Problem- The theory of Relativity is premised on the constancy of the speed of light (c) in-vacuo. While no empirical evidence convincingly shows the speed to be variable, nonetheless from a theoretical perspective the invariance is an assumption. Need- It is possible that the evidence could be explained by a different theory. Approach- A non-local hidden-variable (NLHV) solution, the Cordus particule theory, is applied to identify the causes of variability in the fabric density, and then show how this affects the speed of light. Findings- Under these assumptions the speed of light is variable (VSL), being inversely proportional to fabric density. This is because the discrete fields of the photon interact dynamically with the fabric and therefore consume frequency cycles of the photon. The fabric arises from aggregation of fields from particles, which in turn depends on the proximity and spatial distribution of matter. Results disfavour the universal applicability of the cosmological principle of homogeneity and isotropy of the universe. Originality- The work proposes causal mechanisms for VSL, which have otherwise been challenging to ascertain. Uniquely, this theory identifies fabric density as the dependent variable. In contrast, other VSL models propose that c varies with time or some geometric-like scale, but struggle to provide plausible reasons for that dependency. This theory also offers a conceptually simply way to reconcile the refraction of light in both gravitational situations and optical materials.
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