Paradoxes Resolved, Origins Illuminated
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 Consider the lowly photon ...

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shando Posted - 21 Jan 2012 : 18:48:59
I am not sure if this is the appropriate topic, but here goes ...

Thoughts about the photon.

A photon is a quantum of electro-magnetic energy (EM).

A photon is thought to be a disturbance in the light-carrying-medium (LCM).

Photons travel through the LCM at velocity c, the speed of light.

Photons are detected as waves (transverse waves?) in the LCM.

Photons are detected as particles (longitudinal waves in the LCM?).

The wave aspect of photons has a frequency, which is proportional to the energy of the photon.

Photons can be entangled in such a way that the determination of the state of one photon causes an instantaneous

assumption of a predictable state by the related photon, regardless of its location. This implies a connection (in another

dimension?) independent of 3D space.

Is there a maximum limitation on photonic intensity (an upper limit on the photons per centimeter squared) at the point

of emission?

Is there space between photons from the same source, far away from the source (the photonic intensity per cm^2

should decrease proportional to 1/4piR^2 where R is the distance from the source)?

If a photon encounters opaque (for its frequency) matter, it may be reflected, or it may be absorbed, in which case it's energy is converted to some other form.

As the photon proceeds through space there is some non-zero loss of energy, probably due to friction within the LCM.

This change in energy is manifest as a change (reduction) in the frequency of the EM wave aspect of the photon over


How far will a photon travel (until its EM frequency becomes zero?)? This must be the fate of almost all the photons, however generated, within the universe.

What happens to the energy contained in the photons that never encounter matter?

Answer: The energy of dead photons is obviously absorbed by the LCM. (Does the LCM consist of dead photons then?)

Is this the source of zero-point energy (ZPE)?

I am feeling a bit confused. Please label any of the above assertions true or false and feel free to respond to any of the questions.


20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Jim Posted - 30 May 2014 : 19:10:50 has a lot of anti BB info. It won't go anywhere as long as the money is being focused on the standard model.
shando Posted - 30 May 2014 : 08:45:11
Here's something interesting:

"According to a team of astrophysicists led by Eric Lerner from Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, the Universe is not expanding at all."

"These results are consistent with what would be expected from ordinary geometry if the Universe was not expanding, and are in contradiction with the drastic dimming of surface brightness predicted by the expanding Universe hypothesis."

"Therefore if the Universe is not expanding, the redshift of light with increasing distance must be caused by some other phenomena something that happens to the light itself as it travels through space."

Larry Burford Posted - 25 Jan 2014 : 11:56:37
Statistically, I have 1.4 siblings. The truth IS KNOWN to be different.

Statistically a bunch of EM energy run through a pair of slits will behave as both a particle and a wave. The truth is ... subject to some dispute.

I've heard of one or two experiments that claim a single photon will produce similar results in the neighborhood of a double slit. What about a single wave? (I'm still looking. Most researchers assume photons, so few would try to do the experiment assuming waves.) My BS detector is ticking, but has not gone off, sounded an alarm IOW, yet. Insufficient data, either way.


For obvious reasons we are not able to use a particle detector to detect waves. And we are not able to use a wave detector to detect particles.

So it takes two separate experiments, run either in series or in parallel, to collect the data that we then interpret as "dang - it's both"

The universe really is a strange place. But is it strange in the way we presently imagine, or is it actually strange in some other way?

  • Waves (a field of particles, like air or rock)

  • particles

    • similar to individual teeny tiny little boulders

    • or perhaps some sort of magical equation-like dingus with no attempt made to specify physical properties

    • other possibilities CAN exist. Do they?

    moving through absolutely empty space, like some popular impressions of the solar wind.

  • both

  • Or neither ... something else?

To be able to say which, we really need to understand the physics of EM energy rather than the math. The math is important to a detailed understanding of the physics, but the physics will drive the math.
    Until we can measure things so small that we can seriously rule out the possibility of a field of particles that propagate EM radiation waves, no serious explorer can say they do not exist

Is there an aether that fills all of the visible universe, within which EM energy can propagate as (transverse) waves?

If there is

  • the particles it is made of must be smaller than we can presently detect

  • these particles must not react with each other (to form 'compounds' analogous to molecules in normal sized matter)

  • they must be subject to gravitational force, becoming more dense near normal size masses and less dense away from them.

  • the individual particles must be more or less stationary relative to each other and relative to large accumulations of normal sized matter, like a bubble or an atmosphere, when 'near' said large accumulations of normal sized matter.

    • The range of this effect and the amount of matter needed to cause it is still TBD.

    • Earth must be large enough (since our experiments detect no drift), so Venus must be as well.

    • Earth's bubble will move with it and Venus' bubble will move with Venus so there must be a transition zone somewhere between them.

    • We have bounced radar beams, sent from Earth's surface, off of Venus. And we can do it again if we want to. Might there be subtle anomalies in the return echo, caused by the beam's passage through the anticipated turbulence of such a transition zone?

  • this particle field must be orders of magnitude more stiff than steel.

  • it must have orders of magnitude less interaction with normal sized matter than does the gas and dust of interplanetary space

  • but it must interact to some extent, especially with charged mater. Such interaction is the basis of much of our technology from candles and cook stoves to incandescent light bulbs and radio.

Some pretty strange properties. Is this a possible candidate for one of the various kinds of 'dark matter' being talked about these days? Maybe we are almost able to detect it?

shando Posted - 22 Jan 2014 : 19:48:25
LB: Of course, if it turns out that there actually is an LCM the particle idea goes out the window. Or if it turns out that there actually is not an LCM the wave idea goes bye bye.

And yet we have the twin slit / one slit experiments showing that, statistically EM radiation is both, at the same time - or perhaps not, maybe EM emissions oscillate between the two modes at a very rapid rate.
Jim Posted - 30 Jul 2013 : 18:36:00
It would be better to study the properties of the proton rather than SI units. The SI units are ok for everyday use even in science without any changes. The proton seems to have many unknown properties that might be really important. The mass(for example)of different protons seems to vary depending on where it happens to be located. A mass is given for the proton without an electron and if an electron is added in a way so it becomes a neutron its mass seems to change without explanation. It can become an atom of hydrogen by attracting an electron in another way and its mass again seems to change. The proton can attract other protons and make all the atoms we know and seems to gain or loose mass. If there is some logic here it might be of use if it was discovered while making a sphere of Si28 at a cost of millions seems lacking in logic to me.
shando Posted - 30 Jun 2013 : 12:20:06
Thank you Michiel.

That video link was very informative. I guess that if we use an incorrect assumption about certain constants, we will find out eventually. Probably too late.

eg: The cost of emergency backup electricity generators is usually double what it should be. First, there is the cost of the event that causes you to purchase such a device, which is usually greater than or equal to the second cost, which is the cost of the device itself.
Michiel Posted - 29 Jun 2013 : 14:40:12
By clicking on a more or less random youtube link, I stumbled on this 12-minute video:

It's popular science, but informative, and it's relevant to this topic in several ways.
The video is about the ongoing struggle to define the kilogram as a constant.


Note the Watt-balance mentioned in the video.
When we consult , we (currently) read:

"The principle of the "electronic kilogram" would be to define the value of the Planck constant in the same way that the meter is defined by the speed of light."

So Shando, here we go again. :)


Having said that, science needs constants.
Without them, Larry may never have enough signal-strength to place a phonecall near his home.
Larry Burford Posted - 29 Jun 2013 : 13:22:05
[shando] "Whoops! Looks like I may have gone off-topic here ... "

That's OK - I deliberately led you astray. Since you seem interested in discussing this I am copying your last post to the Big Science Big Government thread (title: Mal Education/shando) and will reply to it there.

If anyone else is interested, follow us there.


Please keep subsequent discussion HERE focused on more scientific stuff.
shando Posted - 29 Jun 2013 : 10:39:14
Well said LB. I think this might be more serious than just "laziness". I am concerned that mainstream science in this case (redefinition of meter) has confused fact with conjecture (ie: assuming that "c" is a constant everywhere/everytime).

Regarding maleducation, I am too old to do it myself, but I am waiting anxiously for some group of young game developers to come up with something that will change the K-12 educational paradigm - perhaps a game that will educate the players in all the basics as a side-effect of playing it.

I am waiting to see all this web-connected technology used to (a) enable a student to discover their most effective learning modalities and (b) use the learning modes to then help the student discover his/her special (peculiar) talents and develop them to their fullest potential. What a wonderful world that would be!

A good place to start might be an automated on-line tutor for the grade 7 courses. Another approach might be to pay students to achieve certain learning goals - we pay teachers to teach, why not pay students to learn? Give kids a motive and then stand back!

Social interaction that might seem to be missing from a web-based individual learning system could become just another learning objective with structured social experiences available within the student's community, supplementing the on-line part. This might be more effective that the bully-mediated system in use within the school system now.

I haven't quite figured how to replace the babysitter function of the present school system, but I am working on it.

Whoops! Looks like I may have gone off-topic here - sorry.
Larry Burford Posted - 29 Jun 2013 : 09:38:21
[shando] "More mal-education if ..."

Yeah, I suppose.

I blame it on the basic tendency of people to be lazy when talking about something with which they are very familliar. It's not that our teachers and scientists don't know that c or G might change tomorrow or might be different over their. It's that they never have changed SO FAR and we get tired of voicing or writing the disclaimer.

And then the new kids come along, never hear the disclaimer, and never think along that line themselves. Then one day, a decade or two into a well paying but not necessarily secure career, they hear someone talking about the possibility that c might change and it scares them.

Even in a free and just world education would not be perfect. But in that free and just world education would be provided by a wide variety of mostly independent organizations rather than being monopolized by a few or one. Since we would be free to choose who teaches us and our kids, at least some of us would be taught about the exceptions and the loose threads. Rather than believing that "nothing important has changed in physics since the 50s", some of us would believe there is lots to be discovered.

Larry Burford Posted - 29 Jun 2013 : 09:16:33
[shando] "... pi ... we can't seem to establish its value."

A good illustration of my point about those parts of reality that have conceptual existence - we are free to conceive of pi either way, or both ways simultaneously, and not be wrong.

shando Posted - 28 Jun 2013 : 19:46:15
(LB) What about pi?

Hmmm ... pi might be constant, it is after all a ratio of two physical measurements, but we can't seem to establish its value - until we do, we will never know if it is a constant constant or not.

(LB) Its not even mentioned in college classes when we teach students that things called constants exist.

Now that the length of a meter has been redefined as the distance light travels in a certain length of time, these students will never discover if "c" is an actual constant or not. More mal-education if you ask me.
Larry Burford Posted - 28 Jun 2013 : 16:41:04
I wonder if the "spherical approximation", sometimes used on cows, would also work for unicorns?

Physical constants are based on measurements made at a particular time and a particulat place. Over time when we see that certain relationships among these many measurements do not change, we call it a constant and give it a name.

It is a reasonable thing to do. But it does ignore the possibility that one or more of the measurements might change at some time or some place. By ignore, I mean we never mention the possibility even though a lot of people know about it. Its not even mentioned in college classes when we teach students that things called constants exist.

    I live near a major highway in a major metropolitan area. I make repeated measurements of the "local cell phone signal" and it is pretty constant. And close to zero. It is not unusual to see my neighbors walking up and down the street with their phone held up in the air, looking for some energy. Friends, relatives and contractors have all commented "is this a dead zone?"

    It has been this way for a long time. I could call it a (physical) constant based on common practice. But I also know that I can drive a half mile in any direction and it changes totally. If a five story building were to be put up near the highway, it might reflect energy our way and things would change without having to go somewhere else.

    If we go to the Centarus System and measure things like c and G, we might find they are different. Or they might be the same now but change over time at both places because the underlying physical cause for these things changes in this part of the galaxy.

    When your samples are limited in space and or time, you should be careful about considering something a constant.
And you are right, if we do find that some or all of our 'constants' drift with time and or location we will adapt. And probably make new discoveries.

Michiel Posted - 28 Jun 2013 : 14:15:17
Larry, your last example seems to indicate that the unicorn is not constant. :)

This also reminds me of the topic
John Hunter offered the idea that the gravitational constant is not constant.
In my opinion, the model can then always be reworked to fit a new "constant".

PI is more constant, yes.
PI is pure math, and math is the only field of science where we can find solid proof for ... ummm ... other math.
Larry Burford Posted - 28 Jun 2013 : 13:13:26
[shando] "It is my conjecture then, that there are NO constants ..."

What about pi?

Zero seems fairly constant to me, also.

Perhaps you need to be a bit more explicit about what you mean by 'constant'?

Reality has three components. There are the things with physical existence (rocks, light, meter sticks, speed). And there are the things with conceptual existence (coordinate axes, unicorns, singularities, ratios).

So there can be both physical constants and conceptual constants.


The third component of reality? Things with consciousness. Conjecture: There must be at least one consciousness in the universe before any conceptual things can exist.

Conceptual constants can easily be rock-solid-constant; we just conceive of them that way. But note that at the same time we can also conceive of a variable constant. There are very few constraints on concepts, yet they really are part of reality. The physical can influence the conceptual, and the conceptual can influence the physicsl.

    Suppose we conceive of a creature no one has ever seen - a unicorn for example. A biologist becomes so enthralled with the idea that she developes the technology to create one. She does so, and unicorns are no longer conceptual.

    Something from the conceptual part of the universe has influenced the the physical part of the universe, via the itervention of something from the conscious part of the universe.

shando Posted - 28 Jun 2013 : 07:28:09
It is presently inconceivable to me, if "t" is really inconstant, how we would be able to observe its variations. In other words, it could be varying all over the place and we wouldn't know it - we have no yardstick.

It is my conjecture then, that there are NO constants - everything we observe is changing. (But I cannot prove it.)
Larry Burford Posted - 25 Jun 2013 : 22:01:35
Keep in mind that while clocks obviously have physical existence, time is a concept. So while a clock can be influenced by other physical things such as speed or gravitational potential, time itself is not. At least not directly as is the case with clocks. But if we see our 'best' clocks changing we have a tendency to think time must have changed.

And in fact we can conceive of a time that follows a clock through any change at the same time we conceive of a time that does not. Concepts can not be mutually exclusive. Except for those that we conceive to be so.

And then, they are only that way for those of us who conceive of them that way.


shando Posted - 23 Apr 2013 : 08:23:09
As I said above, "Rupert Sheldrake ... said that he had examined all the 'speed of light' determination experimental data and found that there was a decreasing trend in 'c' until the '70s and then it turned positive and was still increasing."

The thought occurred that maybe it isn't "c" that is changing, maybe it is "t" that is inconstant.
Larry Burford Posted - 16 Apr 2013 : 12:57:37
Pretty much like your red shift equation above.

You probably ought to use a name other than Hubble for the terms. And if it is different for each object then it is not really a constant.

"SV" for shando variable? ;-)

There are two basic processes to think about that might cause light to red shift: a slow steady loss while propagating through space, and a one time event at (or possibly very near) the originating object. So your equation will most likely only have two terms. Many theories tend to focus on one or the other. That just seems unlikely to me. At the very least it is premature.

shando Posted - 15 Apr 2013 : 22:53:56
I wonder what a "drake equation" for red shift would look like?

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