Before we begin, let's put one thing on the record. Albert was not wrong; it's just that we have a much more detailed, precise understanding of what he was saying.  Over the past century relativity has been used to investigate ‘space-time’.  Space-time has been assumed to be a mathematical relation between actual space and time. With the SFT formulation the observed ‘space’ and 'time' can be seen to include the internal motions of the photon where its motion can be written as a bispinor.


where and are orbital and cyclotron angular velocities, and  ro and rare orbital and cyclotron radii.  The orbital rotation is an external motion while the cyclotron rotation is internal as shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1:  The photon moving along a giant cosmic circle where the internal motion adds to the total distance, proportional to the observed phase. 

In external space and time, outside of the eye, space and time are unchanged by the observer's speed relative to that of light. What is changed is the picture that reaches the eyes, or our measuring devices such as a plane's clock and distance metres. We must transform between observed space-time and reality.  Be aware what we are saying here: Einstein was not wrong, but we do have a more intuitive way to understand space-time and how our own motion is relative to actual time.

 This apparent warping of space-time is due to the motion of the photon that forms a self-field solution, its position the  sum of two spinors. Further this motion is a differential electromagnetic motion, in other words a gravitational motion like a planet, where the cyclotron spin adds to the orbital distance moved. This is in accord with how Einstein calculated the advance of the perihelion of Mercury.
Note if the photon moves along large cosmic cyclic geodesics (e.g. circles) it will be lossless which is why quantum theory and general relativity insist on a photon without mass. In quantum field theory the photon has no mass only energy, which gives it no structure except for the Dirac delta function, the singularity at a point.

The concept of space and time then has to be understood from the perspective of the internal and external motions associated with the photon. Similarly dilations of length and time are associated with how fast a particle moves relative to the orbital motion of the photon. In other words the reality of photons as they hit our eyes changes with the speed we are moving at.  What we see is the total changes of phase of the light due to both its internal and external motion just like Mercury and its relativistic motion.


 Solutions that return to their starting point, in other words are periodic, can maintain dynamic motions without net efflux or influx of energy. In general the various azimuthal modal forms of both kinds of rotation are a possible prerequisite to a discrete or quantum physics. The photon in this case then is a quantum of gravitation just like the photon is also the quantum of electromagnetic energy. The only difference between electromagnetics and gravitation is the differential form of the solution which involves differential electric and magnetic fields for example with respect to radius. So the graviton is nothing other than the photon when it forms the binding energy between conglomerates of atoms. In a sense then even a molecule of hydrogen, forces acting between two dipoles, is a gravitational system.

In summary space-time is what appears to exist to our eyes, but in reality space is space and time is time, even if our senses tell us otherwise. Nevertheless Einstein’s discovery in 1916 was a magnificent outcome allowing us to explore the Universe before our eyes. But we must learn to be careful with the results of relativity and to interpret its true meaning in reality.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as: "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.", in brief observation is validated by theory.  In this case we must realize how our eyes are being used at speeds approaching the speed of light. In this case the phase distance seen by the eye includes a significant proportion of the internal motion of the photon and hence we need to be aware this phase distance forms an illusion on the retina of the eye.

Discovery of the Photon, the Quantum of EM Energy

Given the contemporaneous discovery of radioactivity in 1895 there was a considerable state of flux in science in the 1890s, when quantum physics was first observed. In 1900 the photon’s discrete behaviour emerged with the failure of science to provide a consistent theory for the energy of a blackbody cavity. Both Wien at short wavelengths and Rayleigh and Jeans at long wavelengths had experimentally obtained differing analytic equations for the energy. The Rayleigh–Jeans equation indicated an “ultraviolet catastrophe”, an infinite energy at wavelengths around a micron. Planck resolved the situation by modelling the blackbody’s walls, its atoms, as EM dipoles using the potential theory formulated by Hertz along with the concepts of probabilistic thermodynamics developed by Maxwell and Boltzmann. Planck had first acted in an “act of desperation” but slowly came to realize the theoretical implications of the effect that needed to be treated as a series of discrete frequencies rather than a continuously analytic function of frequency. Thus Fourier’s mathematics discovered some decades previously was now supported by blackbody radiation. The Rayleigh–Jeans law for low-frequency radiation intensity emitted by a blackbody is



The Wien approximation at short wavelengths is


Planck’s quantum law is



Planck substituted a series expansion for the exponential




showing that for low frequencies  and high frequencies  the classical and quantum laws agreed. Quantum physics and its mathematics had finally shown up on the human radar.

The present situation in mathematical physics in 2012 mirrors the blackbody problem that faced Planck in 1899: quantum theory applying to the atom is analogous to Wien’s approximation at short wavelengths  , while general relativity applying to cosmological domains is analogous to the Rayleigh–Jeans law for large wavelengths .

What is Wrong with Quantum Theory?

In brief quantum theory is incomplete as Einstein tried to demonstrate in his EPR paper. Looking at the page on Arrivederchi Uncertainty, we examine this mathematics in some detail, the nuts and bolts of how the incompleteness causes the uncertainty.

What is Wrong with General Relativity?

We have already seen that the internal and external motions of the photon help explain in a physically intuitive way how space is not actually warped but the vision our eyes see at relativistic speeds is warped. As Einstein knew, seeing is not always believing; straight lines could be curvilinear. In regards the general theory of relativity, Einstein’s general relativity (GR) assumes a single form of gravitation acting across the entire Universe. To an approximation this is true but the actual situation is otherwise. SFT implies three main modifications to cosmological models based on GR as it currently stands: (1) Like CEM and its failure early in the 20th century to solve the atom, and quantum theory’s lack of magnetic currents there is a lack of any stable solution due to the failure of models to examine mutual effects between masses. (2) The Universe contains more than one type of gravitation; a tri-spinorial form applies to galaxies, a tetra-spinorial form may apply to super clusters, and maybe another form perhaps a penta-spinor applies to the Universe itself. The overall structure of the Universe is therefore not homogeneous or isotropic as assumed by GR. (3) Another important modification relates to the photon’s non-zero mass and composite structure. If the Big Bang was hot enough there would have been an initial period where a sea of sub-photonic particles existed.  This may be responsible for the inflationary period when the Universe expanded to near its present size at superluminal speeds. Sub-photonic particles of non-zero mass could travel at superluminal speeds and help solve the so-called horizon problem in a more intuitive way. Similarly the anisotropy observed within the Universe can be explained without recourse to quantum foam theories.  These modifications all have implications for the various GR solutions obtained by Friedmann, Lemaître, De Sitter, Guth, and others including Einstein’s own solution obtained in 1915. Instead of the fluid dynamics of current GR models a particle-field model can give another perspective on cosmological processes. Overall this suggests an early inflationary period that finished before an evolution towards the critical condition on density leading to a dynamic equilibrium within the Universe. All effects are supported by the available cosmological evidence.

Historically, Einstein and Heisenberg crossed swords about GR and quantum theory.

A conversation between Einstein and Heisenberg.

Heisenberg: “One cannot observe the electron orbits inside the atom. [...] but since it is reasonable to consider only those quantities in a theory that can be measured, it seemed natural to me to introduce them only as entities, as representatives of electron orbits, so to speak.”

Einstein: “But you don’t seriously believe that only observable quantities should be considered in a physical theory?”

I thought this was the very idea that your Relativity Theory is based on?” Heisenberg asked in surprise.

Perhaps I used this kind of reasoning,” replied Einstein, “but it is nonsense nevertheless. [...] In reality the opposite is true: only the theory decides what can be observed.”

(translated from "Der Teil und das Ganze" by W. Heisenberg)

There are theoretical similarities between GR and quantum theory.  Among the most fundamental are that both are based on second-order wave equations and their associated potential theories and gauge considerations. In comparison, SFT is based on the first-order Maxwellian with its field variables that have a much reduced emphasis on gauge.  Both GR and QFT are based around single particle analyses rather than the mutual effects that couple particles together studied in SFT. Finally both GR and quantum theory employ a metric in the view of SFT to accommodate the over-constraint of the basic equations. In both cases this is linked to a theoretical requirement for a zero-mass photon.

Thus both quantum theory and GR depend upon a zero-mass photon and hence from the point of view of SFT both quantum theory and GR are theoretical approximations.  For quantum theory zero-mass springs from the earliest observations of beta decay and again when a negligible rest mass of the photon could hardly be compared with the seemingly endless radiation from within the nucleus of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.  In general relativity theory indicated no other way than to consider the photon had zero mass otherwise there would be energy decay over long cosmological distances. Again the cosmological principle that had its genesis in the Vatican’s unscientific and dogmatic dealings with Galileo was a way to avoid having any universal centre of gravity thus making the same mistake again.  Nevertheless it is only an approximation in the light of SFT where it is seen that non-homogeneity and anisotropy are both present in the gravitational structure itself where space is divided into different gravitational regions. This structure depends on the composite nature and non-zero mass of the photon. The space within the Universe cannot be thought of as the surface of an expanding balloon other than as a theoretical approximation that holds for GR. It is known that at smaller than cosmological domains the cosmological principle does not hold for instance for any possible surviving location of the Big Bang. We may think of a biological tissue such as liver where the dielectric constant is averaged over the microstructure such as biological cells. While such an approximation is useful for numerical estimation it cannot be assumed to hold in any fine detail across smaller domains; this holds for both a homogenous isotropic model of liver and of the cosmos. This is not to denigrate GR in any way but to reveal the approximate nature of GR theory that Einstein had proposed in 1915 when it was and remains today a monumental intellectual achievement of the highest level within mathematical physics.




I am convinced that the hardest thing about doing science is not that it sometimes demands a certain level of skill and intelligence. Skills can be learned, and as for intelligence, none of us is really smart enough to get anywhere on our own. All of us, even the most independent, manage to carry our work through to completion because we are part of a community of committed and honest people. When we are stuck, most of us look for a way out in the work of others. When we are lost, most of us look to see what others are doing. Even then, we often get lost. Sometimes even whole groups of friends and colleagues get lost together. Consequently, the hardest thing about science is what it demands of us in terms of our ability to make the right choice in the face of incomplete information. This requires characteristics not easily measured by tests, such as intuition and a person's faith in them self. Einstein knew this which is why he told John Wheeler, in a remark that Wheeler has often repeated, how much he admired Newton's courage and judgment in sticking with the idea of absolute space and time even though all his colleagues told him it was absurd. The idea is absurd, as Einstein knew better than anyone. But absolute space and time was what was required to make progress at the time, and to see this was perhaps Newton's greatest achievement.

Einstein himself is often presented as the prime example of someone who did great things alone, without the need for a community. This myth was fostered, perhaps even deliberately, by those who have conspired to shape our memory of him. Many of us were told a story of a man who invented general relativity out of his own head, as an act of pure individual creation, serene in his contemplation of the absolute as the First World War raged around him. It is a wonderful story, and it has inspired generations of us to wander with unkempt hair and no socks around shrines like Princeton and Cambridge, imagining that if we focus our thoughts on the right question we could be the next great scientific icon. But this is far from what happened.

Recently my partner and I were lucky enough to be shown pages from the actual notebook in which Einstein invented general relativity, while it was being prepared for publication by a group of historians working in Berlin. As working physicists it was clear to us right away what was happening: the man was confused and lost, very lost. But he was also a very good physicist (though not, of course, in the sense of the mythical saint who could perceive truth directly). In that notebook we could see a very good physicist exercising the same skills and strategies, the mastery of which made Richard Feynman such a great physicist. Einstein knew what to do when he was lost: open his notebook and attempt some calculation that might shed some light on the problem. So we turned the pages with anticipation. But still he gets nowhere. What does a good physicist do then? He talks with his friends. All of a sudden a name is scrawled on the page: `Grossmann!!!' It seems that his friend has told Einstein about something called the curvature tensor. This is the mathematical structure that Einstein had been seeking, and is now understood to be the key to relativity theory.

Actually I was rather pleased to see that Einstein had not been able to invent the curvature tensor on his own. Some of the books from which I had learned relativity had seemed to imply that any competent student should be able to derive the curvature tensor given the principles Einstein was working with. At the time I had had my doubts, and it was reassuring to see that the only person who had ever actually faced the problem without being able to look up the answer had not been able to solve it. Einstein had to ask a friend who knew the right mathematics. The textbooks go on to say that once one understands the curvature tensor, one is very close to Einstein's theory of gravity. The questions Einstein is asking should lead him to invent the theory in half a page. There are only two steps to take, and one can see from this notebook that Einstein has all the ingredients. But could he do it? Apparently not. He starts out promisingly, then he makes a mistake. To explain why his mistake is not a mistake he invents a very clever argument. With falling hearts, we, reading his notebook, recognize his argument as one that was held up to us as an example of how not to think about the problem. As good students of the subject we know that the argument being used by Einstein is not only wrong but absurd, but no one told us it was Einstein himself who invented it. By the end of the notebook he has convinced himself of the truth of a theory that we, with more experience of this kind of stuff than he or anyone could have had at the time, can see is not even mathematically consistent. Still, he convinced himself and several others of its promise, and for the next two years they pursued this wrong theory. Actually the right equation was written down, almost accidentally, on one page of the notebook we looked at it. But Einstein failed to recognize it for what it was, and only after following a false trail for two years did he find his way back to it.  When he did, it was questions his good friends asked him that finally made him see where he had gonewrong.

Nothing in this notebook leads us to doubt Einstein's greatness; quite the contrary, for in this notebook we can see the trail followed by a great human being whose courage and judgment are strong enough to pull him through a thicket of confusion from which few others could have emerged. Rather, the lesson is that trying to invent new laws of physics is hard.  Really hard. No one knew better than Einstein that it requires not only intelligence and hard work, but equal helpings of insight, stubbornness, patience and character. This is why all scientists work in communities. And that makes the history of science a human story. There can be no triumph without an equal amount of foolishness. When the problem is as hard as the invention of quantum gravity, we must respect the efforts of others even when we disagree with them. Whether we travel in small groups of friends or in large convoys of hundreds of experts, we are all equally prone to error.

Another moral has to do with why Einstein made so many mistakes in his struggle to invent general relativity. The lesson he had such trouble learning was that space and time have no absolute meaning and are nothing but systems of relations. How Einstein himself learned this lesson, and by doing so invented a theory which more than any other realizes the idea that space and time are relational, is a beautiful story.