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Development of the ZPE Plasma approach


The question: “Can you detail the progression and the changes in your theory that has brought it to its current status, and have the criticisms of Jellison (2009) been answered?”


These developments might be itemized as follows:

  1. In December 1979 I received a copy of a book by William Corliss entitled Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies. Pages 690-695 had data and quotes from science journals and experimenters indicating that the speed of light had dropped with time. That started the investigation; I was quite sure that it would only take me a couple of weeks to determine if instrumental or observational error were responsible for the declining values, or if there had been a genuine decline in the speed of light.
  2. In the period from December 1979 to August 1987 I collected all available data on the speed of light and other atomic constants. There was a consistency in the trends of the data on the speed of light and associated atomic constants. These data are detailed in History of the Speed of Light Experiments.
  3. In the period December 1979 to August 1987, several progress reports were issued to interested groups and some purely interim conclusions drawn. Even after the year 2005, criticisms based on these interim conclusions were circulating. In that initial period, one key fact emerged; namely that energy was being conserved in whatever process that was acting to produce these measured changes.
  4. In early 1987 a request for a white paper on the topic was received from SRI International (Stanford Research Institute). The data paper was produced with the assistance of Trevor Norman and others from the Math Department of Flinders University. Because of circumstances, it ended up as a joint publication of Flinders and SRI International. The data paper ended with some speculation on the redshift, the Doppler effect, gravitation and a number of other matters. It included a variety of curves that would fit the data. These curves were in no way final as we only had data back for 300 years or so. Nevertheless, the speculation in this part of the Report led to widespread criticisms, even after 2005.
  5. Shortly after the publication of this August 1987 Report, American creationists launched a concerted attack on the whole concept of a change in the speed of light and other constants. I was given only limited response opportunities in the subsequent discussion. Trevor Norman and I answered all questions in the forums open to us until the questions became repetitive.
  6. At about that time my mother endured a massive heart attack, and my epileptic sister came unglued as a result. Since I was their only care giver, my time was then fully occupied in looking after my mother and sister. Thus the time for research and answering questions was severely limited from that point on. Partly fueled by my failure to continue defending a merry-go-round of repetitive questions with my limited time, creationists in the USA and Australia rejected both the concepts and the data on which they were based. The criticisms from those days still surface, despite the fact that the research has moved on in a different direction to that proposed by the speculation in the Report.
  7. For the following 7 years, essentially no progress could be made on determining the cause of the data trends. However, in that period two branches of physics were developing and papers were being published which allowed the reason for the data trends to be elucidated. One of these two areas was plasma physics. The other was Stochastic Electro-Dynamics or SED physics, which gave alternate and intuitive reasons for atomic behavior. This was based on the now verified existence of a real Zero Point Energy (ZPE) whose strength controlled the properties of the vacuum and gave rise to quantum phenomena. This approach contrasted with Quantun Electro-Dynamics, or QED physics, in which the ZPE was a mere virtual, not real, entity, and which attributed quantum behavior to properties inherent within matter and obedience to quantum laws..
  8. It was about the time I met Helen Fryman (who became my wife in 2000), that my circumstances had moderated enough for me to take up the research again. My mother had died, and my sister eventually had to go to a nursing home due to porphyria-related symptoms. I came to reside primarily in the USA in 2002, and settled in Oregon in July 2004. I was appointed Director of the New Hope Observatory in 2005..
  9. In the period 1998 to December of 2002, the first research relating to atomic constants behavior and the Zero Point Energy (ZPE) was done. An initial paper on the topic, Exploring the Vacuum,” was published by the Journal of Theoretics on 26th December 2002. It was followed almost a year later by General Relativity and the Zero Point Energy on 2nd December 2003, and a joint paper with Daniel Dzimano entitled The Redshift and the Zero Point Energy on 29th December 2003.
  10. These papers were testing the water as far as the ZPE approach was concerned. Because we were dealing with new physics, a few mistakes were made and they were inevitably picked up by Jellison, Kluge and Bridgman. From 2003 to 2006 my responses were limited because of a change of residence from Australia, to California and then to Oregon before finally becoming established there.
  11. However, these criticisms had been taken on board and three new papers were written as a result. They were accepted by Journal of Vectorial Relativity after review. These papers were "Reviewing the Zero Point Energy," (September 2007), "Reviewing a Plasma Universe with Zero Point Energy" (September, 2008) and "Quantized Redshifts and the Zero Point Energy" (Journal of Vectorial Relativity, December, 2008). The redshift paper attracted the attention of Jellison et al and they issued their criticisms in 2009 along with criticisms of a summary article on our website entitled “Data and Creation.” For them, the problems appeared to be in the details, not the basic concept that the ZPE can cause changes in atomic phenomena.
  12. Again, their criticisms were taken on board, corrections made and a new approach adopted. This resulted in a new series of papers. In June 2010, a paper entitled “Zero Point Energy and the Redshift” passed peer review and was successfully presented at the Natural Philosophy Alliance Conference in Long Beach California with many interested questions, but no criticisms. It was followed by “A Plasma Universe with Changing Zero Point Energy” for the 2011 NPA Conference in Maryland, and then “Zero Point Energy and Relativity” and “Zero Point Energy Light and Time” both for the NPA Conference in 2012. Many creationists seem to be unaware of, or have ignored, these papers and have continued to base their criticisms of my research on their earlier understanding, seeming to have no knowledge of any more recent work.
  13. Specific criticisms of the group of papers in point 12 were minimal. I worked with a physicist from Europe to iron out the problems he saw in the presentations, which were mainly in some details of the 2010 paper. I then prepared the Monograph entitled Cosmology and the Zero Point Energy which underwent review and publication as an NPA Monograph for the July 2013 Conference, where it was distributed.
  14.  This Monograph has completely updated all of the research. To date, it has also withstood criticisms from academics in Europe who attempted to flaw the proposition on the basis of relativity theory. The approach in the Monograph suggests that an increasing ZPE strength is due to the initial expansion of the universe. The changes in the properties of the vacuum that this engenders seem to be the root cause of the changing values of atomic constants and the speed of light, along with a number of associated effects.
  15. This Monograph also has taken account of the criticisms which have emerged over the years on a number of related matters, but which were peripheral to the main argument, and has shown them to be mostly due to a misunderstanding of what is happening. If this proposition is to be criticized now, it should be done on the basis of what is presented in the Monograph, not the material prior to July 2011.

In addition to this response, there is additional information on our website that can be found here. The outdated criticisms by Jellison can be found here.


Barry Setterfield, 21st September, 2015.

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