The Last Stoic

Neutron Bomb

Posted in Uncategorized by munty13 on September 1, 2009

When dephlogisticated [oxygen] and inflammable air [hydrogen], in the proportion of a little more than one measure of the former to two of the latter, both so pure as to contain no sensible quantity of phlogisticated air, are inclosed in a glass or copper vessel, and decomposed by taking an electric spark in it, a highly phlogisticated nitrous acid is instantly produced; and the purer the airs are, the stronger is the acid found to be.

The words above are taken from Joseph Priestley’s Considerations on the Doctrine of Phlogiston and the Decomposition of Water. I think that when water vapour condenses that it pulls a vacuum. Is it possible that the “highly phogisticated nitrous acid” is the result of something from the vacuum? The extract below is taken from an exchange of letters between what appear to be “natural philosophers” of the 18th C, and are named as Shyam Kapila and Si Mohacek:

3rd August 1798, Paris.

If we take phlogiston to be “An imponderable fluid present in all combustible materials, be they in the solid, liquid or gaseous form” we move into another sphere of difficulty: it seems, again, to me that this concept is one of fantasy: how entirely convenient is it that all the facts now fit under the doctrine of phlogiston, but there is one problem: where is this ‘phlogiston’ and what does it look like? For all we know, a vacuum is an imponderable fluid. Is phlogiston the same, and where is the vital difference if there is one? This concept is too complicated, and perhaps too fantastical, to comprehend completely.

Yours faithfully,
Shyam Kapila.

I’m sorry to say that I’m not entirely sure who Shyam Kapila is, but he raises some very interesting points in his letter about phlogiston and its relationship to the aether. From what I understand so far, I think the substance which was once referred to as “phlogiston”, is the same thing which we call carbon. A pure vacuum is the unadulterated electric fluid of the aether. If we pair these ideas by Priestley and Kapila about phlogiston and the imponderable fluid – will it be possible to conclude what the relationship is between the aether and carbon?

To get to grips with electricity, and in trying to understand its very nature, pioneering scientists had to get electricity out in the open – so they started to poke it with a stick. They did not want to give electricity anything to hide behind -no material substance, no gas, nothing – so they set about designing experiments where we would get to see electricity exposed and naked. Some thought that the best way to do this was to observe electricity in a vacuum.

Metal plates inside a glass tube were connected by wires to a powerful source of electricity, and the air was pumped out. Faraday was able to observe that as the amount of air in the tube decreased, a faint glow between the electrodes could be seen. Conducting the experiment he noticed a strange light arc with its beginning at anode (the positive electrode) and its end almost at cathode (the negative electrode).

The only place where there was no luminescence was just in front the cathode. It is called “cathode dark space”, “Faraday dark space” or “Crookes dark space”. Continued reduction in pressure causes the dark space to expand, and the color at the electrodes to fade until the tube is dark, except for a faint green or violet glow around the anode. The sides of the tube fluoresce (usually green).

In 1895 Wihelm Roentgen was experimenting with a cathode ray tube. He covered the glowing tube with black card, and dimmed the lights in the room. Roentgen found that some invisible rays were being thrown by the tube across the room, and were able to make certain minerals fluoresce in the same way that UV light did. He called these mysterious rays X-rays.

I found a New York Times story on the discovery of X-rays by Rontgen. It is dated February 5, 1896. I was struck, once again, that it appears to have been common knowledge that X-rays are produced, not at the electrodes, but “from the cathode rays at the glass surface of the tube”. The story also states that”it is known that Lenard, in his investigations on cathode rays, has shown that they belong to the ether, and can pass through all bodies.”

Cathode rays can be deviated by a magnet, while an X-ray cannot. Light, or any form of EMR for that matter, cannot be bent by magnets. In the past, I’ve imagined a bar magnet as disturbing the very substance of the aether. A magnetic field is thus evidence of the stress that a bar magnet is generating in the fluid of the aether. Maybe I’ve got this wrong, but if EMR is propagating in the medium of the aether, then surely by disturbing the medium we should see a change in the waves which propagate through it?

I think glass acts as a step-down transformer of light. I think it can convert high energy UV into low energy UV, and infrared wavelengths. Now I’m thinking, what if the glass on a cathode ray tube is acting as a step-down transformer that converts high energy cathode rays into an X-ray of lower energy.

Some consider cathode rays to be of weaker substance than X-rays because they appear to be absorbed in the air. Cathode rays can’t so much as even pass through the glass of the tube in which they are made. X-rays on the other hand are well known for being able to make their way across a room while passing through obstacles such as flesh, wood and brick.

In order for cathode rays to be examined outside the tube, a thin metal window had to be set in the tube through which the rays could leave. In the air, the cathode rays could make a distance of about 1 cm. For early experimenters this was important because it proved that cathode rays were not a phenomenon exclusive to a vacuum.

I’ve found this article on cathode rays in Time magazine, and its dated from November 01, 1926. It’s reporting on a demonstration made by Dr. William David Coolidge, assistant research director of the General Electric Co. The demonstration was called: “A Method of Producing High Voltage Cathode Rays Outside the Generating Tube.” On the platform Dr.Coolidge reveals the Coolidge Tube:

Dr. Coolidge brought out upon the platform an astonishing tangle of insulators, wires, supports, switches, a huge induction coil—equipment for supplying 350,000 volts. In his hand he held, a glass vessel, five feet long, bulging in the middle.

350,000 volts in a five foot tube – what a beauty! This is the 1920s and this beast is going to be pretty impressive right?

When Dr. Coolidge ordered his 350,000-volt current turned on, a prodigious stream of electrons leapt from the hot cathode, moving perhaps two miles per second. Rebounding from the metal cup about the cathode, they raced off down the 12-inch exit passage of the tube until, when they reached the “window,” they were going some 150,000 m.p.s. (four-fifths the speed of light). Their volume was virtually undiminished as they shot through the thin nickel foil and out into heavy, molecular air, where their effects were at once visible and startling.

Instantly, X-rays were set up in the local ether. As the dislocated electrons struggled back to their original positions they made another kind of vibration, weaker than X-rays and visible as bright luminosities. Thus, as soon as the 350,000 volts were switched on, a purple ball appeared at and enveloped the “window” end of the tube, caused by the vibrations of electrons in molecules of the air hustling back into position.

Fruit flies and other insects withered under a fraction of a second’s exposure, soon died. A rubber-plant leaf oozed white latex from millions of tiny punctures at one short dose of the ray.

Now at this stage I have images of Coolidge running around the demo zapping any thing that he could lay his hands on. A fly in the air … zap. The rubber-plant minding its own business in the corner … zap. Somebody shouts,”Oi Coolidge, that was my plant!” Somebody else screams. But it was too late, there was that glint in his eye, and Coolidge’s plot for world domination was in full swing. Coolidge threw back his head and gave forth a laugh which peeled throughout the hall “bwwaaargh ….”. His laughter was cut short though when he realised that he could only conquer the world if it came within a few feet.

Of one thing he could be certain: the Cathode Ray would never be a war weapon unless whole armies were “marched right into it,” for once outside their vacuum birthplace, the hurtling electrons all hit something soon and got slowed up; within a space of three feet when 350,000 volts were used; within five feet (calculated) if two million volts were used.

Since cathode rays are identical in nature with the beta rays of radium, computations were made showing that Dr. Coolidge had invented the equivalent of a ton of radium (2,000 times the world’s present supply), worth a hundred billion dollars.,9171,722667-3,00.html

The discovery of radium is credited to Marie Curie and her husband Pierre, who discovered radium and polonium while researching uranium in Curie’s native Poland in the 1880s. By 1911, Curie had successfully isolated the element, after receiving the Nobel Prize in 1903 for her work; she received another in 1911 for her isolation of radium.

Wilhelm Ostwald, the highly respected German chemist, who was one of the first to realize the importance of the Curies’ research, traveled from Berlin to Paris to see how they worked. Neither Pierre nor Marie was at home. He wrote: “At my earnest request, I was shown the laboratory where radium had been discovered shortly before…. It was a cross between a stable and a potato shed, and if I had not seen the worktable and items of chemical apparatus, I would have thought that I was been played a practical joke.”

There was plenty of evidence of the radiations of radium, but not so much of the substance itself. The Curie’s had to whittle down very large quantities of uranium ore to produce only tiny amounts of radium. It was here in the “potato shed” that the grittily determined Curie’s spent four years, thousands of laborious crystallizations, to finally succeed in isolating a tenth of a gram of pure radium. Eventually they worked down eight tons of uranium ore to produce one gram of radium, which made it the rarest and most expensive substance in the world.

Radium gives out three kinds of rays, the Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays. Beta ‘rays’ are actually electrons ejected from the radium, in much the same way electrons are ejected by the cathode in a cathode ray tube. Basically, Beta rays are the same thing as cathode rays; they carry the same negative charge and are bent by a magnetic field. Beta rays proper differ from the cathode rays only by their higher velocity.

Gamma rays have no charge at all and behave like light and other EMR waves. In the past, X-rays produced by machines were of lower energy than Gamma rays but with the development of linear accelerators and other high energy machines, this distinction is no longer useful. Some early investigators such as Cleaves (1904) had referred to Gamma rays as “radium rontgen rays”. Gamma rays are basically X-rays. An 80 keV X-ray is identical and hence indistinguishable from an 80 keV Gamma ray.

Radium is radiating the exact same rays that we find in a cathode ray tube. In the cathode ray tube we have to pump out the air, and apply a high voltage in order to see these rays. Radium on the other hand produces them naturally. It appears that radium is able to access the potential energy of the aether in a truly remarkable way. Is the radium acting as a step-down transformer?

I think that X-rays are a product of high energy UV striking matter, and in the case of the cathode ray tube, this happens to be glass. Therefore, I think that cathode rays have more to offer in terms of a window into the realms of the aether. Perhaps cathode rays are some manner of high energy UV, and I think that this is heavily related to the electric fluid of the aether.

If an uncharged metal surface is illuminated with UV light it becomes positively charged, and emits negative electricity in a process known as the photoelectric effect. In 1900, Lenard studied this phenomenon and concluded that the charged particles emitted by the plate were the same as those found in cathode rays – electrons. Is the metal transforming light into electricity? Is the metal inducing the electric fluid of the aether to flow between its atoms?

Alpha rays are the third type of radiation produced by radium, they have a positive charge and are bent the opposite way to Beta rays. Alpha rays are supposed to have a mass something like 7000 times more than the electrons which make up Beta rays. An Alpha ray is an atom of helium. Helium has an atomic weight of 4 – so I was wondering whatever happened to hydrogen with its’ atomic weight of 1? I mean, you’d expect hydrogen atoms to emerge as the lowest common denominator wouldn’t you? I wonder why is it helium? Alpha rays, or at least something very similar to Alpha rays, are also found in a cathode ray tube.

In 1898 German physicist Wilheim Wien determines that the so-called “canal rays” discovered by his compatriot Eugene Goldstein in 1886, are the positively charged equivalent of cathode rays. An Alpha ray has a mass 7000 times that of an electron, while the lightest of the canal rays has a mass 1800 times greater than that of the electron. A canal ray, or proton as we know it today, is understood to be a gaseous ion, the lightest of the canal rays being a hydrogen ion.

Canal rays move in the opposite direction to cathode rays inside a cathode ray tube. Goldstein discovered canal rays after an experiment in which he made holes in the cathode and observed glowing yellow streamers coming from the holes. Supposedly, the name canal rays arises from these holes, or canals, that have been bored in the anode. But what if the name is actually a clue?

Do you remember the story of John Scott Russell and his first encounter with the “wave of translation”? Russell observed a wave which was formed by a barge in the waters of a canal. He describes the 30 foot long wave as it “rolled forward with great velocity, assuming the form of a large solitary elevation, a rounded, smooth and well-defined heap of water, which continued its course along the channel apparently without change of form or diminution of speed.” Russell even goes as far as chasing the wave for one or two miles on horseback.

The wave of translation is better known today as a soliton. Solitons are stable localized waves that propagate through a medium without spreading. A soliton therefore is a longitudinal wave. Was someone trying to remind us of Russell’s wave of translation when they named the positive charged particles canal rays?

Cathode rays are more deviable than canal rays, in that they are more easily swayed by a magnetic or electric field. The amount by which the cathode ray particle is deflected in a magnetic field of given strength is determined by its mass and by the size of its electric charge. It was J.J. Thomson who in 1897 who first set about observing how much particles are affected by electric and magnetic fields to measure the ratio of the mass to the electric charge. The thinking is that the more charged a particle is the more it will deflect, but at the same time, the more massive a particle is, the less it will deflect. Deflection experiments could only determine the ratio e/m but not e or m seperately.

It was found that all electrons had the same mass, but the canal ray particles came in different masses, depending on what gases were present in the evacuated tube. Thomson found that the mass to charge ratio for an electron, or “corpuscle” as he preferred to call it, was 1800 times lower than that of a hydrogen ion, suggesting either that the electron was either very light or very highly charged.

Rather than declare an electron as having an electric charge which was 1800 times greater than that of a hydrogen atom, Thomson settled on the mass of the hydrogen atom being 1800 times larger than the mass of the electron. I wonder what would have happened though if Thomson had chosen a large electric charge over a very small mass for the electron? The electron, and a hydrogen ion would be the same size, but the electron would be left packing a hefty electrical punch. Where does the Alpha ray which is produced by radium fit inside this new picture?

It was Ernest Rutherford who named the radiations emitted by radium as Alpha, Beta and Gamma in 1909. By measuring the charge and mass of Alpha particles he found that the ratio was the same as the nuclei of ordinary helium atoms. That is, a completely ionized helium atom missing both electrons. According to Rutherford, the two protons in the nucleus of the helium ion thus give the Alpha particle a double positive charge. There was some deliberation though if the Alpha particle was indeed a helium ion, or an unknown particle, or if it was actually two hydrogen ions. The following extracts highlight Rutherford’s thought processes, and subsequent experiments, before he came to his decision about what the Alpha particle might be; they are taken from his Nobel Lecture of December 11, 1908:

The velocity of expulsion of the a-particles from different kinds of active matter varied over comparatively narrow limits but the value of e/m was constant and equal to 5,070. This value was not very different from the one originally found. A difficulty at once arose in interpreting this result. We have seen that the value of e/m for the hydrogen atom is 9,650. If the a-particle carried the same positive charge as the hydrogen atom, the value of e/m for the a-particle would indicate that its mass was twice that of the hydrogen atom, i.e. equal to the mass of a hydrogen molecule. It seemed very improbable that hydrogen should be ejected in a molecular and not an atomic state as a result of the atomic explosion. If, however, the a-particle carried a charge equal to twice that of the hydrogen atom, the mass of the a-particle would work out at nearly four, i.e. a mass nearly equal to that of the atom of helium.

It was found that each a-particle carried a positive charge of 9.3 x 10-10 electrostatic units. From a consideration of the experimental evidence of the charge carried by the ions in gases, it was concluded that the a-particle did carry two unit charges, and that the unit charge carried by the hydrogen atom was equal to 4.65 x 10-10 units. From a comparison of the known value of e/m for the a-particle with that of the hydrogen atom, it follows that an a-particle is a projected atom of helium carrying two charges, or, to express it in another way, the a-particle, after its charge is neutralized, is a helium atom.

Thus if the Alpha particle had the same charge as the hydrogen ion, its mass would have to be twice that of the hydrogen ion. However, if the Alpha particle were doubly charged, its mass would be four times as large, and would correspond to that of the helium atom. I think this e/m ratio manages to make everything pretty confusing because we are not given a solid value for electric charge or mass. I think the whole thing makes a good conundrum.

The modern picture of a helium atom is that it is made up of two electrons, two protons, and two neutrons. Because each proton and each neutron has more than 1800 times the mass of an electron, nearly all the mass of the helium atom is accounted for by the nucleus. The theory goes then that if you take away the two electrons, you are still left with two protons, and two neutrons which make up the mass. The mass of a helium ion remains some 7000 times larger than an electron.

Rutherford designed experiments to try to prove exactly what it was that Alpha particles were made of. The last and most convincing of these experiments was made in 1909, with T.D Royds, by constructing what James Jeans later called “a sort of mousetrap for Alpha particles”. Over a week, Alpha particles emitted by radon were collected in a glass tube, compressed, and then an electric current passed through it. A spectral analysis of the electric discharge revealed the gas to be helium.

Rutherford was thus convinced that the Alpha particle was helium. The helium ions released by the radon had picked up some electrons to thus form helium atoms. I wonder though, could we still venture to play with the idea that an Alpha particle is made up of two hydrogen ions, and that it gains two electrons inside the “mousetrap”, but that each of these electrons are the same size as the ions. Basically, a structure of two protons plus two electrons would give us a helium atom. In this new picture the protons and the electrons each have the same value of mass, so it would give us a total atomic mass of 4.

At this stage, I would like to add that the proton and the electron are very suggestive of dipolar vortices. In previous posts I’ve discussed atoms as possibly having a torus, or ring-donut shape. Could a proton and an electron make up the dipolar vortices of an atomic toroidal structure? An easy sort of comparison to make is that they might look something like a cyclone and anticyclone pairing – as found in weather systems. A helium atom implies that it is made up of two ring-donuts. I wonder how these two interact with one another? Wouldn’t it be fun to suggest that they might move through one another like the links on a garden chain fence?

You may have noticed that the neutron is left flailing from this new picture. Where has the neutron gone? The neutron is electrically neutral, meaning it has no electrical charge, and a mass slightly greater than that of the proton. It is an atomic particle in which the proton and electron are combined. The neutron was introduced to the atomic model to help explain a bunch of extra mass which was found inside the atom.

The new model gives the electron a mass that it previously never had. I should imagine that this newfound mass has to come from somewhere, and that it has been taken from the neutron (but hey – the electron is only stealing it back!) This leaves the neutron with no electric charge, and virtually no mass. I think a neutron with only a tiny mass could be describing the electroneutrality of the energy between the positive and negative charges. Is it possible that the neutron is actually describing something of the aether itself? It certainly appears that Tesla seemed to think so. On July 10, 1932, Nikola Tesla made this statement:

I have harnessed the cosmic rays and caused them to operate a motive device. Cosmic ray investigation is a subject that is very close to me. I was the first to discover these rays and I naturally feel toward them as I would toward my own flesh and blood. I have advanced a theory of the cosmic rays and at every step of my investigations I have found it completely justified. The attractive features of the cosmic rays is their constancy. They shower down on us throughout the whole 24 hours, and if a plant is developed to use their power it will not require devices for storing energy as would be necessary with devices using wind, tide or sunlight. All of my investigations seem to point to the conclusion that they are small particles, each carrying so small a charge that we are justified in calling them neutrons. They move with great velocity, exceeding that of light.

More than 25 years ago I began my efforts to harness the cosmic rays and I can now state that I have succeeded in operating a motive device by means of them. I will tell you in the most general way, the cosmic ray ionizes the air, setting free many charged ions and electrons. These charges are captured in a condenser which is made to discharge through the circuit of the motor. I have hopes of building my motor on a large scale, but circumstances have not been favorable to carrying out my plan.

WOw. This is exciting, right? I feel like a whole host of elements are finally coming together. The phlogiston theory which Priestley so richly defended is revealed as essentially being a theory based on carbon. In the decomposition of water in a vacuum, a carbon saturated nitrous acid is produced. It might appear then that carbon bears some relation to the “imponderable fluid” that is believed to make up the substance of a vacuum, and ultimately the very substance of the Universe.

In re-designing the atom as a ring-donut, the neutron emerges as a tiny, tiny particle compared to that of the proton and electron. If the electric fluid of the aether was made up with tiny particles, then maybe it’s possible that these particles have something to do with carbon. The icing on the cake comes with Tesla’s understanding of the neutron as being very small and carrying a charge which is barely perceptible, but moving with a velocity greater than light. If the neutron does moves faster than light, then surely it must have something to do with longitudinal waves in the aether?

Many thanks:
Theoretical principles of inorganic chemistry By G.S. Manku
The Structure and Properties of Matter By Herman T. Briscoe The Foundations of Chemical Theory By R. M. Caven


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