The lightning, the train, the movement and the act of observation

The Sagnac effect and its relation to Einstein’s lightning, train and observation analogy. A review.


I introduce you to the Sagnac effect in physics. The 1930’s Sagnac experiment, together with a long succession of confirming experiments, demonstrates the validity of Newtonian type ether theory. The successful Sagnac experiment seems to be rarely discussed in mainstream relativity physics literature. Neither is a succession of similar experiments that offer evidence that ether theory is a valid inertial reference frame with respect to helping to understand and describe universal reality physics.

As a concept scientist, today I offer a theory that may help you to better understand what appears to be the value of the ether inertial frame point of universal reference. It is likely that I am introducing you to new ideas. I do not seek to prove anything with this blog. I am not capable of doing so anyway. I offer my readers a minimal number of references. For this reason you should consider this blog as being a succession of ideas for you to consider.

If you have a deep interest in physics, it is likely you would be aware of the alleged null result of the 1887 Michelson and Morley experiment that sought to establish if Newtonian type ether theory was a valid hypothesis or not. If you look carefully through the literature you will find the Michelson and Morley experiment was never a null result. Professional physicists at the time described it as being an incomplete result. In the 1920’s, Dayton Miller’s ether experiment plus others around that time [including Ives and Stilwell] demonstrated that the original 1887 Michelson and Morley experiment had greater merit than first thought.

In 1913 the French scientist Georges Sagnac demonstrated the veracity of ether theory in the wider physical debate. Einstein knew about the successful Sagnac experiment as well. There are odd times around that same period in which Einstein admitted the necessity to have a physical inertia frame in order to make both of his models “work”. You will find a reference to Einstein’s apparent change of heart regarding ether in this PDF file. I have emboldened text that I feel may most interest you. It is important that you know that there are various ether theories. The common factor in all of these theories is that ether space is without time. Ether space is absolute space. Einstein’s special and general relativity theories can be seen as concurrent theories with respect to the absolute ether inertia frame of reference. By this I mean the universal frame of reference. You will also see where I discuss simultaneity is possible in ether theory. If you are keenly interested in this history and evolution of the ether debate in the pre-1950 period, I strongly urge you to read a paper written by Lloyd S. Swenson entitled “The Michelson-Morley-Miller experiments before and after 1905”.

The main text

The Sagnac effect is important because it addresses the issue of the isotrophy of light velocity [with respect to the observer] in all the possible inertial frames. If the isotropic speed of light is not found to be constant, then this provides problems for both of Einstein’s relativity theories. This is because he would have needed to modify his special relativity and general relativity models in order to make them compatible with a motionless ether. He did not do this because he felt that his theories made ether unnecessary. The physicists Lorentz and Poincare showed that such a change would have been relatively straightforward.

The Sagnac effect resolves any such dilemma by not postulating the speed of light, by assuming the existence of a preferred inertial frame [ether] in which simultaneity holds. Ether is called preferred because it is where the first synchronisation of clocks is made, and where a frame of reference is moving at the speed of light. This video* illustratively demonstrates the Sagnac experiment quite well. A kit for home use to study the Sagnac effect is available as well. For professional scientists I offer this additional link for you to consider.

*I apologise to my readers that at the end of this video it contains material of a religious nature. However, I have incorporated the video because I feel that it demonstrates the Sagnac effect quite well.

I suggest that the speed of light is meaningless if space does not contain existing co-ordinates that are mobile or fixed, i.e., without time. The laws of nature tell us that such hidden co-ordinates exist and therefore geometry and algebra may be able to predict both what these hidden co-ordinates mean, and then predict their relationship to the holistic universe. The existence of a preferred inertial reference frame would seem to be a sound way of helping to understand such hidden co-ordinates. The eminent 19th century physicist Poincare agreed that such co-ordinates must exist. They already exist as a mathematical concept.

Einstein’s theories demonstrate that a preferred initial frame is unnecessary. However, they rely on the eyes of observers, but these observers are subjective. The Sagnac experiment, which has been replicated, also tells us that an objective co-ordinate must exist in real space because they can be explained by such experiments. These are experiments that tell scientists that there is such a thing as absolute space, and thus ether theory is a valid theory. Relativity theory seems to make no attempt to provide physical meaning to its mathematical construction [because it does not need to], whereas an ether inertial frame does. Einstein argued that they need not do so.

The Sagnac effect physically demonstrates this point quite clearly. As I indicated in my introduction, there are other theories that have been tested that provide additional validity to the Sagnac theory. These include the Michelson, Gale and Pearson experiment in 1925, and perhaps, more importantly, the Ives and Stilwell Brussels canal experiment in 1925. The long term Dayton Miller experiment has also provided much highly useful data that complements all of these tests and experiments. Miller’s testing ranged from the late 1920s well into the 1930s. I would like to introduce you to the Kennedy and Thorndike experiment at this time as well. From my secondary reading it seems that not many physicists have heard about this experiment before.

Einstein’s relativity theories appear to loosely deny the existence of such a universal ether and its alleged hidden co-ordinates. However, at different times Einstein did clearly state that an ether inertial frame of reference exists but he never widely expressed this point of view to the media of his time. [He mostly seems to have stated this idea at private lectures]. An example of this is a lecture that Einstein delivered in 1924 which I have discussed above and you can find in this PDF file. I have emboldened the sections that I feel are more relevant to my readers.

Let me summarise as follows:

1] There is an absolute space inertial frame of reference.

2] There are hidden co-ordinates within the inertial ether frame.

3] The effects of these hidden co-ordinates, together with what meaning they may have, are testable and demonstrable by experiments such as the 1913 Sagnac experiment and others like it as I have discussed.

4] Einstein seems to have been ambivalent as to whether there existed an ether inertial frame of reference, because he thought it was not necessarily relevant to his relativity models. At the same time however, Einstein seems to have said it was likely that ether theory might be desirable for inclusion within both of his relativity models.


Many contemporary physicists continue to believe that ether theory is unnecessary in their attempts to create a theory of everything. I will shortly describe how that, in my opinion, absolute ether theory might help to explain the lightning strike, the moving train and observer analogy that Einstein asked his peers to consider. Before doing this, I will add additional information that I believe will help you fully understand what I am talking about in my limited description of differing events relating to Einstein’s moving train analogy.

1] Light should be seen as being a disturbance in the ether medium travelling at constant speed with respect to the medium of the inertial reference frame, [as when light changes speed because of what it may be travelling through, such as air, a vacuum or a transparent object like a diamond.] This is not the same as what an observer sees in a chosen frame as in the case of special relativity theory.

2] The velocity of light in the ether medium is the distance travelled divided by the time it takes to travel the distance. The distance measured in the ether medium is by both material rods and mechanical clocks by means of time dilation. Material rods shrink with motion through dilation [through relativistic effects] relating to any given speed and clocks slow down too. This is via dilation with respect to measurement.

3] As clocks slow with movement in the ether inertia frame, the time varies between clocks at rest in the ether frame. All reference frames chosen by observers in Einstein’s relativity modelling should be considered as being within the universal ether frame. In other words, where Special Relativity theory says that the two return journey events on all platforms are the same, it is not correct.

4] Light travelling between two points should be perceived as and treated as a single event. In a light and mirror experiment, the return trip of light to a common point is an event. The point where the light separates for the return journey is an event unto itself. Such a ‘space’ exists between all events such as in the mirror experiment. and this space should be seen as being without absolute time. This is because all events occur within hidden co-ordinates of a single inertia ether, not just a single reference frame chosen by an observer, as is the case in special relativity theory. This is why from a special relativity frame of reference the two journeys are unequal. The return trip from point B to point A is slower.

5] The measurement of a light signal between two points (say mirrors) necessitates there being two clocks A and B. Clock A is the clock at the point of sending and clock B is the point of receiving. Both clocks must be set at the same run rate. The contraction of clock B when it is moved from point A to point B also needs adjusting. This is because the movement between both reference points A and B is a separate reference frame unto itself with respect to the earth. When clocks dilate they contract with respect to the universal inertia ether, not clock time as is commonly believed by relativity theory scientists.

6] The isotropic radiation effect of moving light also manipulates matter on an atomic scale. This would also occur in relation to the wider universal inertial frame.


The Einstein dual lightning strike analogy

Within Einstein’s analogy there are several different events. These include two prospective lightning strikes upon the train and a separate event relating to the formation of plasma caused by the two lightning strikes. In turn, these two strikes are also relevant to the moving train with respect to the rails upon which the train is moving. This includes the observer sitting on the embankment who in turn is located in respect to the centre of the moving train as Einstein’s analogy dictates. This is in addition to the wider events in the chosen frame of reference. Remember that these events are also taking place with respect to the wider universal inertia reference frame of ether and that there is a relativity clock time delay between each event that needs to be considered between these events. This includes the mechanics of clocks. Also all moving objects, including the train itself, shrink as a result of such movement.

Place one clock at the front of the train and walk down to the other end of the train and place another clock at the rear. The clock at the front of the train records the lightning strike as being in local [relative] time, but the clock at the rear of the train, through time dilation due to the act of walking to place the second clock at the rear of the train indicates a slower time. Furthermore clocks fastened externally to the train at each end would record the same degree of dilation if an observer were to walk the length of the roof of the train.

Let us say that the train is moving forward at one hundred kilometres per hour and the length of the train is eighty metres. This means that the events are occurring within one reference frame as chosen by an observer who is observing all events adjacent and related to the embankment as well as adjacent to the moving train. The girl on the train would be observing the events of dual lightning strikes only with respect to the event within the train itself. This is by means of the respective isotropic effects of both lightning strikes that would have been [relatively] instantaneous as per Einstein’s analogy. Both isotropic effects of ether lightning strikes would reach the girl in the centre of the train at C [i.e. the speed of light] The girl’s observation of the observer on the embankment would have also been relating to the same two instantaneous isotropic lights as well. Keep in mind that the same events are occurring with respect to the moving train as well as the wider ether inertial frame.

From these combined events it can be seen that it would be impossible to observe that the two lightning strikes were simultaneous. The clock time dilation effects between both events would prohibit this. The same applies to the girl on the train for similar relative clock time reasons. It is not only the clock time dilation effect that would prohibit this, but also the contraction in length of the train itself, as it was moving instead of being at rest relative to an observer. However, because simultaneity is allowed in the in the ether inertia frame. I will discuss why I feel that this is the case.

Because there is a delay between all events, no matter how large or how small these events may be. This delay is represented by the absoluteness of the universal ether. This delay [I will call NOW] is not measurable by clocks. It simply “IS”. It is representative of the wider influence, and effect of nature. This is nature that has its own already existing hidden co-ordinates in which Einstein’s lightning strike analogy applies.

An observer positioned upon the motionless Earth gravity field would observe the commonality effect of the special relativity reference frame chosen by the observer on the embankment. The observer on the embankment cannot do this. This is because he is included within his own choice of reference frames which in turn is relative from the wider inertia ether frame. This is the reference frame that then must hold. It must be treated as the dominant frame. This is in respect to the observer in the motionless Earth gravity field that in turn is relative to the universal inertial frame of ether. These words draw attention to the commonality to all that “IS” with respect to the universal inertial frame of ether.

I argue that at the relative time that the two lightening strikes hit the train, and from the universal ether inertia frame point of reference (absolute time), as well as the special relativity perspective, there would have been a analogous NOW. From a special relativity perspective this is unknowable because it is unmeasurable and not observable. However, from an observer in the first gravity field it would be. What must be considered is that both lightening strikes hitting the train were two separate events.

I further suggest that this NOW that I have introduced you to has no past and no future. This means that until the indeterminable NOW ‘period’ moves into the past the special relativity reference is “frozen” in relativity clock time. This is before rods commence shrinking and clocks as discussed above run slower in absolute ether time. An observer within the absolute ether of motionless Earth gravitation would observe the NOW. This is a NOW that he would have also observe the position of a train not only relevant to an observer of the two ether inertial frame lightning strikes at each end of the train but also the girl in the middle of the train. [Light and its isotropic effects are related to ether as demonstrated by the Sagnac experiment]. By this I mean that the observer in the motionless gravitational frame of ether reference would then mathematically know exactly where the centre of the train was during without time of the absolute state of NOW as I have been discussing.

If the train is eighty metres in length, then the centre of the train would notionally be at rest with each half of the train resting equally at the point of the absolute NOW. This NOW relative to the train is also relative to the parallel railway lines upon which the train is travelling. The implications of this are that once the relative point with respect to the railway track of NOW has passed [the train continues to move forward in relation to this point]. From this it is then possible to employ this railway line reference point to mathematically determine who saw the lightning strikes happen at the same time, and who did not, i.e., the observer and the girl. Furthermore, who saw the lightning strikes separate with respect to each other. This includes the known length of the train, the known speed of the train and the point of reference on the railway tracks with respect to the embankment. This is from the point of view of the observer on the embankment. The observer however would not know that he was frozen into the “NOW” as is observed by the another observer in the motionless gravitation of ether in the inertial ether frame. The slowing clocks on the train, as well as the contraction of the moving train with respect to the ether frame observer, the time dilation of clock time and shrinkage of the train itself play no role in this ether frame model of event related conditions. It only would when Einstein’s special relativity theory analogy applied to the observer on the embankment in his chosen reference frame.

I believe that my review of the Sagnac experiment demonstrates that there are two different light sources that emanated from a single light source that then come back together to form a single effect of light. The splitting of light this way demonstrates the difficulty that emanated from the Michelson and Morley experiment that allegedly had a null result. This is incorrect as was demonstrated by Dayton Miller and numerous other highly respected physicists around the same time.