical explanation and endowing the "stage" itself with the necessary formal wherewithal, entirely independent of any physical causes.
So, for gravitational forces elicited directly by Matter, we have the contradictory explanation of a non-material context both being affected-by, while itself affecting, what happens within its aegis.
We, in the past, used to term such inferred intermediaries to be physical Substrates, but as none were ever detected, the substitution of that non-material-framework, justified the purely formal definitions that were already-and-everywhere else erected as parallel alternatives, to the previously always-required physical Explanations.
It fitted-in, directly, if not perfectly, with the positivist stance of Poincaré and Mach, and what soon after became the dominant position of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory.
Purely formal pattern-fitting was rapidly ousting all Physical Theories, as the true bases of Science, and of the Concrete Reality, which it previously purported to explain in purely physical terms. Truly, a purely idealist-and-pluralist mathematical form of "Theory", along with various, frigged-up "philosophical" justifications, cheek-by-jowl with isolated physical tokens, has totally replaced Science as it used to be considered.
And, the fact that there were many things wrong with the old conceptions, doesn't make this transformation anything other than a major, and ultimately debilitating Retreat! At least, the old contradictory amalgam of stances did enable alternative routes to be taken, with difficult problems, while maintaining Physical Explanations as paramount.
But now, that absolutely crucial banker-component had been jettisoned, and replaced by a totally idealist-and-pluralist discipline, not only as a means of describing Reality, but also as the means of driving it too!
And, this purely form-based approach was highly attractive for several reasons.
First and foremost was the fact that increasing knowledge allowed to-be-investigated situations to be farmed and controlled to such an extent, that formal relations could be fairly easily extracted, and then matched to fitted-up general forms from Mathematics. And these, in turn, allowed achievable predictions to be made, and then successfully implemented - as long as the conditions used in extraction were replicated exactly for use in productions.
In addition, these equations were legitimately pluralist (while the Reality-as-is that they were supposed to represent, most certainly wasn't). And, this allowed the pluralistic rules of Pure Form to be used in developing further, more extensive "formal theories". as if they were Real World generalities.
But, of course, the clearest gains were achieved by the Technologists, whose main motto was still, "If it works, It is right!". and whose extensive Knowledge and pragmatic skills enabled them to always construct the appropriate contexts for effective use!
And, finally, "Space", itself, never ever available under such farmed and controlled conditions, was not only seemingly much closer to the ideal pluralist conditions, but also was beyond our experimental investigation: it could only be passively observed, so the earth-based means of confirmations were unavailable.
The situation was tailor-made for formal equation-fitting PLUS speculation!
Now, an early assumption, attempting to explain phenomena that evidently occurred in "Space", was that it was filled with some invisible Substrate, usually termed The Ether (or luminiferous aether), which both allowed the Propagation of Electromagnetic Radiation, and communicated evident Actions-at-a-Distance, such as Gravitation.
But when it was discounted by the Michelson-Morley Experiment, it was replaced by absolutely Nothing - the ubiquitous Natural Vacuum of Space.
The phenomena still occurred, and have mathematical formulae. which they obey, but as to why they were possible - that was left unaddressed.
Now, it very soon became an untenable stance, so while maintaining the total absence of anything resembling a substrate, there was one kind of interloper that it was considered could be relied upon to deliver everything! It was energetic particles fired into the emptiness of Space, and capable of carrying on as such until they hit something.
Even Electromagnetic Radiation was conceived as coming in quanta - individual gobbets of energy, so they too would also fit the bill: no longer would a propagating substrate be deemed necessary.
But, how do you expand Nothingness?
With the deemed-to-be-essential, faster than the Speed of Light, Inflation, early in the Universe, what exactly was expanded, and how? Forgive me, but this isn't Physics: it is crystal-clear, as a purely mathematical process applied to a Form! It is a purely formal, non-physical solution to problems, which the Universe, as we conceive it, sets for us.
And, how about the Red Shift in light from distant objects?
We infer a Doppler Shift as occurs in sound on Earth, but that effect assumes a physical spatial-or-time dilation or contraction, so how would that occur in Light Quanta? What indeed is the physical form of a Quantum?
|How can you stretch a wave without a medium!?|
It is conceivable when an electron orbit in an atom is promoted to a higher level by a descrete amount of energy, embodied in an electron going around the atom at a particular radius and speed: that embodies the future quantum = produced when the orbit is demoted again releasing a precise quantum of Energy.
But as what?
I can conceive of a transfer to another receptacle, similar in form to an atom, with and internal orbit. But neither of these seem susceptible to Doppler Shift modifications! And data recorded from observations by the astronomer Halton Arp seem to directly confound the usual interpretation.
And, yet another problem is in the transit of Birkeland Plasma Currents between, say, the Sun and the Earth actually find their targets through supposedly entirely Empty Space? For these have two strands, in close intrinsic proximity to each other going in opposite directions to one another.
How do these actually occur?
Now space rockets and powerful space located Telescopes have revealed Boundaries of the Solar System in supposedly Empty Space causing the Kuiper Belt and the Ort Cloud to take very different forms. And, the Voyager Spacecraft has actually measured these boundaries - begging the question - boundaries in what?
|What is the Interstellar "Medium"?|
It sounds suspiciously like a Substrate!
This is not by any means a fully worked up answer to the problems posed above: but this theorist has elsewhere developed a definition of an undetectable Universal Substrate - existing in so-called Empty Space which not only addresses the above problems but also all those appearing in the famed Double Slit Experiments credited with delivering the Foundation for the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory - the current consensus in Modern Sub Atomic Physics!
The latest developments in this new Substrate Theory of Physics can be found in the latest issue of Shape, which looks at the possibility of a medium of Neutrino-based Gravitons, pervading all space.
Issue 59 of the SHAPE Journal