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Offline McQueen

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What is electric charge ?
« on: 30/09/2007 15:16:33 »
Could someone explain to me the concept of electric charge? Why is it considered a fundamental property?


 

Offline dkv

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #1 on: 30/09/2007 15:36:16 »
There are various types of of charges 1/3,2/3 etc
What do you mean by fundamental?
 

Offline McQueen

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #2 on: 30/09/2007 15:57:16 »
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There are various types of of charges 1/3,2/3 etc What do you mean by fundamental?
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In introducing one of the fundamental properties of matter, it is perhaps appropriate to point out that we use simplified sketches and constructs to introduce concepts, and there is inevitably much more to the story.
The above is a quote from the hyperphysics web-site. So how would you define it, is what i want to know, what is charge, OK by your definition 1/3, 2/3 etc., But what does it stand for?
« Last Edit: 30/09/2007 16:52:22 by McQueen »
 

Offline lightarrow

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #3 on: 30/09/2007 20:25:31 »
Could someone explain to me the concept of electric charge? Why is it considered a fundamental property?
If you explain me what is mass, or lenght, or time, then I can explain you what is charge.
I answered you this way in order to understand exactly what kind of answer you want; I assume you couldn't be satisfied saying simply "charge is that property of bodies that make them attract or repel by Coulomb interaction".
 

Offline McQueen

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #4 on: 01/10/2007 01:40:20 »
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I assume you couldn't be satisfied saying simply "charge is that property of bodies that make them attract or repel by Coulomb interaction".
In fact this is just what I wanted to discuss and is something on which a little more clarity is needed. This anomalousness in our thinking is one of the central reasons that the subject of physics today resembles a cracked and broken path, like crazy paving rather than a smooth whole. It is like someone who having proved that the world is round, still has a map showing co-ordinates of various places on the surface of the earth where you can fall of the edge! Why is this need to hold onto outdated concepts so strong?  Even after something has been irrefutably proved, an outdated concept still exists side by side with it and is given equal importance!  Walk into a totally dark room ! Switch on a light, what do you see?  The radiation (photons) from the light bulb is absorbed by electrons in the atoms of the objects in the room and then re-emitted at  certain frequencies enabling us to see colours, shapes etc.,
What am I trying to say ? We know that electrons (all electrons)   interact with the environment through the emission and absorption of photons. This being so how can you then turn around and say that the electron has a charge? It doesn’t make sense and it means that rather than rely on observable evidence such as the emission and absorption of photons by electrons, and the subsequent gain or loss in energy,  we are bringing in an unfounded  deduction  that the electron has charge. The statement, when looked at in a logical manner, makes absolutely no sense.  Charge is defined as a fundamental property of certain elementary particles of matter. There are two types of charges – positive and negative, like charges attract each other and unlike charges attract.  But is this really true. What is a negative charge and what is a positive charge. Isn’t it well established that a negative ion is an atom that has lost an electron,  while a positive ion is an atom one  that has gained an electron ? But what lies behind this process ,  an electron in an atom absorbs a photon gains enough energy and leaves the atom altogether leaving behind a negative ion or an atom that has emitted a photon might gain an electron and thus become a positive ion.  Shouldn’t therefore our concept of charge be based on the ability of a particle (such as an electron or a proton etc., ) to absorb and emit photons?  Take the case of a proton, it doesn’t emit or absorb positrons,  it absorbs and emits photons, in order to gain or lose energy.This is one of the reasons that atoms can exist, the constant absorption and emission of photons by the electrons in the atom.  The most frequently used argument is that the photon is a neutral particle (i.e., it is not affected by magnetic fields) but if that is so how is the fact that an electron that absorbs a photon experiences a gain in energy (i.e., is positive ) while an electron that emits a photon experiences a loss in energy (i.e., is negative.) explained?
Is the most widely accepted view that a positive electric charge is gained by an object when it loses electrons and a negative charge acquired when it gains extra electrons fundamentally wrong?
My point is if you are going to state (as quantum mechanics ) does that electrons interact with their environment by the absorption and emission of  photons, how can the concept of charge be considered as a separate issue in which photons play no part at all. Attraction and repulsion is explained in quantum mechanics in terms of the exchange of photons, so where does charge come into this?
 

lyner

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #5 on: 01/10/2007 10:01:26 »
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the subject of physics today resembles a cracked and broken path, like crazy paving rather than a smooth whole
That's easy for you to say but have you a viable alternative that can stand up to scrutiny?
Physics is really just a system of models which help to predict what will happen under certain circumstances. Those models work remarkably well  - to such an extent that  human technology uses it all the time very successfully.
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Shouldn't therefore our concept of charge be based on the ability of a particle (such as an electron or a proton etc., ) to absorb and emit photons?
If you expect Physics to be accurate then you should try to be accurate yourself. It is not the electron  (etc) that is absorbing or emitting a photon it is the system of electrons / protons that, by virtue of its physical arrangement, changes energy state and, is so doing, produces or absorbs a photon.

If you have a problem with the concept of a force, look at the energy involved - then go for the concept of  the potential energy added or lost as position is changed - then go for the idea of equipotential  contours. The force (related to the field) is just represented by the gradient of the potential and is in the direction normal to the equipotential surfaces.

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how can the concept of charge be considered as a separate issue in which photons play no part at all.
It isn't. It's when charges change their relative spacial arrangement that a photon with appropriate energy is involved. The energy of a photon which is associated with 'no change' is zero - that is fair enough. The music only comes from the violin when there are changes in the violin (i.e. you make it vibrate).   The violin is not the music and the music is not the violin but they are both strongly related to each other.
As for the question "what is charge?" it is just a concept which allows you to describe what goes on. That is all.
You could call it a banana if you wanted but you could still use it to predict  what happens under an awful lot of circumstances.
As I have said before - if you can think of a better, more complete and consistent, system then develop it and publish it. If you can base you system on experimental evidence and include maths that works then you could be in for a Nobel prize at least. 
Established Science has the right to be conservative and reactionary - it has a track record! If you're good enough, you can influence its path.

 

Offline McQueen

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #6 on: 01/10/2007 12:32:58 »
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Physics is really just a system of models which help to predict what will happen under certain circumstances. Those models work remarkably well  - to such an extent that  human technology uses it all the time very successfully.
As far as that goes, I am perfectly in agreement with you, it does work. But that doesn't mean it is right. Take for instance the flow of a current in an electrical conductor. Now as has long been established photons have  been  discounted as energy carriers... Why?  The distance between free electrons in a metal conductor would be approx equal to billiard balls spread sevaral kilometres apart, (more than 10 ^^5 their diameter) so the chances of them hitting into each other and thus propagating a current is ridiclous. The only way in which these electrons could possibly communicate over such distances is through the emission and absorption of photons. It is not a question of pushing table tennis balls in at one end of the conductor and seeing them come out the other end, there are vast interstitial distances involved. Secondly the drift velocity of electrons in a conductor carrying a current is very very slow, even by normal standards it is about 10 ^^ -3 cms/second. While light and electric current both travel at approx: 300,000,000 m/sec. Quite a difference don't you think. Photons are the only thing that we know of that travel at this speed. Is this just a conicidence or does it mean something?  My point is that by pushing photons completely out of the picture in the carrying of energy, such as a current, we are doing ourselves a disservice. Because as we very well know photons do carry energy.  And in the same vein would exploration of such a possibility ( which hasn't yet been done) improve upon our present model?
« Last Edit: 01/10/2007 12:38:00 by McQueen »
 

Offline lightarrow

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #7 on: 01/10/2007 12:40:44 »
This anomalousness in our thinking is one of the central reasons that the subject of physics today resembles a cracked and broken path, like crazy paving rather than a smooth whole.
Where is the anomaly? Everything (not only physics) have to start from something, even language for example. You can say D comes from C  which comes from B which comes from A. And where A comes from? One day we'll discover it comes from AZ, which comes from AY...Where is your problem?
According to General Relativity, mass (the concept "B") comes from space-time warping (the concept "A). Where does space-time warping come from?
According to some theories, charge is a fifth's dimension warping...
http://www.friesian.com/curved-2.htm
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However, in 1919, soon after General Relativity itself was published in 1915, Theodor Kaluza and Oskar Klein noticed that adding an extra dimension to Einstein's equations effectively incorporated Maxwell's equations into them. Thus 4-D spacetime would not be curved by electromagnetic forces -- there is now just an additional dimension of spacetime, five in all, and only electrical charge and magnetic polarity "see" curvature in the fifth.
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Walk into a totally dark room ! Switch on a light, what do you see?  The radiation (photons) from the light bulb is absorbed by electrons in the atoms of the objects in the room and then re-emitted at  certain frequencies enabling us to see colours, shapes etc.,
What am I trying to say ? We know that electrons (all electrons)   interact with the environment through the emission and absorption of photons. This being so how can you then turn around and say that the electron has a charge? It doesn’t make sense and it means that rather than rely on observable evidence such as the emission and absorption of photons by electrons, and the subsequent gain or loss in energy,  we are bringing in an unfounded  deduction  that the electron has charge.
It's the opposite: we first discovered Coulomb force, then the interaction between charges and light.
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The statement, when looked at in a logical manner, makes absolutely no sense.  Charge is defined as a fundamental property of certain elementary particles of matter. There are two types of charges – positive and negative, like charges attract each other and unlike charges attract.  But is this really true. What is a negative charge and what is a positive charge. Isn’t it well established that a negative ion is an atom that has lost an electron,  while a positive ion is an atom one  that has gained an electron ?
The opposite, but I think it's a lapsus. However, what is a muon's charge, for example? A muon is not made of electrons.
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But what lies behind this process ,  an electron in an atom absorbs a photon gains enough energy and leaves the atom altogether leaving behind a negative ion or an atom that has emitted a photon might gain an electron and thus become a positive ion.
Pardon?
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  Shouldn’t therefore our concept of charge be based on the ability of a particle (such as an electron or a proton etc., ) to absorb and emit photons?  Take the case of a proton, it doesn’t emit or absorb positrons,  it absorbs and emits photons, in order to gain or lose energy.This is one of the reasons that atoms can exist, the constant absorption and emission of photons by the electrons in the atom.  The most frequently used argument is that the photon is a neutral particle (i.e., it is not affected by magnetic fields) but if that is so how is the fact that an electron that absorbs a photon experiences a gain in energy (i.e., is positive ) while an electron that emits a photon experiences a loss in energy (i.e., is negative.) explained?
Pardon?
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Is the most widely accepted view that a positive electric charge is gained by an object when it loses electrons and a negative charge acquired when it gains extra electrons fundamentally wrong?
My point is if you are going to state (as quantum mechanics ) does that electrons interact with their environment by the absorption and emission of  photons, how can the concept of charge be considered as a separate issue in which photons play no part at all. Attraction and repulsion is explained in quantum mechanics in terms of the exchange of photons
Virtual photons, so it's more mathematics than physics. Can you tell me how attraction is explained in this paradigm?
 

Offline lightarrow

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #8 on: 01/10/2007 12:54:30 »
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Physics is really just a system of models which help to predict what will happen under certain circumstances. Those models work remarkably well  - to such an extent that  human technology uses it all the time very successfully.
As far as that goes, I am perfectly in agreement with you, it does work. But that doesn't mean it is right. Take for instance the flow of a current in an electrical conductor. Now as has long been established photons have  been  discounted as energy carriers... Why?  The distance between free electrons in a metal conductor would be approx equal to billiard balls spread sevaral kilometres apart, (more than 10 ^^5 their diameter) so the chances of them hitting into each other and thus propagating a current is ridiclous.
The propagation of current doesn't need electrons hitting into each other, on the contrary, they don't have to hit into each-other at all! It's the propagation of electric field that acts on all the electrons.
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The only way in which these electrons could possibly communicate over such distances is through the emission and absorption of photons. It is not a question of pushing table tennis balls in at one end of the conductor and seeing them come out the other end, there are vast interstitial distances involved. Secondly the drift velocity of electrons in a conductor carrying a current is very very slow, even by normal standards it is about 10 ^^ -3 cms/second. While light and electric current both travel at approx: 300,000,000 m/sec. Quite a difference don't you think. Photons are the only thing that we know of that travel at this speed. Is this just a conicidence or does it mean something?
Substitute the word "photons" with the word "electric field".
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  My point is that by pushing photons completely out of the picture in the carrying of energy, such as a current, we are doing ourselves a disservice. Because as we very well know photons do carry energy.  And in the same vein would exploration of such a possibility ( which hasn't yet been done) improve upon our present model?
I haven't understood this passage.
 

lyner

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #9 on: 01/10/2007 13:03:23 »
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My point is that by pushing photons completely out of the picture in the carrying of energy, such as a current,
First - energy ISN'T current.
Mr Maxwell connects the concept of charge, current and electromagnetic waves very well and certainly doesn't  push photons out of any picture. They are brought very much into the picture. His three equations tie in with quantum theory ok and relate all of that together quite reasonably.
The relationship between charge and photons is that energy is radiated when charges accelerate. Quantum theory requires that the energy change must be quantised so that electrons don't just 'spiral' down into the nucleus of an atom, but there's no conflict.

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Now as has long been established photons have  been  discounted as energy carriers... Why?
Where have you seen this? Alternating current on a wire can be viewed ENTIRELY as an em wave (i.e. photons). The way a radio antenna operates can be explained completely in terms of guided waves.
DC flowing in a wire involves  photons of (near) zero energy - which involves a  (near) infinite number of them. Where's the problem?
Who, exactly, are you picking a fight with? Perhaps you have been reading an uninformed source. (Risky)
Have you tried reading, as a start, some well established Physics textbooks? They may not be cutting edge but they are mostly not - too - wrong and can help greatly in understanding things. I, personally, try for the classical approach first, and then launch into the hard stuff.
 

lyner

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #10 on: 01/10/2007 13:05:04 »
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Substitute the word "photons" with the word "electric field".
Good one, again lightarrow!.
Photon - a changing field.
Field - a very low frequency photon..
 

Offline lightarrow

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #11 on: 01/10/2007 13:29:11 »
I, personally, try for the classical approach first, and then launch into the hard stuff.
Good strategy.
 

Offline McQueen

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #12 on: 01/10/2007 13:56:58 »
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However, in 1919, soon after General Relativity itself was published in 1915, Theodor Kaluza and Oskar Klein noticed that adding an extra dimension to Einstein's equations effectively incorporated Maxwell's equations into them. Thus 4-D spacetime would not be curved by electromagnetic forces -- there is now just an additional dimension of spacetime, five in all, and only electrical charge and magnetic polarity "see" curvature in the fifth.
The photon was not discovered (and named) till 1920!
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The propagation of current doesn't need electrons hitting into each other, on the contrary, they don't have to hit into each-other at all! It's the propagation of electric field that acts on all the electrons.
So when you have a radiating force, (such as a light bulb duh!) does this mean that electrons do not absorb and emit discretely, lets face it the whole concept of a field is wildlyoutdated and furthermore is not based on observation.
« Last Edit: 01/10/2007 14:13:00 by McQueen »
 

Offline McQueen

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #13 on: 01/10/2007 14:00:04 »
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Mr Maxwell connects the concept of charge, current and electromagnetic waves very well and certainly doesn't  push photons out of any picture. They are brought very much into the picture. His three equations tie in with quantum theory ok and relate all of that together quite reasonably.
Mr. Maxwell was a fraud who twisted and suppressed Faraday's research and findings to show off his own mathematical genius, (Which he undoubtedly possessed) at the behest of his intellectual cronies. Humphrey Davy was a snob and did his best to belittle Faraday, his views were catching in the existing social environment! P.S QM does not recognise Maxwell's theory.
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Where have you seen this? Alternating current on a wire can be viewed ENTIRELY as an em wave (i.e. photons). The way a radio antenna operates can be explained completely in terms of guided waves.
DC flowing in a wire involves  photons of (near) zero energy - which involves a  (near) infinite number of them. Where's the problem?
There are many problems! The QM explanation is astounding: A photon travels through space adn spontaneously transforms into a an electron and a positron, which since they represent matter and anti-matter spontaneously annihilate each other and end result is another photon, this is how EM is supposed to propagate?
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It isn't. It's when charges change their relative spacial arrangement that a photon with appropriate energy is involved. The energy of a photon which is associated with 'no change' is zero - that is fair enough.
Oh! oh! now we are returning to the Quantum jump that so enraged Schrodinger and Bohr?
« Last Edit: 01/10/2007 14:21:12 by McQueen »
 

lyner

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #14 on: 01/10/2007 15:17:03 »
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So when you have a radiating force
Could you explain what you mean by a radiating 'force'?
And why do you keep referring to electrons as emitting or absorbing a photon? It is the system, containing the electron, that does the radiating.
You only get hydrogen lines when an electron is part of a hydrogen atom  system.
An electron in empty space - or in the electron 'gas' in a metal (where is is not in any strong potential gradient) can be made to move very easily (tiny energy changes). A field (or v. low frequency wave, if you like) can interact with this system and produce movement - or current.
Also, why are you bringing the idea of electron - positron pair formation into this? Can we do one thing at a time, please?
The photons that constitute the flow of electric energy along a wire are due to the interactions between each electron and the other charges in the metal.  They are very low energy and there are a lot of them - you can treat it as a continuum for most purposes. They are not gamma ray energies which your electron positron system would imply. The photons travel v. fast BUT, when interacting with the lightly bound charges, they cause the electrons to move a bit. Remember, when you switch on, there is a fast (@c) pulse along the wire.
When discussing this process it is, of course, easier to talk in terms of the PD across the conductor producing a field which produces a drift of electrons. But duality is always there and we can use whichever explanation we choose. We usually choose the simpler one!.
And why would you say the Maxwells' equations are not  recognised by quantum theory? It is not surprising that equations developed long before QM, need some help  but they represent the limit as microscopic tends to the macroscopic. I was not aware that they are actually wrong. If you were an actual quantum physicist you might be able to put me right, perhaps?
 

Offline McQueen

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #15 on: 01/10/2007 16:06:28 »
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And why do you keep referring to electrons as emitting or absorbing a photon? It is the system, containing the electron, that does the radiating.
This really does seem to be the heart of the problem!  According to the PEP(Pauli Exclusion Principle) free electrons cannot emit or absorb photons, under any circumstansces. But what if there was a way around this that HUP (Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) itself supports?
« Last Edit: 01/10/2007 16:08:37 by McQueen »
 

lyner

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« Reply #16 on: 01/10/2007 16:41:43 »
When an electron, or an atom, within a molecule  changes its potential energy with respect to something, then a photon may be involved. The only quantities that can change for an electron out on its own are its spin and its KE.  If an electron is in an experiment and you accelerate it in an (dare I say it?) electric field then you have a photon interaction - the electron's energy (KE) has changed this time. Because there is  small gradient of potential energy, the photons are extremely low energy - the field being static.
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But what if there was a way around this that HUP (Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) itself supports?
Yes, indeed, "what if". Are you intending to find one?
We might as well say "what if" we could wave a magic wand and cure all the world's diseases. Science has to back things up - despite your criticisms  of many Scientists.

Could you help me with why the PEP forbids a free electron from getting energy? Surely an isolated fermion can do what it likes?  It's only in bound states that the PEP comes into significance. And what is Mr Heisenberg's part in this, at the moment? Are we measuring anything?

Btw, McQueen, I looked at your website and was surprised to find no maths amongst all your assertions. Do you have references to more detailed information about your ideas? They would need quite a bit of supporting theory to justify some of them if they are to be taken seriously.
« Last Edit: 01/10/2007 21:52:59 by sophiecentaur »
 

Offline lightarrow

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« Reply #17 on: 01/10/2007 19:21:55 »
This really does seem to be the heart of the problem!  According to the PEP(Pauli Exclusion Principle) free electrons cannot emit or absorb photons, under any circumstansces.
Sorry but this is meaningless, said in this way. A "free" body of any kind is free because no forces, no potentials, no fields act on it, so there isn't any light that it could absorb or not.
I assume you intended an electron in the void, which is not in a bound state. But then your statement is not correct: an electron that passes near another charge (and, so, accelerating) emits EM radiation, that is, photons. It's true, on the other hand, that such an electron cannot absorb totally a photon, because in that process 4-momentum wouldn't be conserved (said in another way: momentum and energy wouldn't be conserved at the same time).
 

Offline McQueen

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« Reply #18 on: 02/10/2007 00:00:29 »
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Could you help me with why the PEP forbids a free electron from getting energy? Surely an isolated fermion can do what it likes?  It's only in bound states that the PEP comes into significance. And what is Mr Heisenberg's part in this, at the moment? Are we measuring anything?
The explanation, in layman's terms, is that a bound electron (i.e., one that is present in an atom, has something to recoil back upon (the nucleus) when emitting or absorbing a photon, a free electron has nothing to absorb the recoil so ergo , it cannot absorb or emit photons. Also the electron in its stable state, (nearest to the nucleus) never emits or absorbs photons, although I am not sure why this is so.

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Btw, McQueen, I looked at your website and was surprised to find no maths amongst all your assertions. Do you have references to more detailed information about your ideas? They would need quite a bit of supporting theory to justify some of them if they are to be taken seriously.
This is rather embarassing, I have done some work on it and have formulated a basic mathematical approach to the problem, but it is far from complete.
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Sorry but this is meaningless, said in this way. A "free" body of any kind is free because no forces, no potentials, no fields act on it, so there isn't any light that it could absorb or not.
By free electrons I refer to free electrons in a metal conductor, so strictly speaking they are not 'free' I suppose, but the same principle would apply to a free electron anywhere. 
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It's true, on the other hand, that such an electron cannot absorb totally a photon, because in that process 4-momentum wouldn't be conserved (said in another way: momentum and energy wouldn't be conserved at the same time).
That is correct, unless the electron were able to 'regain' its energy in a very short time on the order of 10^^-15 secs or so.
 

Offline McQueen

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« Reply #19 on: 02/10/2007 00:31:38 »
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And why would you say the Maxwells' equations are not  recognised by quantum theory? It is not surprising that equations developed long before QM, need some help  but they represent the limit as microscopic tends to the macroscopic. I was not aware that they are actually wrong. If you were an actual quantum physicist you might be able to put me right, perhaps?
One of the frequently made statements in present day physics that engaged my interest in theories about light was that it is impossible to explain present day theories of light in words, it can only be explained in mathematical terms. In other words even the concept cannot by any means be even explained or understood in terms of words. It is an interesting statement, and naturally got me interested, because after all what is there that can be explained by the relatively few mathematical symbols that we possess that cannot be explained in words?  I was at first, like so many others,  perfectly at ease with the whole idea, OK, here is something that can be explained mathematically but that is impossible to explain in mere words, the idea is clear. A closer look showed that the mathematical explanations didn’t hold up, they not only did not hold up but in quite a few cases were ‘bending’ the truth.. Take the phenomenon of quantization, this is the process used to try and equate QM with Maxwell’s theory of  the propagation of electromagnetic waves, here we have a discrepancy on the order of 10^^ 12 , that is ‘normalized ‘ by dividing by zero ! In any other language this would be termed cheating and would deserve a second look, but since only mathematicians can understand this concept, that is impossible to do or even to hint at!
There are a lot of other aspects that need justification, ‘light’ is supposed to diassociate or become disembodied and appear only at the place where it is detected, until that point it could be anywhere. All of these statements, supported by very shaky mathematics, and almost rabidly defended on the grounds that mere language is not enough to even understand underlying concepts,  make me a proponent of free thinking. In real life things do not get disembodied, they cannot be two things at once and so on. I am willing to accept anything that is 'reasonable' , writing off discrepancies on the order of 10^^12 by dividing by zero, and then saying that only mathematicians can understand such a concept is i feel not reasonable, as would any sane thinking person. So. yes, why not a little more debate on the subject, why not bring it out into the open some more?
  During the sevetnteenth century in Newtons time, there was much healthy debate and strong feelings on the nature of light, was it a particle or was it a wave, today this kind of healthy discussion has been completely snuffed out,  any doubts any queries are ruthlessl.y put down, even though they might contain a kernel of truth.
« Last Edit: 02/10/2007 00:38:18 by McQueen »
 

Offline Mr Andrew

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #20 on: 02/10/2007 02:12:45 »
I find this whole debate pointless.  I do not argue about things I don't understand completely because they end up turning into someone who does understand them angrily and repeatedly shutting me down.

This post I would like to focus on the article that was posted by lightarrow about GR and charge.  I myself have come to a similar conclusion after hearing GR described in my high school chem class, though I did not realize, as I do now, that it is the temporal dimension that bends and not the spatial ones.  This train of thought leads to two questions in my mind: is time simply a measure of the properties of matter which enable interactions (i.e.- mass and charge)? and then, to describe any object or particle, all that would be needed would be two quantities, one a measure of spatial dimensions and one a measure of temporal dimensions (rather, dimensions of interaction, due to the ambiguity of the definition of time)?  Is it possible to have a function Γ = O + D such that O is a function purely concerned with spatial variabls and D a function solely dealing with variables of interaction?  Although this concept is WAY beyond my mathematical ability to develop, is it at least plausible?  What about the HUP and the uncertainty that would have to be inherent in O?  Wait, and if D is the 'temporal' function, shouldn't there be some uncertainty in it too?....crash and burn! [:-'(]
 

Offline lightarrow

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« Reply #21 on: 02/10/2007 08:31:20 »
This post I would like to focus on the article that was posted by lightarrow about GR and charge.  I myself have come to a similar conclusion after hearing GR described in my high school chem class, though I did not realize, as I do now, that it is the temporal dimension that bends and not the spatial ones. 
Not even this: it's space-time that bends.
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This train of thought leads to two questions in my mind: is time simply a measure of the properties of matter which enable interactions (i.e.- mass and charge)?
Very difficult question. There is something correct in this idea, since, from Noether's theorem, non conservation of energy of a physical system, that is, exchange of energy between that system and the surroundings, comes from time inhomogeneity (I don't know if I wrote it correctly).
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and then, to describe any object or particle, all that would be needed would be two quantities, one a measure of spatial dimensions and one a measure of temporal dimensions (rather, dimensions of interaction, due to the ambiguity of the definition of time)?  Is it possible to have a function Γ = O + D such that O is a function purely concerned with spatial variabls and D a function solely dealing with variables of interaction? 
I don't know enough about it, intuitively I would say yes.
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Although this concept is WAY beyond my mathematical ability to develop, is it at least plausible?  What about the HUP and the uncertainty that would have to be inherent in O?  Wait, and if D is the 'temporal' function, shouldn't there be some uncertainty in it too?....crash and burn! [:-'(]
Too much difficult questions, put in this way. It would be better to specify them.
 

Offline Mr Andrew

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« Reply #22 on: 03/10/2007 21:14:12 »
lightarrow, I thought that the article you posted provided a fairly convincing argument for the statement that it is time that bends and not space.  Of course by time bending I mean in relation to space (thus the concept of spacetime), not by itself.  Time alone is time but considered as part of spacetime it is bent relative to space.  That is at least what I got from the article (before it became unscientific).

What is Noether's theorem?

Isn't density a dimension, and surface area and all of those sort of things?  A dimension in the sense that they describe a property of an object?  That being true, I think it is a very logical deduction that charge and mass should be dimensions of an object.  The only difference bewteen surface area and charge or mass is that surface area doesn't produce an acceleration while charge and mass do.  Therefore, on the subatomic scale, shouldn't an object be merely a wave which has dimensions q and m (and one for the strong and maybe weak force too)?  Come to think of it, I have never heard of a subatomic particle being described by size, only mass and charge (and spin, color, etc...).  Macro objects (atomic nuclei and up for this case) are given a size by the distances their constituent particles are held apart then.  Is space unaltered then by mass/charge/etc... and it is merely the time component of spacetime which changes (this having a component dimension for each interaction property of matter)?  Does this make sense?
 

Offline McQueen

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« Reply #23 on: 06/10/2007 15:36:22 »
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I find this whole debate pointless.  I do not argue about things I don't understand completely because they end up turning into someone who does understand them angrily and repeatedly shutting me down.
What is so difficult in understanding that when you are 'writing off' a 10 ^^ 12 discrepancy and calling it rationalization, you are doing something wrong. If you found a child in one of your classes, changing the numbers in one of his sums in order to get the right answer, would he be right or wrong? What is wrong in claiming as Schrodinger's  once widely accepted model of the atom did, that an atom exists in 256 dimensions, does it sound right to you ?  What is wrong in stating that a thing can't be explained in words and then fudging the mathematics ? It all depends on your point of view, if you are happy with this state of things, fine.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2007 15:39:56 by McQueen »
 

Offline gamburch

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #24 on: 07/10/2007 11:37:48 »
The question is: What is an electric charge? It can be described in terms of it's properties. For example, as the smallest unit of force that can be obtained by the interaction between two such charges, but that's not very satisfying, but neither is describing it as a cloud of certain photons.

Lest you think I'm about to tell you what it is, however, I don't know either, but let me perhaps provide some food for thought. There is a wonderful theorem by W.V.D. Hodge that says on a closed manifold, and here I begin to speak loosely, a differential form can be expressed as the sum of the curl of a form or one lower dimension, the gradient of one higher dimension, and one of the same dimension whose gradient and curl are both zero. In even looser words, this means everything can be expressed as either a rotation or source, that is, as either a squirt or an eddy.

In a Minkowski space there are six kinds of eddy with one associated with each plane. Three such planes have both coordinates whose square is positive, and three have coordinates with one dimension whose square is negative. Let us associate the first three of these with the magnetic field and the others with the electric. Charge is then the fourth component of the vector core of the electric field and the field is itself the eddy associated with the charge.

Does this tell you what elecrtomagnetic field or the electric charge is? I don't think so, but perhaps it's food for thought. Incidentally. thank you McQueen for a delightful question.
 

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What is electric charge ?
« Reply #24 on: 07/10/2007 11:37:48 »

 

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