From Einstein to Meyl

Konstantin Meyl describes a Unified Field Theory that eluded Einstein. Relativity is hard to understand but Meyl is harder, lacking even the comforting ideas of foundational space and time upon which to anchor the laws of physics. Instead, movement of field forces forms the foundations of physics, with space and time being emergent properties of these movements.

In his famously banned Ted Talk, Rupert Sheldrake mentions that the speed of light slowed down by about 20km/s between 1928 and 1945 before resuming its approved value.

The response of the standards authorities was to simply re-define the length of the metre in terms of the speed of light so as to correct for the difference, thus keeping the speed of light constant as required by the theory of relativity.

This is fine from the point of view of relativity, which views the speed of light as a fundamental constant but does in fact allow both length and time to vary according to local conditions.

So why did they change the definition of the metre and not the definition of the second? Why not consider that time may have sped up which makes it seem that it is taking longer for light to move from one place to another?

What does it even mean that time is going ‘faster’, and what sort of physics is it when we have an actual choice over which variables we consider to be ‘fundamental’ and which are the ones that are derivable from the others?

Time is measured via atomic clocks. The frequency of some sort of oscillation is measured via statistical means and the time elapsed is calculated from this frequency: “After exactly 9,192,631,770 oscillations, a second has passed.”

So we are not measuring time directly and cannot therefore say that it is a fundamental property of the universe. We are defining a ‘second’ loosely speaking as “The number of things that have happened since the last time I checked“.

This got me to thinking that we should be regarding ‘something else’ as fundamental and then defining ‘time’ in terms of that ‘something else’.

We can try regarding ‘frequency’ as fundamental which sounds promising as it is precisely what is measured via atomic clocks; they use the phenomenon of ‘resonance’ to measure frequency. Once we do this we can then calculate elapsed time as above by counting oscillations and dividing by the frequency.

Frequency = Cycles per Second (definition)
Number of cycles = Frequency (multiplied by) Time elapsed (rearranging)
Time elapsed = Number of Cycles (divided by) Frequency

The assumed model by which ‘frequency’ is produced however is via vibration (i.e. movement) of atomic particles within space and time, so it seemed to me that we are back to space and time as fundamental. This is intuitively comfortable but doesn’t address the issue of why it is the speed of light that can be fixed as constant if it is space and time that are considered fundamental.

A big chord was struck for me then upon listening to Konstantin Meyl explain his ideas:

I think most people will take space and time for granted as fixed, immutable properties of the universe, within which all activity (movement) takes place but Meyl turns this all around to make things somewhat counter-intuitive but at the same time more consistent.

There is only The Field:

  • It is this field that completely determines the nature of space and time.
  • Matter is comprised of toroidal field vortices.
  • Field strength determines ‘distance’ and the speed of light (field propagation).
  • Gravity is an illusion, an emergent property of field geometry.
  • Einstein’s E = mc2 is incorrect

The field is electromagnetic in nature in that is has dual components which create each other via relative movement. Magnetic forces arise from movement relative to charge and similarly, a charge field arises from movement relative to a magnetic field.

Electricity and magnetism are not separate forces in Meyl’s field and are just components of the same entity. Therefore, the field properties arise from movement of the field relative to .. itself.

Meyl: “Without movement, there would be no forces or energy .. nothing”

And: “Which brings us to the question: ‘What is movement?‘”

To clarify (or maybe not), classical physics imagines all movement taking place in an already existing space. It supposes that such a thing as an empty vacuum can exist, does exist and comes ready made with all the requisite properties needed in order to host and propagate electric or gravitational fields.

Konstantin Meyl

Einstein’s relativity is a little more flexible, viewing gravity as a deformation of space itself by the matter contains within it. The matter then moves according to the curves in space created by the matter itself. Space and matter are still separate but act upon each other somehow: “Matter tells spacetime how to curve, and curved spacetime tells matter how to move” – John Wheeler

Within Meyl’s universe there is no separation of space, time and matter; there is only he Field. It is the configuration and movement of this field that creates the stuff we know as ‘matter’. The forces which appear to act upon the matter are really just emergent properties of the field acting upon itself. It is the field strength and ‘direction’ that determines the apparent metrics of distance and time, not the nature of space causing the field to behave differently.

The field itself is the primal cause, not a pre-existing space-time universe or a monstrously crude and fantastical Big Bang a few billion years ago.

Measurements of the speed of light for example can now be seen for what they are which is to say, transformations of various sets of observed field phenomena to some (almost arbitrary) common basis so that a comparison can be made in order to say “This is the same as that” or “This measurement is greater than it was last week” etc.

Ernest Rutherford

The measuring instruments themselves and the human observers using them are all themselves field phenomena and are therefore subject to the same rules and irregularities. This, according to Meyl, is the explanation for the results of the Rutherford experiment whereby the speed of light appeared constant no matter what direction it was travelling in or at what speed the Earth was travelling through space.

Light, Earth, equipment and observer all inhabit the same local reference frame and all are subject to the same influences. As the equipment shrinks so the speed of light slows and the two effects compensate for each other thereby appearing to remain constant. Atomic clocks may well change their behaviour but our subjective experience of time also follows the rules of the Field and so nobody notices.

So when we have laboratory set-ups where subject, equipment and observer are all part of the experiment, how can we do objective science? The situation is similar to that of relativity where there is considered to be no global frame of reference and so all experiments can only reflect local laws and conditions.

Meyl, however, prefers to construct a global (absolute) frame of reference within which to perform calculations. Measurements from a local experiment are transformed to this (theoretical) global framework, where calculations are performed before transformation back to the local experimental conditions.


Is all this just theoretical sophistry or is there any practical use for this? Does this help with existing results that currently defy explanation?

One place to look may be experiments that give different results dependent upon whereabouts they are in the universe. We wouldn’t usually expect atomic clocks to be affected by subtle changes in gravitational fields. However, something like this appears to have happened in the experiments of Simon Shnoll, where biological, chemical and purely physical phenomena show results that vary in a cyclic fashion seemingly dependent upon the configuration of the solar system.

Piccardi and Kaznacheev similarly found many anomalies that depended upon season, lunar cycles and even eclipses.


Interview with Konstantin Meyl – YouTube

The website of Konstantin Meyl

Sheldrake’s Banned TED talk:

Atomic clocks