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On the nature of light

  1. Jan 17, 2004 #1
    Friends , Physicists and fellow enthusiasts , the present discussion has been advanced with a view to elucidating our present perceptions on the “nature of light .” A useful place to begin this discussion would be to define those criteria which are generally thought of as being inadmissible in the study of Physics . I have nominally chosen four points which come to mind when judged according to this criteria.
    The three points are :-
    1) Action at a distance .
    2) Impossibilities.
    3) Inequalities.
    4) Irrationality

    Having put forward these criteria , the next stage is to try and follow the course of events which have guided our perceptions of certain phenomenon. One of the earliest and most definitive proofs of how electrical energy is conducted in an electrical conductor came with the invention of the vacuum tube. It is a comparatively straight forward apparatus , consisting of two plates one an anode and the other a cathode , separated by a small distance and sealed within a glass tube which has been evacuated of air. A difference of potential is applied to the two plates resulting in an electrical field existing between them , the vacuum tube at this point resembles to all purposes a capacitor. The cathode is now heated so that it begins to emit electrons and ( in view of the existence of the electrical field ) ions . These particles , under the influence of the electrical field existing between the plates , travel from the cathode to the anode and an electrical current is seen to have been established in the circuit connecting the two plates. Let us examine this event in terms of what it might signify viz-a-viz the flow of an electrical current. Taking the case of a single electron , and conscious of the fact that a moving electron generates an electromagnetic field around itself , we can surmise that because of the existence of this electromagnetic field , the size of the electron (or rather the sphere of influence of the electron ) has increased by several thousands (or tens of thousands of times ) times its original diameter. The result is that when the electron , under the influence of the electric field crosses the gap between the cathode and the anode , it immediately influences the electron next to it , which in a domino effect influences its neighbour so that an electrical current is established through the conductor at or near the speed of light . To all purposes according to this theory the electrical conductor resembles a tube filled with ping pong balls , when some ping balls are pushed in at one end , an equal number emerge from the other end. This is the generally accepted theory of how the flow of electrical energy is established in an electrical conductor. An equally apt solution is available for the induction of an electrical current in a conductor moving in an electromagnetic field . To recap , a wire moving in the proximity of an electromagnetic field is seen to have a flow of current in it. Here also we can see that the electrons in the wire through which current is not flowing are affected by the field around the electrons which are flowing through the charged wire and in turn gain a charge and start to move. It all seems to hang together well and serves to accurately explain what is taking place. Yet this is the point at which the problems also begin. If the two wires are less than a millimetre apart they will already be separated by billions of times their diameter , if the two wires are centimetres apart the situation is totally unacceptable and becomes a clear case of Action at a distance. To put this in perspective , consider that the sun has a radiation which is just detectable at a distance of 1.5 Bn kilometres or 1000 diametres. Thus Maxwells whole electromagnetic theory if taken at this level would be just an empty concept , like pretending to pour something from one vessel into another but in reality pouring nothing into nothing. . Ok , so if it is unacceptable to have such a phenomenon as action at a distance , is there anything else to take its place? To find an answer to this we have to go back to the original discussion on the vacuum tube , and surmise that when the cathode is heated that the product is not only “ions” and electrons but also photons that the excited electrons emit. Let us consider this for a moment and see how different it is to our concept of pushing ping pong balls into a tube filled with ping pong balls. If ,instead of electrons inflated to the size of ping pong balls by their electromagnetic field , we were to substitute photons , we could surmise that the photons travel from electron to electron , at or near the speed of light and give up their energy at the other end. This although similar to the ping ball theory would seem to be more acceptable because at least within the conductor the action at a distance phenomenon has been replaced by an agent , yet it is not wholly acceptable because the action at a distance which exists outside the conductor has still to be resolved. It is time to turn to the next inadmissible criteria in our list , namely the inadmissibility of the impossible. If we look within ourselves with a certain amount of honesty , we would have to admit that the wave-particle duality of light is an impossibility . An object or a thing cannot possess two completely different properties at one and the same time . It would be an impossibility , like being in two places at once. If we are to reject the wave-particle duality of light what do we have to take its place. The answer might lie in the structure of the photon . One of the difficulties in formulating a model for the structure of the photon is that in spite of the fact that light and electromagnetic waves in general have the properties of a wave , it is definitely not a wave in the sense that each unit seems to possess a unique and individual energy , in a wave this energy would be distributed evenly throughout the wave although points of re-inforcement and diffusion might exist within the wave. To find a model of the photon we would have to turn away from the normally accepted definition of a wave and look further afield. One definition of the photon structure which seemingly fits every observed property of the photon including that of wave-particle duality would seem to be that of a solenoidal electromagnetic field surrounding a central core of layers of electrical energy. The structure of the photon as suggested would therefore resemble a multi-plate condensor (capacitor ) surrounded by a solenoidal electromagnetic field. The advantages of this design are that it enables the photon to (a) retain its energy intact (b) give up all of its energy at the time of impact (c)link up with other photons to form chains. The last point above is very important. At present there are trillions of possible photon wave-lengths and energy values extending from 10-13 m to 105m. The suggested structure of the photon offers an acceptable solution for these trillions of unique photon energies . If we take the smallest or fundamental photon wave-length as being around 10-13 and regard all subsequent photon wave-lengths as being multiples or additives to this fundamental photon wave-length it is offers an uncomplicated method for accounting for each of the trillions of photon energies and wave-lengths. The process can be taken further and just as a limit has been set on the smallest possible wave-length emitted by an electron a limit may also be set on the largest possible wave-length emitted by an electron , which observation suggest must exist at about 10-6m. The name given to this longest possible wave-length of a photon emitted by an electron is the “conduction” photon. All subsequent wave-lengths possessing a length longer than this , such as radio waves etc., must therefore be compound waves consisting of linked together or connected chains of conduction photons. (i.e photons responsible for conducting of electricity ) It will be seen that a mathematical formula can be used which very accurately gives the energy of these composite waves. This structure of the photon and the fact that once it leaves the electron further additive processes are not possible might help to explain how photons can travel huge distances without degrading into lower and lower , frequencies and wave-lengths , ultraviolet gradually turning into radio-waves and so on. Thus by rejecting inadmissibility criteria (2) (the impossible ) in the form of wave-particle duality it is also possible to resolve (1) AAD (Action at a distance . The flow of electrical energy through a conductor now resembles a continuous loop of photons flowing through the conductor exiting it at the positive end and re-entering the conductor at the negative end. Thus the electromagnetic field surrounding a conductor carrying an electrical current is seen to be made up of electromagnetic particles in form of photons. Photons are not a symptom of the electromagnetic field as has hitherto been postulated but rather are the causative factor for the existence of the electromagnetic field.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2004
  2. jcsd
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