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Author Topic: Photons and why they're so hard to explain  (Read 30880 times)

Offline lightarrow

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Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #75 on: 09/02/2008 16:15:23 »

You don't know how much I would like to meet you... :)

I knew you were going to say that  :D

Oh my!  :o
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #76 on: 09/02/2008 16:20:56 »
Quote
Wrong. The computation of the intensity can tell you how is the *probability* of detecting a photon, not where it will be detected; you will have the same intensity and so the same probability on a huge spherical surface centered in the star, but this DON'T mean that you will detect light in every point of that suface.
Welcome in the modern physics world!
You are way wrong man. Space exploration, especially the Voyagers would not have been possible with your crummy theory. If you want to argue get out your pen and pencil!!!
What does space exploration have to do with it?
The fact is that no-one can tell you where the photon will be detected.
P.S.
It's not my theory, it's called "Quantum Mechanics". (I wish it was, my theory!  :))

If it was your theory, you could explain it all to me. And I'd be your agent. Reasonable fees - only 30%  :D

For any space exploration mankind has done so far, Newtonian physics had served perfectly adequately. If I remember correctly, Newtonian physics shows an error of only 10 metres in the position of the moon.
« Last Edit: 09/02/2008 16:23:57 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline lightarrow

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Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #77 on: 10/02/2008 20:20:59 »
If it was your theory, you could explain it all to me. And I'd be your agent. Reasonable fees - only 30%  :D
Ok, but with this condition: it would remain 30% even after I've explained it all to you!  ;)
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For any space exploration mankind has done so far, Newtonian physics had served perfectly adequately. If I remember correctly, Newtonian physics shows an error of only 10 metres in the position of the moon.
Didn't know it! 
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #78 on: 10/02/2008 21:04:07 »
Alberto - there has been an on-going experiment measuring the exact position of the moon using lasers reflecting off the mirrors left there by Apollo missions. After years of measurement it has been established that the moon is not where it should be in its orbit according to Newtonian mechanics.
 

Offline lightarrow

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Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #79 on: 11/02/2008 18:18:17 »
Alberto - there has been an on-going experiment measuring the exact position of the moon using lasers reflecting off the mirrors left there by Apollo missions. After years of measurement it has been established that the moon is not where it should be in its orbit according to Newtonian mechanics.
Ah, yes, but I didn't know they could reach such a precision!
Thanks.
 

Offline Mortenson

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Re: Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #80 on: 08/07/2014 22:47:22 »
There is some new work that may explain what photons are and why they have previously been so difficult to identify.  The worked was reviewed by Hans Peter Duerr (Director Emeritus Max Planck Institute for Physics, and Heisenberg protege) prior to any talks or papers. His assessment - the mathematics are correct ... what remains to be determined is the interpretation.

It is possible that the difficulty with conceptualizing photons goes all the way back to the origins of quantum theory.  As Sherlock Holmes indicated, if you cannot solve the mystery you must go back and test all of your assumptions.  Once you have done so you will eventually find the answers you are seeking.

If we go back to the origins of quantum theory we find that Planck ORIGINALLY worked on electromagnetic theory with energy, an energy constant (energy/EM oscillation), measurement time (of the EM irradiation) and frequency (osc/sec).  His original relationship was thus E = energy constant X measurement time X frequency.

When he wrote his famous paper deriving the formula for black-body radiation, he had to resort to the use of Boltzmann's statistical methods (Planck was not very fond of Boltzman) and this in turn caused him to multiply his original energy constant and measurement time into the single value "h" (which by the way caused his measurement time variable to become fixed at the value of one second).

The product of energy and time is called "action"  so Planck's constant "h" was and is referred to as an action constant.  Planck didn't really like it at first as he had an energy constant in mind, not an action constant.  His action constant "h" produced the odd result that the fundamental particle of light - the photon -  came in an infinite variety of energies, rather than having a constant defining energy ... a defining constant characteristic such as the charge on an electron.  The units didn't balance either because the "oscillations" in frequency (osc/sec) were unbalanced.

But the number worked and people started using his equation so he went with it.

If we restore his original formula we have E = E/osc X measurement time (sec) X frequency (osc/sec).  Units balance and total energy can be determined.  If you irradiate for 2 seconds instead of one you measure twice as much energy.  The energy constant from Planck's original formulation turns out to be the energy of a single EM oscillation.  The energy is conserved over time and space, and appears to be therefore the true quantum of energy for EM waves (unlike the infinitely variable photon).

Because the units did not balance in Planck's condensed E = hf, the engineers and scientists got together back in the thirties and officially changed the nomenclature for frequency from osc/sec to sec-1.  That got rid of the pesky oscillations hanging out of the equation and everything balanced.

So far so good, but it was incomplete mathematical notation and that never helps anything.  Kind of like describing your miles per hour speed as just hour-1.  You would have to start putting in a lot of fudge factors to account for the fact that it was miles and not kilometers or yards you were measuring.  Same thing happened in quantum mechanics.  More and more fudge factors had to be brought because the foundational quantum equation was abbreviated and incomplete in a mathematical sense.

A lot of the problems in quantum mechanics go away if one uses Planck's original and complete quantum formula.  Take the photon for example.  Depending on the frequency the energy of the photon changes.  There is no constancy for it and a lot of "fudge factor" type theories must be used to explain this anomaly.  If we use Planck's original relationship, however, the paradox disappears.  We have a constant energy per oscillation EM radiation (6.626 x10-34 J/osc.  If the frequency is 10,000 Hz, and we measure the EM energy for one second as is typical, we end up with 6.626 X 10-30 joules of energy.  If we change the frequency to 300,000 Hz, and measure for the standard one second, we get 19.9 X 10-29 joules.

When you play around with the numbers, you eventually realize that when you measure more waves, you get more energy.  The "photon" is stuck with that fixed measurement time of one second, instead of what should be a measurement variable.  And so however many oscillations there are in frequency - osc/sec - get added up by Planck's condensed quantum formula.  This yields energy that keeps changing with frequency. 

Since the energy constant is conserved across time and space, it is a much more likely candidate for elementary particle of light.  What it all boils down to is that the photon may be an artifact of an incorrect assumption in the origins of quantum theory.  It may actually be a collection of elementary light particles, and not an elementary particle itself.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2014 04:36:23 by JP »
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #81 on: 09/07/2014 03:39:26 »
Quote from: Mortenson
There is some new work that may explain what photons are and why they have previously been so difficult to identify.
I don't see any problem identifying photons or any reason to say that they're hard to explain. In fact I've always thought of them as very simple to understand.
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #82 on: 09/07/2014 13:46:44 »
Quote from: JP
It may actually be a collection of elementary light particles, and not an elementary particle itself.

That would raise a few questions.

1. Would this imply that the quantum of EM energy was smaller than a photon?

2. Might it be that such light particles could occur only in discrete collections?

3.  If it’s “yes” to question 2, would the photon – although not elementary – still count as the quantum of light?
 

Offline JP

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Re: Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #83 on: 09/07/2014 14:36:36 »
Quote from: JP
It may actually be a collection of elementary light particles, and not an elementary particle itself.

That would raise a few questions.

1. Would this imply that the quantum of EM energy was smaller than a photon?

2. Might it be that such light particles could occur only in discrete collections?

3.  If it’s “yes” to question 2, would the photon – although not elementary – still count as the quantum of light?


Can you give me context for where I said that?  This thread is long and very old, so I'm not sure I recall what I was talking about... :p
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #84 on: 10/07/2014 20:49:16 »
Sorry JP!  I think I must have had a mental aberration.  I can’t find the quote in this thread, nor, at the moment, can I find it anywhere else.   I guess I'm the one who doesn't know what I'm talking about.  [:I]
 

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Re: Photons and why they're so hard to explain
« Reply #84 on: 10/07/2014 20:49:16 »

 

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