Osborne Reynolds, F.R.S. (1842-1912), a British engineer and educator, earned the respect of his peers and the devotion of his students. Today he is recognized mainly for his contributions to the study of fluid flow (5,6); but Reynolds perceived these as only preliminaries to his grand synthesis - an axiomatic theory of a particulate aether. Reynolds was disappointed because his peers neither understood his theory nor shared his perception of its value (7). Also, he was competing for attention with the many major discoveries which followed one upon the other at the dynamic turn of the century. Now, 76 years later, will Reynolds have a more sympathetic audience?
In 1903 Cambridge University Press published the third volume of Reynolds' collected works, "On The Submechanics of the Universe" (8). This was two years ahead of Einstein's special theory of relativity.
Today, theories of the luminiferous aether are not in vogue among Apologist physicists. They say that the M-M experiment disproved and that relativity theory did away with the need for an aether. It is true that M-M results disproved some aether theories; but the type of aether proposed by Reynolds, far from being disproven, actually permits visualization of the mechanism whereby the speed of light remains a constant. Here is a demonstration.
As Einstein has shown, the observed speed of light is always a constant because the length of an object contracts in the direction of motion and its local time rate slows in perfect balance. Reynolds' theory enables me to show that the mechanism whereby this occurs is inherent in the very structure and dynamics of the medium.
This medium is granular, composed of uniform, spherical grains much smaller than subatomic particles and filling the entire universe. In fact, it is the universe. In matter-free space the grains are hexagonally arrayed and almost close-packed. Because they cannot exchange neighbors, they form a quasicrystalline matrix. The grains are in relative, vibratory, gas-like motion; but with a mean free path many orders of magnitude smaller than the diameter of the grains (unlike a gas). This jostling of the grains against one another produces a very high pressure in the medium. Because of the gearing of the grains and the pressure, the medium supports transverse disturbances (EM waves) whose local propagation rate depends on the local pressure and strains in the medium. Unstrained; i.e., without matter, the aether is isotropic. Strained; i.e., with matter present, it is anisotropic.
Reynolds says matter is strained regions of misalignment of the grains or "singular surfaces", "negative inequalities", or simply, "holes". Matter, then, moves by means of displacement; much as a bubble moves upward by an equal amount of liquid being displaced downward. For holes to move through the medium, aether grains must move in the opposite direction.
BY Bruce L. Rosenberg