Brief context
     Much of the quantum medium view is similar to the views of physicists in the past including Newton, Young, Huygens, Maxwell, Lorentz, and Michelson who thought that light is propagated through a medium and/or that space, time, and mass are separate aspects of nature. What is new is an awareness of consequences of this medium that were not recognized 100 years ago or even 20 years ago.

     In the past this medium was usually referred to as the ether, which was present everywhere in our universe. It was the means by which light was propagated from a source to a destination. The name "quantum medium" is now more descriptive of this energy-transferring medium because during the past century it was found, primarily by Planck and Einstein, that light is comprised of individual units or quanta of energy. The light from a distant star consists of these energy quanta, known as photons, that travel together and bring us information about the star.

     It was also found, by Thomson, Rutherford, and others, that atoms are dynamic systems comprised of smaller-scale constituents that interact by exchanging energy quanta. Without this knowledge it was impossible for physicists in the past to fully understand the consequences of the medium through which the energy quanta are propagated. This poor understanding of atomic structure, in combination with Michelson's experimental results, led physicists to conclude that light is not propagated through a medium. This state of affairs around 1900 led to the concept of constant light speed, c, which in turn led to relativity theory.

     Relativity theory requires combining the traditional Galilean/Newtonian concepts of space and time into a spacetime system in which observers moving with different velocities through the cosmos can not agree on standards of distance, time, and mass. Therefore, the observers can not agree on the distance between Earth and sun, or the time for Earth to orbit the sun, or the mass of the Earth (or other observed distances, times, and masses). In spite of this and other counterintuitive, inexplicable, or paradoxical aspects that will become evident, relativity theory was adopted by the physics community because it agreed with experimental evidence and was useful for predicting phenomena, and because no better alternative theory was available. When you understand the quantum medium view, you will see that it permits logical standards of distance, time, and mass on which all observers can agree, and that it has other characteristics that indicate it is an accurate representation of nature. The differences between relativity theory and the quantum medium view are due to different assumptions about light, as follows.

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