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Confidence in traditional interpretation of Compton effect ?

  1. Mar 7, 2005 #1
    It appears more and more people are challenging the traditional interpretation of the Compton/Photoelectric Effects. Cramer back in 1986 used the Hanbury-Brown-Twiss effect to show that there is not a 1:1 correspondence between the emitted and dected quanta. You have to combine fractions of the two emitted quanta into one received quantum to make the effect work. My understanding is that he is suggesting that in between emission and detection there are only waves and therefore the concept of the photon is a direct result of the nature of the sites that the energy goes from and to (i.e. they are quantised) and this is how you get your units of energy (E=h nu).

    I've now come across this site that challenges the conventional interpretation specifically of the Compton effect, that light is composed of particles, in favour of light being mediated by space-time itself -> http://www.electrodynamics-of-special-relativity.com/Compton-Effect

    Why are the text books all so confident in things like the Compton effect being unquestionable evidence for the particle nature of light when so many people seem to be suggesting something very different is going on ?


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  3. Mar 7, 2005 #2


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    So many people? I would not say there is any significant shift in opinion on this matter (wave-particle duality).

    There is lots of evidence for the particle nature of light. Check out this great experiment: Observing the quantum behavior of light in an undergraduate laboratory A single photon cannot be observed twice! This was confirmed to over 100 standard deviations.
  4. Mar 7, 2005 #3


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    If I were you, if all I can come up with is a personal website that can't make heads or tails of basic physics, I'd be VERY skeptical of the validity of the physics involved. It takes zero credibility and knowledge of physics to make a webpage (see Crank Dot Net).

    If you think that the photoelectric effect can be explained by "waves", then I'd like to see the wave picture explains the 2-photon, 3-photon, 4-photon, etc photoemission spectra, especially the photocurrent versus light intensity relationship! This is separate from the fact that MANY of the advancement that we have made in the study of the band structure of the semiconductors that you use in your modern electronics were done using photoemission spectroscopy that made use of the photon picture explicitly. The obvious fact that this picture WORKS, and has produced clear applications, seems to have been trivialized continuously.

  5. Mar 7, 2005 #4


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    The confidence comes from the agreement of the QM theory of the Compton Effect and the empirical data. The Compton effect kinematics are standard, well understood, and right. More importantly (arguably) is the fact that QM gives the correct cross-section, for all practical purposes, the probability of any particular measurement. Theory and experiment agree.

    Note that the author of the website you mention does not touch dynamics nor the cross section. That site is lot's of good words, but no beef, he does not walk the walk. He's a JAGTUMP, just another guy trying to undo modern physics. For the Compton Effect read Feynman. read some history.

    In truth, there's only a small bunch trying to unseat Einstein or QM, but they do make lot's of noise from time-to-time, and have for many years. But they never get beyond criticism--when a JAGTUMP suggests and does an experiment or two to demonstrate their alternative approach, the physics trade will at least pay momentary attention, the length of the moment will depend on the quality of the ideas and work.

    Reilly Atkinson
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2005
  6. Mar 8, 2005 #5


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    A "jagtump"... Hum... I've never heard of that word! Quack, crank, imbecile, ... yes. But jagtump? Never. What else have I been missing? :)

  7. Mar 8, 2005 #6


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    JAGTUMP! I love it! Could we rename TD to JABOGTUMP?
  8. Mar 9, 2005 #7


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    As far as I know you all have seen the first, nascent in fact, use of JAGTUMP-- it jumped from me to my post without human intervention.

    ZapperZ--Not to worry, I doubt that you've missed too much in the silly acronym arena. (SAA)

    Self-Adjoint -- Thank you. You can certainly rename TD as JABOGTUMP, or anything else, for that matter. (I plead blindness and/or ignorance, but who/what is TD?)

    Reilly Atkinson
  9. Mar 9, 2005 #8


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    TD is short for our Theory Development board, where we put the JAGTUMP threads.
  10. Mar 23, 2005 #9
    But seriously guy's the website is not trying to unseat Einstein or QM; on the contrary it relies on them as it foundation.

    It tries to provide a model of light which uses the zero interval paths found in the metric tensor to mediate light instead of particles. This can be achieved without fundamentally altering QM or relativity.

    I know of no theory that can satisfactorily explain interference if we regard light as a particle. The Null interval surfaces that radiate from parent quantum systems carry the calling cards of the systems with them. Information about the state of the system and all potential states are held on the null surface since they are contiguous in space-time with the system.

    We can then use Schrodingers wave equation to determine the energy momentum and potential interference patterns(depending on the paths) when an interactions cause shifts in the wave functions on the interacting systems.

    The so called collapse (shift) of the wave function when say a measurement is taken can be explained by regarding the entire probability density field as being entangled(via the null interval surfaces) this allows for the coordinated shift in the wave function over the entire field to occur seemingly instantly (and without violating SR) thus giving an impulsive exchange of energy. Thus a quantum system will interact impulsively (seems to be have like a particle) and its field of operation can extend any where in the universe (via the null surfaces).

    I really think this is an absolute cracker of a theory and deserves a far more postive appraisal than you seem willing to give it.


    Original Message from Ugly appears to be too long to post
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2005
  11. Mar 24, 2005 #10
  12. Mar 25, 2005 #11
    I've now come across this site that challenges the conventional interpretation specifically of the Compton effect

    You will notice that whilst you are questioning the interpretation, all the replies are to the effect that the theory is correct.
    This confusion between theory and interpretation is caused by the failure of even the most eniment writers to draw a distinction between the two. The truth is that the theory is brilliant the interpretation "is an incomplete guess" (quote from 'Introduction to elementary particles' by David Griffiths)
    I have referred to this at length in the introduction to my web page. Making a clear distinction between the two ought to be compulsory, if only to avoid the confusion that exists at present.
  13. Mar 25, 2005 #12
    Hi Elas

    Newtons theory was correct in that it produced predictable results. But nonetheless it had flaws that were revealed by a closer understanding in terms of GR. Newtons theory was an interpretation of the reality. And just as Newton has such a good theory that we use it still, we now know that the theory invoked an interpretaion that was analogous to Euclids principles. They work but they miss an important aspect of the reality. In the same way QM works because the formalism describes the reality. But its obvious to everyone that the mathematical formalism of QM does not provide a sound understanding in terms of interpretation. And so yes - we need to distinguish between theory and interpretaion. But we must never loose sight of the fact that both are the best understanding at present. A complete understanding is something science has yet to achieve in any area. If you disagree with that name your subject where science has reached the absolute truth and I will show you why its not.

    We are just scratching the surface of a reality with depth beyond our understanding. And when we have a better theory - that will still be subject to its limitations in terms of the whole picture. And on and on and on.

    Is there any place in your mind for the idea that the interpretation of QM AND THE THEORY of its nature will be the same in 100 years ? If so you are deluded.

  14. Mar 29, 2005 #13

    Is there any place in your mind for the idea that the interpretation of QM AND THE THEORY of its nature will be the same in 100 years ? If so you are deluded.

    I would be willing to bet that the theory remains essentially the same, perhaps with minor additions; but that the interpretation will be completely different.
  15. Apr 10, 2005 #14
    Recently I tried to find some physical connection between Comton effect and Josefson effect, but the result has appeared very strange:
    (nu of de Broglie)^2 = (nu of Comton)*(nu of Josefson)
    But I have found also other interesting fact.
    As a result of the mathematical and logic analysis I have drawn the conclusion, that inverse value of the Rydberg’s constant is equaled to the length of wave of gamma-quantum, which is necessary for ionization of free atom of hydrogen, which is taking place at temperature of absolute zero.
    1/R = 91.126705 nanometers
    Hence, the Rydberg's constant can be used only for explanation of interaction of photon with hydrogen atom.
    For understanding of the law of interaction of photon and electron it is necessary to carry out "pure" experiments.
  16. Apr 13, 2005 #15
    In the Compton Effect Revisited The Proper Interval Locality Interpretation (http://www.electrodynamics-of-special-relativity.com/Compton-Effect ) we showed that a zero interval strike from a bound electron in a remote quantum system was the equivalent of being struck locally by a photon since the energy and the momentum delivered by the photon or the remote quantum system are related by:

    E = Pc where c is the speed of light.

    We argued that the Compton effect by itself does not allow us to distinguish between these two possibilities. Only by examining the interference and entanglement effects can we interpret proper interval locality as the preferred model for the propagation of light.

    This argument was severely criticised by the members of Physics forums for lacking meat and not walking the walk with respect to the dynamics of the zero interval interpretation. My view at the time was that it was necessary only to simultaneously conserve the energy and momentum and as the energy momentum relationship was identical to that for the photon then the dynamics will be identical to the standard theory. For the Compton effect only the interpretation differs.

    My argument was when interference and entanglement are considered along side experiments that seem to indicate the corpuscular nature of light then proper interval locality provides a more general self-consistent theory of light.

    My assumption that it was obvious that proper interval locality dynamics for the Compton effect reduces to standard QM, was a mistake and clearly adversely affected the credibility of the argument. That is a pity since PIL appears to be a beautiful solution to the inconsistencies between Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    On a lighter note to the question.

    “Who is TD”

    My reply can be found at: -


    or At Simon's Forum http://phorum.internalspace.co.uk/read.php?2,283

    All the action is beneath the surface

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2005
  17. Apr 13, 2005 #16
    I have an question - If a photon is a particle, does a photon have mass ? We learned photons do not have mass. I think, if we are speaking about massless photons, it is better to focus on the wave nature.
  18. Apr 13, 2005 #17
    It is a matter of interpretation but if we consider space-time to be the mediator of light via null interval surfaces, then the photon has no physical reality. It is therefore neither a particle nor a wave nor has mass. The characteristics of light we observe are created by the internal dynamics of the donor and absorber systems and the configuration of the paths separating them.

    The wave-like characteristics of light reflect the changes in the states of the wave-function of the donor electron and absorber electron(s) on interaction.

    The phenomenon of interference will occur because of null surface super-positioning of the donor and absorber system’s wave-functions along the path separating them.

    The particle characteristic can be explained by abrupt shifts in the wave-functions when the interactions occur. The null surface communication between the systems allows them to become super-positioned and hence entangled, this allows the wave functions of both donor and absorber(s) to instantaneously change regardless of their separation in space or the extent of the spatial distribution. The interaction therefore will appear to be impulsive.
  19. Apr 24, 2005 #18
    The official paradigm asserts, that the photon is an electromagnetic wave, but for some reason it cannot give the recipe, how to operate photons with the help of electric and magnetic fields.
    I think, that the photon is not similar to an electromagnetic wave and I want to offer new model of photon, which can explain both the Compton effect and the light pressure more logically.
    1) As any quantum system, a photon has quantum number "m", which is equal to number of half waves on length of a photon. The name of these half waves are quantrons, by analogy to half waves in ring radiators of energy, i.e. in polytrons.
    2) All photons have the same quantum number m=2.
    3) The forward quantron represents spindle-shaped electromagnetic a whirlwind, in which ring lines of a magnetic field form a surface of a spindle, and lines of an electric field are directed outside from a surface of a spindle.
    4) The back quantron differs from forward that lines of an electric field are directed inside of a magnetic spindle.
    5) The density of energy inside a forward quantron is higher, than density of energy inside a back quantron. Therefore, it is possible to tell, that energy of a forward quantron is positive, and energy of a back quantron is negative, concerning some basic energy level (it is possible, concerning the energy level of vacuum).
    6) Proceeding from the above-described form, the electric field of a photon can be presented as an electric dipole, which is "smeared" on length of a photon.
    7) The ratio of length and the maximal cross-section size of a photon depends on its energy. In polytronic model, the energy of quantron is proportional to its area. Hence, energy of a photon also is proportional to its area, i.e. proportional to product of length of a wave by the cross-section size (amplitude).
    8) For example, length of wave of the Rydberg photon (91.126705nm) is 1900 times more, than its cross-section size.
    Actually, these magnetic spindles represent very thin needles. Therefore, I think, this fact is a good explanation to occurrence of the theory of strings.
    9) Absorption of photons by atoms occurs according to laws of an electromagnetic induction. When the photon tries to fly through a ring of polytron, the shoulders of its electric dipole start to draw together. This process of closing in of electric charges generates a pulse of ring magnetic field, which increases energy of polytron. Further, this additional energy starts to circulate in all polytrons in atom, yet will not find suitable node of a radial polytron to leave atom as approximately the same photon, as absorbed one.
    10) The light pressure (the resonant light pressure, including) arises as result of change of a direction of movement of the absorbed energy at its circulation in polytrons of atom.

    As you can guess, the new mathematics in the polytronic theory of atom enables to model also other interactions of light and substance.
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