This is Essay XLVIII of Mr. Stolyarov’s series, “A Rational Cosmology,” which seeks to present objective, absolute, rationally grounded views of terms such as universe, matter, volume, space, time, motion, sound, light, forces, fields, and even the higher-order concepts of life, consciousness, and volition. See the index of all the essays in “A Rational Cosmology” here.
Since light is not an entity and thus cannot “travel” but is rather a relationship that can be transmitted, the idea of a “speed of light” can be rephrased as simply the idea that the relationship of light does not affect the target instantaneously, and is transmitted from the source at a certain rate.
The transmission of light is dependent on the distance between the source and target, which, as earlier shown, is also confirmed by simple ubiquitous observation of everyday phenomena.
The claim that there is a “speed of light” amounts to the assertion that a source entity 3*108 meters away from the target entity and in a vacuum will affect the target entity one second from the time light was emitted.
The measure of this phenomenon, currently expressed in meters per second, is not truly a speed, but rather a rate of relationship. To be more precise, rational cosmology can assert the prerogative of renaming the concept of a “speed of light” to a distance-dependent rate of relationship (DDRR) which light does indeed exhibit.
Like all relationships wherein one entity acts upon another, light does not occur instantaneously. It is, like all relationships, structured so as to be fathomable via reason, and thus retains certain consistencies; the rate at which it is transmitted is constant given a certain constant medium separating the source and target.
When the nature of the medium changes, so does the nature of light’s transmission and its rate. Since any medium absent a vacuum must by definition consist of other entities, the effect of light upon those entities delays the effect of light upon the original target entity. This is a proposition which logic itself would suggest even in the absence of in-depth particular observation.
Luminosity, that quality of the source entity which enables it to emit light, is finite in its measure in every entity that exhibits it. That is, no entity can emit an infinite amount of light at the same time.
If, between the source entity and the entity originally designated to be the target, there exist other entities, those others will have a fraction of the source’s luminosity expended on them.
Furthermore, since the exhibition of any relationship, including light, takes some amount of time, the initiation of the relationship of light upon the farther target entity will be delayed due to the time it takes for the source entity to relate via light to the nearer entities of the medium between source and target.
Since every different medium implies some difference in the nature of its constituent particles, the interaction of a source entity of a given nature with various different particles will imply various different effects dependent on the natures of the particles thus interacted with. For media of the same sort, the particles ought to be the same as well, and the source entity will interact with them in the same way, thus explaining why light always exhibits the same DDRR when transmitted through the same type of medium.
This deliberation should also suggest that, not only must light reach the target entity in a greater amount of time when traveling through some particulate medium than when traveling through a vacuum, but also that the target entity will be illuminated with the greatest magnitude when no entities occupy the distance between source and target, i.e., in a vacuum.
In a vacuum, all of the source’s luminosity must be imparted to the target, since there exist no other entities to be affected by it. This is why light is seen to be best transmitted to other entities in a vacuum (and is seen to be transmitted quite well in air as well), and is transmitted the poorest through opaque solids, which have the most molecules arrayed between source and target in the most rigid fashion.
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