Newton's Bucket in the quantum medium view
Newton's rotating bucket experiment has long been a subject of wonder and controversy, and is
closely related to the discussion of acceleration and faux gravity on page 29. The experimental
apparatus consists of a bucket hung from a rope. To prepare for the experiment, the bucket is rotated many times around
its axis until the rope is tightly wound. Then the bucket is partly filled with water, as shown in the left figure which is
a cross section through the bucket. To start the experiment the bucket is given rapid rotation in the opposite
direction and released so the rope contributes to the continued rotation as it unwinds. The rotaton of the bucket causes the
eventual rotation of all the water in the bucket, and the surface of the water changes from a flat to a concave shape, as
shown in the right figure.
For centuries people have disagreed on the cause of the so-called "centrifugal forces"
responsible for the concave surface. Some, including Ernst Mach, said the forces were due to the relative rotation
between the bucket and the stars and other massive bodies. Newton thought that rotation relative to heavenly bodies was
not the cause. He thought the water surface would remain flat if the bucket and water were not rotated
and relative rotation was created by moving the heavenly bodies around the bucket's axis. Newton thought there must be an
immovable, absolute space, and in his Principia he wrote as follows.
It is indeed a matter of great difficulty to discover, and effectually to distinguish, the true motions of
particular bodies from the apparent; because the parts of that immovable space in which these motions are performed, do by no
means come under the observations of our senses.
Like Newton's "immovable space," the quantum medium is difficult to detect and it provides an
absolute frame of reference for all motion. The logical consequences of this quantum medium include acceleration forces that
are in directions opposite to the directions of acceleration, as shown on page 29. In the case of Newton's bucket, the
accelerations of the water molecules are toward the bucket's axis of rotation, so the centrifugal forces on the molecules
are in directions away from the axis of rotation. Due to the accelerations, the water's
energy quanta moving away from the axis of rotation transfer more energy when absorbed than the energy quanta moving
toward the axis of rotation. This energy-exchange imbalance occurs regardless of the constant velocity
of the bucket's axis through the qm. The accelerations, energy-exchange imbalances, and centrifugal forces increase with
distance from the axis of rotation, which explains the concave shape of the water surface.