discussion

The cutoff length in GLET

GLET is a continuous ether theory. It describes the ether using continuous fields, similar to the fields used to describe condensed matter. Especially there is an ether density ρ(X,T) which is conserved.

Atomic ether hypothesis

For usual matter, which consists of atoms, the density has a clear physical meaning – it defines the number of atoms per volume. We do not have an atomic ether theory, and we do not have any experiment which is accurate enough to observe ether atoms. Nonetheless, the atomic hypothesis is a natural hypothesis for the ether too. In some sense, this hypothesis is simply part of the ether hypothesis: the general ether hypothesis simply claims that the ether is like usual matter, and once matter consists of atoms, the ether also consists of atoms.

The ether-Avogadro-number defines the cutoff length

Let's consider now the consequences of this "atomic ether hypothesis". Using the similarity between ether and usual condensed matter we interpret the ether density as the number of ether atoms per volume. We do not know the related ether-Avogadro-number, thus, we obtain an unknown constant. But modulo this unknown parameter we can define the cutoff length:

ρ(x) Vcutoff = const.

The point is that there is already a widely distributed hypothesis about the critical distance — the Planck length. This is assumed to be the length where quantum gravity effects become important. It is widely accepted that below Planck length we need a new theory. Thus, Planck length seems to be the natural candidate for the critical length where atomic ether effects become important.

The cutoff length seems to increase together with the universe

But GLET predicts a completely different critical length. Let's see why. This question is related with the "expanding universe" in GLET. The point is that in GLET the universe does not expand, ether density is constant, and what changes are our rulers — they are shrinking. This follows from the GLET solution for the homogeneous universe. But once the ether density is constant, the critical length is constant too. Thus, for our shriking rulers it expands — together with the universe.

For this argumentation we need only two assumptions: that ether is conserved, and that the ether moves at least approximately together with the galaxies. In this case, the number of ether particles between galaxies remains constant. Once this distance is increasing, the distance between ether atoms is increasing too.

Thus, the critical length is not the Planck length aP ∼ 10-33cm, because the Planck length is constant relative to our rulers. Instead, it expands relative to our rulers, with the same speed as the universe.

The interesting consequence is that – independent of the unknown value of the ether-Avogadro-number – in some cosmological future we become able to observe the effects of atomic ether theory (if a positive cosmological constant does not stop expansion in some future).

At the other end, making Υ > 0 sufficiently small, we can obtain in our past, close to the big bounce, a time where the cutoff length was even below Planck length.