Waves in Dark Matter

The following feature article appeared in the Fall 1999 issue of Frontier Perspectives. Frontier Perspectives is published by the Center for Frontier Sciences at Temple University. This article posted with permission from Frontier Perspectives. This is an important New Idea Article.

O. E. Wagner
Wagner Research Laboratory
Grants Pass, Oregon 97527
E-mail: oedphd@gmail.com


General relativity (GR) appears to be inadequate as a description for gravity since it is at odds with quantum theory and fails to provide an explanation for inertia and momentum. Other evidence that the space curvature model for gravity (GR) is inadequate is also presented. The basics of a moving standing wave model for gravity are described. The new model apparently provides for the inadequacies of general relativity and may suggest means to control and/or shield gravity.


General relativity (GR) (for definition see glossary) or gravity described as a curvature of four dimensional space time has been the most popular explanation for gravity for about 75 years. In fact the theory, since it was developed by Albert Einstein, is usually accepted without question since no one has supposedly developed a better theory. Unknown to most, however, GR is unsatisfactory. For example it is not compatible with quantum theory (also called wave mechanics) which describes the organization of matter. Elaborate mathematical schemes have been developed to reconcile the two theories1. Perhaps the most glaring incompatibility arises with relation to the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is usually associated with the energy of the vacuum. This constant was invented by Einstein. It was later repudiated by him as his biggest blunder after Hubble discovered that the Universe appeared to be expanding. Subsequently it was dropped from cosmological theories. Quantum mechanical theory, however, suggests the energy of the vacuum is large. Later discoveries suggest that the cosmological constant is very large. With a large cosmological constant, if GR holds, we could not see into the heavens more than a kilometer or so but we can see indefinitely into the heavens 2,3. Physicists generally have chosen to ignore the data assuming that there must be some unknown cancellations that make the cosmological constant ineffective or negligible3. Other theories of gravity have been proposed to take care of the problems but have mostly been ignored 4.

Some may suggest "but GR has been proven"! Not necessarily! One can easily find other explanations for the so called proofs of the GR. Unknown, unseen, matter called dark matter has been found to exist from analysis of the behavior of galaxies and other entities in the universe. Dark matter seems to compose 90% or more of the universe. A disk like halo of dark matter around the sun can explain the "added advance of the perihelion of the planet Mercury"5. The deflection of light coming around the sun and gravitational lenses can be explained as dark matter (including the vacuum) refraction of light instead of a GR effect. A calculated value for the index of refraction of the medium, that would provide for the observed deflection of light coming around the sun would be n=1.00000076. The rapid loss of energy indicated by the decaying orbits of binary pulsars, so far attributed to gravity wave radiation, perhaps can be explained by the dense dark matter-vacuum medium absorbing kinetic energy as the objects rush through it. Or perhaps one can say that dark matter rushes through the moving highly dense objects which provide a large collision cross section for kinetic energy absorption. The 1993 Nobel prize for physics was awarded to Joseph Taylor and Russell Hulse, for the discovery of orbiting (binary) pulsars. It was hypothesized by these men that the energy loss indicated by the observed decaying orbits was due to Einstein's gravitational wave radiation. Other feasible mechanisms were not considered.

Einstein's space curvature waves have never been detected on earth although many attempts have been made. The threshold level for detection of Einstein's gravitational waves, here on earth, is constantly being pushed to lower values because every attempt made to detect them so far has failed. One of the many latest experimental attempts to find the waves that GR predicts is designated LIGO supported by the National Science Foundation. Results from this experiment are supposed to be out in the year 2001. Perhaps nature is attempting to tell experimenters that space time curvature waves do not exist and GR does not apply!


Plant physiologists have been working with plants near 150 years without coming up with a solution to how a plant interacts with gravity. Many years ago this author concluded that there must be something fundamental in a plant's interaction with gravity. For 20 years or so attempts were made to find a satisfactory answer to the problem. In January 1988 strong evidence was found that plants are operated by waves (called W-waves because they were first found in wood) 7. W-waves were not only found in plants but everywhere I checked outside of plants including the vacuum9. These waves are generally low velocity longitudinal waves except in empty space. During the last several years I associated these waves with plant structure, sap flow, a plant's interaction with light, a plant's interaction with gravity and other plant processes (see all the Wagner references). The velocities and/or frequencies of the waves are different depending on what angle they are traveling with respect to the gravitational field. This results in major differences in plant structure in different directions with respect to the gravitational field. One might characterize at least part of the effect as due to a larger and larger gravitational red shift, or decrease in W-wave frequencies, as the plant part's angle decreases with respect to the gravitational field 9,10. By using small accelerometers in trees I found that plants reduce gravity to facilitate sap flow11. Just as was hypothesized it was concluded that a plants interaction with gravity is indeed a fundamental process. Since the waves interacted with both gravity and charge within the plant it appears possible that W-waves and related fields unify the forces of nature10. Perhaps the humble plant is not so humble after all. The finding that plants interact with gravity in a fundamental way suggested to this author that gravity is not a curvature of space phenomenon but a wave phenomenon.

What kind of wave phenomenon could produce forces canceling gravity to move sap up trees? Plant waves in most cases appear to come in the form of standing waves. For an explanation of standing waves see elementary physics texts and the glossary. In plants the standing W-waves displace charge since charge is free to move and charge tends to clump at intervals along a plant stem under the influence of W-wave standing waves.

In the laboratory one can produce moving and stationary standing waves in ordinary florescent tubes12. These F-tube effects look like they might also be due to W-waves. With the proper sound wave sources I am able to continuously move a meter or so of dust along a special sound tube in either direction or hold it stationary (unpublished results). These observations suggested that a plant might facilitate sap flow by utilizing moving standing waves just as one can move dust along a tube with sound waves. Using tiny accelerometers one can measure gravity reductions of up to 22% in small holes in the sap conducting tissue of trees11 indicating that the hypothesized forces are present.. These reductions are likely just a small part of what one could see if one could be within a cell making observations within live plant material.

The idea of moving standing waves exerting a forces on matter is intriguing. Since there are major drawbacks to the curvature of space model of gravity maybe gravity is just a superposition of moving standing waves produced by presently undefined ultimate structures of matter. It appears that electrons are composed of standing waves with a centralized source13. According to a wave equation and a derived equation the sun seems to be a source of standing waves that originally determined the initial locations of the planets and now stabilizes the solar system13,14 Standing waves may just be a natural consequence of traveling W-waves in the dark matter and/or vacuum medium. Moving standing waves may not be that much of a step, in nature, away from ordinary standing waves. Perhaps every ultimate particle of ordinary matter in the universe produces a spherical standing wave which moves inward toward the particle creating an attractive force on all other matter in the field of the moving standing waves. Presently the ultimate structure is not defined. The waves produced have such short wavelengths that they penetrate all ordinary matter.

To explain the lack of antimatter in the universe, I suggest that the standing waves produced by the antimatter particle's ultimate structure travel outward rather than inward thus repelling other antimatter and tending to cancel the gravitational force produced by ordinary matter. Thus antimatter didn't stay around in the early universe and very little of it has ever been observed anywhere. Of course antimatter and matter particles also annihilate one another to produce photons such as highly energetic gamma rays. Note that in the wave theory a single particle of antimatter would apparently be attracted by the earth's gravitational field. Whether there is gravitational attraction or repulsion would depend on the relative masses of the volumes of interacting matter and antimatter.


If the standing wave model is a true picture for gravity then the gravitational field is automatically unified with the other fields of nature. The simplest theory that explains a phenomenon is most often the correct one and I am convinced that the wave theory provides the requirements here. With the wave theory Mach's principle can now can be referred to by stating that the crossing gravity producing waves from all matter in the universe produce a resisting force, proportional to mass, on any accelerating matter (F=ma). This effect might be illustrated by the temporary slowing down of atoms and other particles using crossed laser beams (Nobel prize for physics 1997).

When Einstein first invented GR he thought that it agreed well with the ideas of Mach but later he did not think so15 . Mach's principle states that the inertia of an object arises from the influence of all other matter everywhere. If GR works, the addition of space curvatures from everywhere in the universe would add to zero at any point except for mostly unbalanced local influences. This suggests that inertia does not arise from space time curvature. If gravity arises from waves, however, the superimposed waves would still be present at any point in the universe and these waves could produce inertia.

The idea that waves produce gravity provides a simple explanation for the usual quasars which so far are mostly unexplained. In the wave theory sufficient compression of matter may interfere with the gravity producing mechanism. Perhaps the gravitational field starts to collapse when enough matter (critical or larger mass) collects in one place. The supermassive black hole involved would then form a "gravitational reactor". Large amounts of energy would be given off producing a quasar which may continue giving off huge amounts of energy for many years. Finally the quasar collapses, with nearly complete temporary distruction of the gravitational field with a resulting tremendous explosion. The occurrence of such an explosion would likely be marked by a very energetic g-ray burster. The result, it is hypothesized, is the eventual creation of another galaxy or the large part of a galaxy. Perhaps the occurrence of quasars peaks every 15 billion years (or so) a usually accepted age for the universe. Matter initially is spread out but it tends to condense forming galaxies, stars, and eventually condenses again into what are called black holes which again become massive enough to produce a quasar and then matter recycles. This happens over and over again in the universe perhaps with a period with a certain mean value which we may now call the age of the universe. These ideas permit certain stars to appear older than the age of the galaxy containing them because not all stars collapse into one of the "black holes" at the same time. This would account for the so called "age paradox" presently being considered by astrophysicists. In the theory here the universe could be infinitely old but it continually recycles.

In possible confirmation of the idea that quasars eventually produce new galaxies, an article appeared in the Tri-Valley Herald on January 7, 1999 discussing a local discovery, at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, of one of the brightest starbursts ever seen. It was the first time a starburst was found paired with a quasar according to Carlos De Breuck a Livermore astronomer. A starburst is believed, so far, to be a fast growing firestorm of billions of stars, a chain reaction of births of stars in conjunction with the collapse of a gas cloud. At this writing this author has failed to find a follow up article on this occurrence.

To fit into the recycling theory it makes sense that the cosmic red shift is just due to absorption of light energy by the dark matter-vacuum medium. This effect may be related to the Compton effect with photons and dark matter weakly interacting with a transfer of energy to the dark matter-vacuum medium. My work together with NASA's and others very recent (late 1997 and early 1998) discovery of an infrared background in addition to the microwave background suggest that dark matter-vacuum medium is very energetic14. Conservation of energy laws may imply that all light energy is eventually absorbed back into the dark matter-vacuum medium.

The idea that the dark matter-vacuum medium absorbs energy perhaps both photonic and kinetic under the proper conditions suggests other consequences. Recently it has been found that the cosmic red shift accelerates far away from us3. This might be explainable as a saturation effect. Far within the universe the red shift is relatively constant because there can be only so much equilibrium absorption into the dark matter-vacuum medium. At the edges of the universe it is hypothesized, however, that the medium is not saturated so it appears that the red shift increases as it adds to the energy of the dark matter-vacuum medium. One perhaps can calculate the size of the universe on the basis of this theory. The universe may be growing in size. One might expect the red shift to appear infinite at the very edge of the universe since all of the energy of photons would all eventually be absorbed into the newly forming dark matter-vacuum medium.


W-waves seem to have very unique characteristics. For example close to or within ordinary matter they appear to be low velocity waves which permits them to form the various structures of plants as well as the universe8. They seem to be very prone to forming standing waves with a reflected wave almost automatic. This seems to be a characteristic shared by ordinary quantum waves13. The apparent reflected wave required to produce standing waves may arise due to the characteristics of the dark matter-vacuum medium. I hypothesize that W-waves are quantum waves appearing on the macroscopic scale. If these quantum like waves produce the gravity interactions observed in plants one might expect related gravitational effects on a much larger scale perhaps in the formation of star systems and the universe14.

If a plant's waves interact with gravity, as I found experimentally, then they provide us clues on how to control gravity for man's purposes. If gravity is a wave, a plant is able to manipulate the waves by reducing their amplitudes within the plant. Some of my unpublished experiments seem to indicate that trees even change the gravitational field, next to, and surrounding their trunks. If plants interact with gravity with moving standing waves then perhaps man can use a similar approach to modify gravity.


Again intuitively curvature of space time has nothing to do with inertia and momentum15. This together with incompatibility with quantum theory should be a sufficient cause for one to look for another explanation for gravity.

The moving standing wave model for gravity seems to provide very simple explanations for inertia and momentum. Probably these moving standing waves can move at any velocity up to the velocity of light. Presently the production process for these moving standing waves is not understood but moving standing waves is the hypothesis. If one looks out into the universe one sees matter moving with all possible velocities (includes directions) less than the velocity of light. The gravity producing standing waves radiating from these objects are also hypothesized to be moving with every possible velocity. If an object of mass m is accelerated in this wave ensemble the object must cross all these different velocity waves which produce a resisting force (F=ma). If however the object moves in sync (at constant velocity) with one of the velocities it will be carried along with that velocity. This carrying along we call momentum. An object accelerating near the velocity of light encounters the energy of the vacuum with "substance" of the vacuum perhaps moving in every direction at the velocity of light. In this velocity realm the resistance to change in velocity of an object apparently becomes infinite or nearly so.


Some very recent discoveries tend to support the ideas discussed in this paper:

  1. Gamma ray bursters have been traced to their sources 9-12 billion light years away16,17,18,19. The energy emitted from the explosions causing the bursters was found to be equivalent to the energy of about 5 or more billion supernovae assuming the energy is not beamed but spewed out in all directions. Up to these discoveries a supernova was the most energetic explosion observed in the universe! The energy involved in the beginning of the breakdown of a super massive black hole could be of the order of 5 billion supernovae being emitted externally with much of the remaining energy being self absorbed. Perhaps this occurs when an object sufficiently large enters the black hole to bring it up to or past critical mass. Some oscillatory action could also perhaps trigger the process. Gamma ray bursters occur at a rate of two or three a day which makes sense if the universe is continually recycling and many of these bursters arise from events similar to the one mentioned above. There has been a rush of theoretical work attempting to explain these highly energetic explosions.
  2. The cosmic expansion appears to be speeding up as reported by two research groups3. According to the article referred to here " a non-vanishing cosmological constant is, of course the first thing that comes to mind" if these observations are correct. Theoretical physicists have been avoiding the cosmological constant idea (mentioned in the Physics Today article) apparently because a large cosmological constant seems to preclude the application of general relativity2,3. The new observations bring the cosmological constant to the theoreticians' attention again! If the cosmological constant is large we could not see out into the universe if the space curvature of the General Theory is correct. Again quoting the article " Quantum field theory yields vacuum energy density terms on the order of the reciprocal of the Planck length --- 10-35 meters. That corresponds to a cosmological constant more than 100 orders of magnitude larger than is permitted by the simple fact that we can see distant galaxies". One couldn't see for one kilometer with this large a cosmological constant if the space curvature of GR holds2,3. The evidence in favor of a large cosmological constant is very compelling.
  3. Supposedly there is only a microwave background. At the beginning of 1998, however, NASA and others announced the discovery of an infrared background! This is thoroughly documented on the web and elsewhere. I like the description of the problems introduced into present physics by the discovery of the infrared background as described in Scientific American in their Science and the Citizen section for March 1998. "In short scientists are encountering a new Olber's paradox. The night sky isn't dark; its too bright" and "it would cause real trouble for the cold dark matter model" and so on. Now NASA and others are looking for other wavelength backgrounds. Apparently dark matter and the vacuum are energetic enough to accomplish what I have been proposing for the last ten years or so 14,20. Also this newly observed energy may suggest a large cosmological constant !


The curvature of space model for gravity is not compatible with many features of nature. The moving standing wave model for gravity, however, is compatible with quantum theory and other aspects of nature. The wave model for gravity may permit a reasonable way to break gravity. The space curvature theory seems to preclude any way to leave the earth or any other cosmic body without the expenditure of huge amounts of energy. It appears possible that one can find a way to shield or counteract the effects of gravity producing waves, however. The extremely short wavelengths of these waves would cause problems since they so easily penetrate all matter but ways may be found to overcome the problem. Some recent experiments with a superconducting disk and other methods which seemed to shield gravity may, if found true, tend to confirm the wave theory 21,22 and also perhaps provide a start in the right direction for shielding gravity.


  1. Renteln, P. (1991), "Quantum gravity", American Scientist, vol.79(6), pp.508-527.
  2. Abbott, Larry (1988), "The mystery of the cosmological constant", Scientific American, vol. 259, pp.106-113.
  3. Schwarzchild, B. (1998), "Very distant supernovae suggest that the cosmic expansion is speeding up", Physics Today, vol 51 (6), pp.17-19.
  4. Putoff, H.E. (1989), "Gravity as a zero point fluctuation force", Physical Review A, vol 39 p. 2333.
  5. From private communication with Dr. Robert Zimmermann GR professor of physics at the University of Oregon.
  6. Taken from a letter from Dr. James Turlo of the KLA Tenco Corporation of Milpitas CA with a careful several page calculation of index of refraction of the dark matter-vacuum to give light deflection around the sun considering the density of dark matter drops off as 1/r2 as one goes away from the sun.
  7. Wagner, O.E. (1988), "Wave behavior in plant tissue", Northwest Science, vol. 62, pp.263-270.
  8. Wagner, O.E. (1999) "Waves in dark matter", Physics Essays. In press
  9. Wagner, O.E. (1996), "Anisotropy of wave velocities in plants: Gravitropism", Physiol. Chem. Phys. & Med. NMR, vol 28, pp.173-196.
  10. Wagner, O.E. (1999), "A plant's response to gravity as a wave phenomenon", Proceedings of the International Society for Gravitational Physiology, In press.
  11. Wagner, O.E. (1993), "Acceleration changes within living trees", Physiol. Chem. Phys. & Med NMR, vol 27, pp.31-45.
  12. Wagner, O.E. (1998), "W-waves inside and outside of plants", Physiol. Chem. Phys. & Med. NMR, vol. 30, pp. 203-218.
  13. Wolff, M. (1997), "Exploring the Universe and the origin of its laws", Frontier Perspectives, vol. 6(2), pp.44-56.
  14. Wagner, O.E. (1995), Waves in Dark Matter, Wagner Physics Publishing. Rogue River, OR pp. 83-89, 161-173 see Waves in Dark Matter.
  15. Sciama, D.W. (1957), "Inertia", Scientific American, vol.196(2), pp. 99-109. General relativity was devised to incorporate the idea that inertia arises from the gravitational force from the whole universe but it failed to do this.
  16. Wijers, Ralph (1998), "The burst, the burster and its lair", Nature, vol. 393, pp.13, 14.
  17. Kulkarni, S.R. et al (1998), "Identification of a host galaxy at redshift z=3.42 for the g-ray burst of 14 December 1997", Nature, vol. 393, pp.35-39.
  18. Halpern, J.P. (1998), "Optical afterglow of the g-ray burst of 14 December 1997", Nature, vol. 393, pp. 41-43.
  19. Galama, T.J. and M. Briggs (1999), "Spectral energy distribution and light curves of GRB 990123 and its afterglow", Nature, vol.398, p. 389. Note references on g-ray bursters (GRB's) are numerous. A good place to find more is on the web.
  20. Wagner, O.E. (1996), "All pervading waves suggest universal control and communication", Frontier Perspectives, vol.6, pp.41-46.
  21. Podkletnov, Eugene (1997), "Weak gravitational shielding properties of composite bulk YBCO superconductor below 70K under an e.m. field", LANL database number cond-mat 9701074 v. 3. Again the web is a good place to search for much more on this topic. Apparently NASA is attempting to duplicate these experiments.
  22. Stirniman, Robert (1999), "The Wallace inventions, spin aligned nuclei, the gravitomagnetic field, and the Tampere 'gravity shielding experiment': is there a connection? ", Frontier Perspectives, vol. 8(1), pp. 20-24.


"added advance of the perihelion of the planet Mercury". Out of a total advance of almost 6000" (of arc) per century, about 40" is unaccounted for by planetary perturbations. The perihelion is the point in the path of the planet that is nearest to the sun.

antimatter. For every type of matter particle there is a corresponding antiparticle. Antimatter particles carry opposite charges from the corresponding matter particles.

Compton effect. This involves a collision between a photon and a particle such as an electron. The particle absorbs part of the photon's energy and a lower energy photon results.

gamma ray bursters. These are powerful blasts of gamma- and X-radiation that come from all parts of the sky but never from the same direction twice.

general relativity. Einstein's theory of gravity where gravitational forces are theorized to arise from space-time curvature. One might visualize the curvature by laying a weight on a stretched rubber sheet.

gravitational lens. Gravitational lensing describes how a massive object (such as a star or galaxy) changes the path of light from a distant object.

gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are waves of gravity. In Einstein's theory they are vibrations of space itself.

LIGO. One of the latest ongoing of several experimental attempts to detect gravitational waves. The abbreviation means "laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory."

longitudinal and transverse waves. In longitudinal wave motion the particles in the medium move parallel to the direction of propagation of the wave (like sound waves). In transverse wave motion the particles of the medium move perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the wave (like waves in a string or rope).

Olber's paradox. If the universe is infinitely old and uniformly filled with stars, then the night sky should shine brightly from all directions. It is, however, dark at night.

pulsars. Pulsars, it is believed, are spinning neutron stars that have jets of particles moving near or at the speed of light streaming out of their two magnetic poles. These jets produce very powerful light beams. The rotational and magnetic axes are misaligned. A beam of light sweeps around as the pulsar rotates producing a pulsating light as observed here on earth.

quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is the theory describing the behavior of atoms, molecules, nuclei, and elementary particles which are the building blocks of all matter.

quasars. Quasi stellar objects. Quasars are star like objects that give off more energy than 100 galaxies combined. They are perhaps the most distant objects yet detected in the universe. Many attempts have been made to interpret their behavior.

standing waves. A superposition of incoming and reflected waves (either longitudinal or transverse) often forming a regular series of nodes (e.g low motion points) interspersed with antinodes (e.g. high motion points). Perhaps the simplest way to produce transverse standing waves is with a small rope attached to a door knob!

refraction of light (or other wave). A change in the direction of travel of light (or other wave) when the medium changes.

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