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What if photons were not particles at all?

  1. Oct 10, 2014 #1
    I was always thought that photons were electromagnetic wave-particles. What if they were only EM waves and not particles at all. You are probably going to ask. What about polarization? And if there were 2 spaces intertwined at 90 degree angle. You probably have played with polarized glass and got 2 at the right angle and it would block all the light, no matter the angle you give them. As long as they are 90 degrees from one another.
    My feeling is that photons are only electromagnetic waves travelling in the fabric of space. Well in this case 2 spaces. Does this make sense?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2014 #2

    berkeman

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    Welcome to the PF.

    What is the classic example of when photons exhibit particle-like behavior?
     
  4. Oct 10, 2014 #3

    Fredrik

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    Classical electrodynamics describes light as wave solutions to Maxwell's equations. Quantum electrodynamics describes light in terms of particle states of (the quantum version of) the electromagnetic field. So if you just meant "light" when you said "photons", what you're describing sounds a lot like classical electrodynamics.

    I can also interpret your question as "Are experiments that physicists like to interpret as detecting individual photons also consistent with the predictions of classical electrodynamics (a theory in which there's no such thing as photons)?" The answer to that is no. Perhaps classical electrodynamics can explain the results in some of those experiments, but not in all of them.
     
  5. Oct 10, 2014 #4

    phinds

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    Photons/light are quantum objects. It is pointless to look at them as particles or waves because those are classical things and they are neither. They are quantum objects. If you measure wave-like characteristics, you will get wave-like results and if you measure particle-like characteristics you will get particle-like results but that does NOT mean that they are either one. They are quantum objects. Period.
     
  6. Oct 10, 2014 #5

    ZapperZ

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    It is very difficult to take seriously what you wrote when you are ignoring a whole Zoo of experimental evidence.

    You cannot go by nature with just your "feelings". Science doesn't work simply by a matter of tastes and personal preference. My feeling here is that you don't know what you are talking about. Would you then buy MY feelings here?

    Zz.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2014 #6

    Fredrik

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    I didn't notice the stuff about "2 spaces" when I wrote my first reply. This forum is a great place to learn about the established theories of physics, but you won't be able to discuss your own speculative ideas here. That's actually against the rules. If you'd like to know what the two theories of electrodynamics say about something, feel free to ask more questions about that. But please keep the speculation to a minimum.
     
  8. Oct 10, 2014 #7

    mathman

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    The photoelectric effect (Einstein's Nobel prize) requires a particle explanation.
     
  9. Oct 10, 2014 #8

    ZapperZ

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  10. Oct 10, 2014 #9
    You cannot go by nature with just your "feelings". Science doesn't work simply by a matter of tastes and personal preference. My feeling here is that you don't know what you are talking about. Would you then buy MY feelings here?

    Oh I am certain that science works and first started out in a simple frame of a 'matter of tastes' before the actual mathematics was developed to alleviate the 'personal preference' dilemma.

    A different meaning of the term hypothesis is used in formal logic, to denote the antecedent of a proposition; thus in the proposition "If P, then Q", P denotes the hypothesis (or antecedent); Q can be called a consequent. P is the assumption in a (possibly counterfactual) What If question.

    If this red berry tastes good and is good for me (P) then when I eat allot of red berries then I should feel happy (Q). If I feel happy when I eat these red berries then it might be possible that others would like these berries where my feelings could then be sold.

    Science first started out as a natural feeling and personal preference when humanity was still in caves deciding what made each of them in the group feel the way they did which involves the scientific thought process of the hypothesis where the base of science, how, what, why, where and when are formed.



    Just making a casual observation.
     
  11. Oct 10, 2014 #10

    ZapperZ

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    This is nonsense. You were not in those caves to make such a definitive statement. If you were, then your view of science still are stuck with the Neanderthals.

    All science are accepted based on evidence of its validity, not because someone had a feeling that it is valid. And when someone had a feeling that light cannot be photons while ignoring a huge body of evidence, that is clearly an example of how wrong such "feelings" can be.

    Zz.
     
  12. Oct 10, 2014 #11

    Drakkith

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    Thread locked, pending moderation.
     
  13. Oct 10, 2014 #12

    Drakkith

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    Dryson, science is defined as: Science (from Latinscientia, meaning "knowledge"[1]) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science

    The key here is that science is a systematic enterprise. Cave men were not creating and documenting rules about nature in an organized, systematic way that readily enabled others to reliably understand and test them. Science is indeed based upon, and uses, the basic thought processes and cognitive ability that allowed us to learn and apply knowledge, but that capability in and of itself is not science. It wasn't until the 1600's - 1700's that science as an enterprise (an organization, with internal rules and a collective goal) started to emerge and true "scientific advancement" began to take place.

    Now, since the OP's post is a personal theory answering a speculative question, this thread shall remain locked.
     
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