The speed of light in a “vacuum” is known as a fundamental constant of nature. It may well be that the significance of this has been overlooked. The work of Albert Einstein, as brilliant as it was, may well have stultified scientific thinking in some ways. It can be shown that the Einsteinian equations which include the (1-v^2/c^2) factor which cause them to become indeterminate at the speed of light,”c,” are a subset of equations which describe how information (and energy) are distorted during transmission between a transmitter and receiver by the relative motions of the two points. (“Emulating Einstein in 2004,” a privately circulated paper by this writer.)That is Einstein’s Special Relativity theory actually is not a theory, but should be considered as an example from the facts of information transfer.
The reader may be wondering, “What pertinence does this have to the topic?” Simply this: All known methods of information transfer involve some sort of a carrier wave wherein bits of information are transferred from one physical object to another. There is no reason to believe that information carried by electromagnetic radiation is not bound by the same constraints. The speed of information transfer by other methods could be said to be bound by the vibrational speed of the transferring objects and the spacing of the objects. Following this line of reasoning it seems logical to consider that the speed of light in a vacuum actually is due to the presence in the vacuum of some sort of particles having a spacing and zero-point vibrational energy such that a vibrational disturbance, electromagnetic radiation, will be carried at “the speed of light.” In other words, the old idea of an “Ether,” may not have been totally in error.
If one postulates that information transfer follows the same laws no matter how the information is transferred, then one sees the possibility that there may be a fundamental structure to the Universe of some type of particles. One suggestion, that would seem to fit, would be a “solid” consisting of neutrinos in or near an “Absolute Zero,” ground, vibrational state. If a maximum velocity of energy transfer, i.e. a high-end, cut-off frequency, of light could be determined, this would not only give strong credence to this postulate, but would also give an idea of the spacing.
It may also be noted that such “infinitesimally” small fundamental particles would yet have a mass related to that zero-point vibrational energy, giving yet another possible explanation for the unknown “80% of Black Matter” in the universe.
In summary, we have determined the speed of light in a “vacuum;” but it is this writer’s contention that we have not yet learned the significance of that determination.
Post-script: Since the first version of this was written, there have been some advances in science theory thast suggest that the speecd of light is the asverage velocity in any given direction of the spinning objects which make up the basis of all ecistence. If one is interested in following up on some of this, one posibility is the Google Group, Oscillatodr/Substance Theory.