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A thought on photons.

  1. Sep 6, 2003 #1
    Suppose I built a sphere out of some non ferrous material such as wood or plastic with a door cut into it so I can open it and go inside. The sphere is about ten feet in diameter and is hollow inside. I then take a drill and drill equally spaced holes all around the sphere. Next I take some very strong bar magnets and glue them in the holes with all of the poles of the magnets the same direction and all pointed toward the center of the sphere. I then take a ping pong ball abd glue magnets to it equally spaced all around it with all the poles the same way but opposite the magnets in the big sphere.

    I then go inside the sphere and place the ping pong ball at the very center. Now provided all the magnets are strong enough, the ball should hang at the center of the sphere. (Compare this to the real universe where "an object at rest tends to remain at rest") If I give the ball a push it will break free from the center moving faster until it strikes the magnets at the inner edge of the sphere.

    Next I take the ball and remove all of the magnets from one hemisphere. I then glue the magnets back on the ball with all of the poles facing the other direction. When I place the ball at the center of the sphere it will no longer just hang there. One side of the ball will be pushing away from the magnets in the big sphere and the other side will be pulling toward. When I release the ball it should rapidly be pulled to the inner edge of the sphere. In one way it would be like a photon in that it would lose its rest mass. Now if I spin the ball and hold it at the center of the sphere and release it. It should fly away but now it is moving in a waving motion because of the spin. This is also like a photon because it is now in wave form.

    Since a photon behaves like my ping pong ball I was wondering if a photon has mass but the mass is concentrated on one side of the photon or to a point on one side of the photon. Or the pull of its mass is bent around to one side of the photon. Since whenever we have light there is usually a source of heat, I was also wondering if it is the heat that causes the photon to bend its mass to one side. (If it really works this way).

    However, in order for this to work the universe would have to be exerting a gravitational pull toward its center like the magnetic pull of my sphere. Also all mass would have to be located near the center of the universe.

    Anyone wonder what gives a photon its velocity and could this be a reasonable explaination?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2003
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  3. Sep 6, 2003 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    What in the world do you mean by this? The ball still has all the rest mass it ever had.

    Light has 0 "rest mass". No, there is no chance of it's mass being "concentrated on one side"- that would still be mass and it would act exactly like objects with mass do- light doesn't! It does have energy (depending on it's wavelength) and that energy gives it "mass" (by e= mc2. There is also no heat associated with a photon. Heat is produced when the energy of a photon is absorbed into matter.
     
  4. Sep 6, 2003 #3
    I mean that whenever light is given off there is usually a heat source creating the light. I don't mean that the ball with the magnets has no rest mass but it acts similar to a photon in gaining velocity in one direction. I meant that the heat may be bending the pull of the photons mass to one side so that gravity would pull it in one direction instead of the pull of gravity being equal all around the photon. Therefore keeping it from remaining at rest. I do not think that anyone has proven that light does not mass, only that it has no rest mass.

    By the way Hallsofivy, why the attitude? I am not here stating facts. I am sharing my thoughts and ideas with others so they can share their understanding and knowledge with me. I don't claim to be a physics professor. I have limited physics knowledge. If I had a laboratory and a large government grant I could find my answers through research and experiments. Since I have neither, I am seeking other peoples opinion on my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2003
  5. Sep 6, 2003 #4

    LURCH

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    Perhaps I am unclear regarding the situation you describe. For example, this:


    I don't think it would. If the magnets around the large sphere are arranged with (for example) the positive end inward, and the magnets glued to ping-pong ball are arranged with the positive and outward, the ball will indeed tend to hover in the center of the sphere (especially if the experiment could be performed in zero-G). However, if disturbed from this position, the positive magnetic field around the outside of the ping-pong ball and the positive field around the inside wall of the sphere would retell one another, and the ball with tend to return to center, wouldn't it?
     
  6. Sep 6, 2003 #5
    A thought on photons

    I don't think it would. If the magnets around the large sphere are arranged with (for example) the positive end inward, and the magnets glued to ping-pong ball are arranged with the positive and outward, the ball will indeed tend to hover in the center of the sphere (especially if the experiment could be performed in zero-G). However, if disturbed from this position, the positive magnetic field around the outside of the ping-pong ball and the positive field around the inside wall of the sphere would retell one another, and the ball with tend to return to center, wouldn't it?

    I am not sure about that Lurch. I am working on the magnet thing. I bought 6 sets of those little magnetic earings and glued the little magnets onto a ping pong ball so I can experiment with it. (a total of 12 plus 2 more I had already) Those are powerful little magnets but their pulling distance is rather short. I plan to use about an 8 inch sphere for the larger bar magnets. I don't have them yet. I may go to Radio Shack tomorrow to see if they have some. You are probably right about it having to be done in zero gravity. The ping pong ball with the magnets on it seems kind of light though.
     
  7. Sep 6, 2003 #6
    If it was possible to make a shield that would prevent gravity from having any effect upon an object then an interesting experiment could be done. You could then take a ball and shield one half of it from gravity. Then take the ball into outer space. If the ball moves on its own without pushing it then that will prove whether or not the universe has a gravitational pull toward its center. I hope that one day we have that technology.
     
  8. Sep 8, 2003 #7
    A photon certainly appears to have mass. It can be bent by the gravitational pull of planets and stars. The mass of a black hole will not allow it to escape. It has momentum as it gives a push to an object. It appears to have mass as it strikes a dark object and disintegrates giving off heat to the object.

    Also the universe appears to have a gravitational pull toward its center. Everything is moving away from the center of the universe. This means that the planets and stars and galaxies could be being pulled by gravity. Go ahead and believe that the momentum was caused by a big bomb if you want to. Of course if the universe does have a gravitational pull it would imply that there is mass at the edge of the universe.

    For all we know the universe could be a hollowed out sphere in a rock sitting on a table in someone's house in another world. But if we are, we still have plenty of room.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2003
  9. Sep 8, 2003 #8
    Light can't have mass since it travels at "the speed of light".The only thing that can travel at the speed of light is something without mass, hence a photon doesn't have mass
     
  10. Sep 8, 2003 #9

    LURCH

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    Re: A thought on photons

    Oh, I'm not saying it would have to be done in zero-G, I'm just saying that if it were done in zero-G, I would expect the ball to find the exact center of the sphere. Done on normal gravity, you will probably find that the ball settles into a spot near, but slightly below center.

    Have you gone to experiment yet? You will keep us uipdated on your results, I hope! :smile:
     
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