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  • Electrical Heresy 101

    Where does the light and heat come from? The answer may surprise you...
    Where does the light and heat come from? The answer may surprise you…

    Over the past half-century, the study of Quantum Electrodynamics has led to a new understanding of electrical circuits. But this information has not been shared with the general public. In our schools students are taught principles that have remained unchanged for nearly two centuries. As a result, free-thinkers and conservatives alike are confined by antiquated concepts that do not reflect an understanding of quantum reality.

    A Thought Experiment

    Imagine a simple electrical circuit, in which a battery is connected by copper wire to a switch and a light bulb. This is a series-type circuit, with a single wire connecting each component to the next, and only one path for the electricity to take. When the switch is closed, electric current flows out of the battery, through the switch, through the bulb, and then back to the battery. If battery and bulb are well-matched, the bulb will emit light and heat whenever the switch is closed.

    When we observe that the bulb emits light and heat, it is obvious that an energy transformation has taken place. Where did the energy come from? From the battery, of course. Energy stored in the battery was drawn out and converted into light and heat.

    What happens if we run the bulb too long? That’s easy to predict. The longer the switch remains closed, the more energy is drawn out of the battery. Eventually the battery will become depleted and the bulb will go dark.

    That is the conventional explanation, and it seems reasonable. But if we want to truly understand the system, we need to ask a few more questions. For example, by what means is the energy transferred from battery to bulb?

    Electric Current

    We’re taught that electrical energy is conveyed by a flow of charges, or electrons, along the wire. This movement of electrons is called the electric current. We can measure the electric current by inserting a meter between the switch and lamp. When the switch is closed, the meter indicates how much current is being drawn from the battery. After a while we observe that the current begins to decrease, the lamp grows dim, and if we are willing to wait long enough, the current will eventually drop to zero.

    At this point, the operation of this circuit seems clear. Energy from the battery is conducted via wires to the bulb, where it is converted into light and heat. That’s about as far as the conventional explanation goes. But if we accept that explanation, then we have accepted a fallacy. Indeed, here lies a whopper of untruth that is responsible for many problems in the world today.

    Suppose we cut the return wire from bulb to battery, and insert a second meter into the circuit. If we did that, we would see that the intensity of electric current at both points in the circuit is exactly the same. In other words, no electric current is consumed as it passes through the bulb. Each unit of charge, every electron, that leaves the battery and travels along the copper wire, returns to the battery after passing through the bulb. If none of the electric current is consumed, then it follows that it cannot be the source of light and heat energy.

    Source Dipole
    Source Dipole

    The Heretical Quantum

    If the electric current is not consumed by the lamp, then what is really happening in this simple circuit? Where is the energy source that lights the lamp, and why does the battery run down?

    According to Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), the battery represents a source dipole, an object with an abundance of positive charges on one pole (i.e., the battery terminal) and an abundance of negative charges on the other. This is an unbalanced condition, and therefore work is required to separate the charges and to maintain the distance between them. In a battery, that work is performed by a chemical process.

    In the space around a source dipole, a region known as the electric field exists. The voltage potential at any point in the field varies with distance from one pole or the other. Without a source dipole nearby, QED represents space as a smooth, flat surface. Any charged particles passing along that surface would continue in a straight line. When a source dipole is present, the resulting electric field would cause such particles to be attracted to one terminal or the other. In this case QED represents space as a curved or warped surface.

    The warped surface condition is temporary, and space will tend to revert back to its flat, unstressed condition. In order to do that, the source dipole must be neutralized by transferring excess charges between the poles. This transfer or flow of charges is the QED representation of electric current. Depending on the conductivity of materials used, the transfer of charges can be very slow or very fast. But in every case, the sole purpose of electric current is to move excess electrons from one side of a source dipole to the other.

    In other words, energy from the battery is not expended to light the lamp, but rather to neutralize itself. When the terminals are connected, the flow of electric current forces a chemical reaction inside of the battery, which reduces and eventually destroys the source dipole. The chemical reaction generates heat, and if the dipole is neutralized too quickly then the battery may become dangerously hot. This is commonly referred to as a short-circuit.

    Getting to the Point

    Based on the study of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), the operation of this simple series circuit can be understood in two parts:

    • Electric current flows from one battery terminal to the other, in order to neutralize the source dipole.
    • Light and heat are generated as a consequence of electric current passing through the bulb. These effects do not require the conversion or reduction of electric current.

    That second point is the key: Light and heat are secondary effects that occur when current passes through the bulb. If those effects do not require the conversion or reduction of current, then where does the energy come from? The answer may surprise you. It is subtle, but extremely important: The energy that is expressed as light and heat comes from the ambient environment.

    The world around us is bubbling with energy, but we don’t notice it because environmental energy is disorganized and random, or of such high frequency that it can only be detected by the most sensitive instruments. When electric current passes through the bulb, interactions at the quantum level cause a tiny amount of environmental energy to be organized into a coherent form. The heat given off by the bulb is a coherence of ambient thermal oscillations. In a similar way, the light emitted by the bulb is a coherence of high frequency background radiation.

    And now we can expose that whopper of untruth mentioned earlier:

    There need not be a 1:1 relationship between neutralization of the source dipole, and the expression of light and heat by the lamp. The fact that these effects typically occur together is merely an engineering convenience.

    What does this mean in a practical sense? It means that electricity need not be used once and thrown away. In a properly designed circuit, electric current can be passed through a load more than once, generating output such as heat and light each time, without violating any natural laws. I’ve seen this with my own eyes. It’s tricky to do, but certainly possible.

    What would happen if all young engineers were taught this concept? What kind of machines would they build? How much cleaner and more efficient would our energy systems become?

    Only time will tell…

  • The Luminiferous Ether

    About 20 years ago, I had the good fortune of visiting the Boston Public Library on Copley Square. This magnificent granite structure offers many treasures to the public in the form of literature and fine art. The research collection includes more than 1.7 million rare books and manuscripts, including several early editions of William Shakespeare. It was there that I discovered an impressive scientific volume by Thomas Preston called The Theory of Light, first published in 1890. I examined the 5th Edition, 1928, by Macmillan and Co., London.

    The chapter on Electromagnetic Radiation presents the justification for the existence of a light-bearing ether, and its relation to the observable phenomena of electricity and magnetism, that was prevalent among leading physicists at the time (p.585):

    To account for the propagation of light — that is, of radiant energy — we have postulated the existence of a medium filling all space. But the transference of the energy of radiant heat and light is not the only evidence we have in favour of the existence of an ether. Electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic phenomena (and gravitation itself) point in the same direction…

    Formerly an electrified body was supposed to have something called electricity residing upon it which caused the electrical phenomena, and an electric current was regarded as a flow of electricity travelling along the wire, while the energy which appeared at any part of the circuit (if considered at all) was supposed to have been conveyed along the wire by the current. The existence of induction, however, and electromagnetic actions between bodies situated at a distance from each other, led us to look upon the medium around the conductors as playing a very important part in the development of the phenomena. It is, is fact, the storehouse of the energy.

    Upon this basis Maxwell founded his theory of electricity and magnetism, and determined the distribution of the energy in the various parts of the field in terms of electric and magnetic forces. The conclusions to which Maxwell came were that the ether around an electrified body is charged with energy, and that the electrical phenomena are manifestations of this energy, and that the imaginary electric fluid distributed over the conductor was either not there at all, or at any rate, took only a very subsidiary part in phenomena.

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