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Author Topic: Light's interaction with matter  (Read 12457 times)

Offline David Sparkman

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Light's interaction with matter
« on: 11/09/2005 01:43:16 »
Well I have tried to answer many questions, I would like to ask one now. I need some help getting my mind around the concept of light passing though a media other than a vacuum. As you know, light’s velocity changes when passing though air, water, glass, oil, etc. Are there any theories to explain this phenomenon? I know there are equations to describe the effect, but is there anything to explain why or how?

It seems that there has to be some interaction between matter and energy that is non-contact here. As far as I know, only gravity has the ability to effect photons without contact. If you will, the photons “know” they are in a different media and react accordingly. Part two of the question is: is there such a thing as diffusion of light or is it really just adsorption and reemission? It seems to me that the second case would result in color shifts as adsorption would be at a quantum level, and electrons would be moving discrete amounts based on their energy levels. So the light would not remain it’s true color. That leaves some form of non-quantum interaction again between matter and energy that deflects light. We also have the reflection phenomenon where light energy is reflected but again not adsorbed at a quantum level.

Light is indeed strange and these actions are like light bouncing off but light is not matter and there is no elastic adsorption and remission of energy as I would understand it at a quantum level.


David


 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2005 03:53:26 »
keywords: optical phonon, polariton, exciton

These are QM quasi-particles that participate in the transmission of light through a non-vacuum. They are linked with the vibrational modes of the media. Actually, I'm still looking for a good reference on this subject. In classical electrophysics, the light is treated as a wave, and transmission and attenuation are caused by permitivity and permeability of the mediua, and conduction terms in the wave equations. This approach gives a simple picture of what happens, but does not tell us why a medium may be lossy or not to a particular wavelength. The QM picture, on the other hand, does give some insight but seems to be an ad-hoc collection of ideas. Good luck with your research.

"F = ma, E = mc^2, and you can't push a string."
 

Offline Simmer

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #2 on: 11/09/2005 11:12:15 »
I hesitate to give you this reference, which is a sort of GCSE level explanation, not sure what the States' equivalent would be.

http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/gbssci/phys/Class/refrn/u14l1d.html

One weakness of this explanation that occurs even to me is that if the light light is absorbed, surely it would be re-emmitted in a random direction and so diffused, which is not always the case.

I'm afraid you may end up answering your own question here - <cheek on> when you do find the answer, could you let us know? <cheek off> :D
 

Offline David Sparkman

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #3 on: 11/09/2005 14:38:24 »
That is a good website, someone has done a lot of work putting it together. And, well you need to first understand what is known or thought to be known, before you can venture into the unknown. It was a good review of basic physics and allowed me to sharpen the question.

I think it boils down to finding an explanation to the duality of light: that some characteristics of photons look like they are caused by particles and other like they are caused by waves. I think the answer lies in harmonics and the preservation of energy.

First a harmonic is where a standing wave blocks out all frequencies that are not integer values of its natural vibration. (a rough definition I know). Consider an electron obit; say the k- orbit of a hydrogen atom. Think of the electron as having a orbit with a frequency of one. It sets up a standing wave around the nucleus so that it doesn't interfere with itself as it orbits and in a sense reinforces itself with an electromagnetic field that it produces. Likewise in a helium atom, the two electrons in the orbital shell set up a harmonic as well so as to minimize resistance to the orbit by the other electrons. Higher electron orbits can be thought of as second and third order harmonics etc. The next shells set up orbits to again minimize electromagnetic interference with other orbits. (See quantum physics isn't so hard after all.)

So my proposed theory is that light is not a wave, but a mass of photons acting as a wave so as to minimize interference with each other. The thought experiment is as follows:

If a beam of light is refracted though an air glass interface and bends as a wave, what would a single high energy photon, not a part of a wave of photons, do on changing media. If the photon were smaller than the atoms passing it though the glass, what would explain its refraction or would it even refract if there were no other photons to interact with? This supposes that the vibrational energy of the photon is adsorbed and passed on by a single atom at a time.

On the other hand, light has no inertia as it has no mass. Keeping it going in a straight line (instead of being totally diffused by anything it passes though) has to be accomplished by its interaction with its wave. And since we know that some small amount of diffusion does occur, we may have the basis for some actual experiments to explain diffusion as a function of the matrix though which the photons are passing, and the strength of the wave harmonic.

Question: am I totally crazy, or does this make sense to anyone?


David
« Last Edit: 11/09/2005 14:40:54 by David Sparkman »
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #4 on: 14/09/2005 22:06:00 »
David

I am in agreement with you when you say that : it boils down to finding an explanation to the duality of light ….” . Let us look at an old idea, one that has been disproved but is in a way coming back, just in a different form. That is the dreaded word ether, thought to be the thing that permits light to travel through empty space. This was disproved by many experiments, but since then we have learned that the experiments that were performed could not work because of many then unknown factors , such as the existence of “virtual” or “quasi” particles. One could say that exactly the same experiments used in Quantum mechanics to prove the concept of wave particle duality  point in an equally infallible manner to the existence of such an ether or aether. If  an ether exists it is probable that its form would take that of virtual photons , these are photons of extremely low energy on the order of 10 ^^ - 38 J  or a very low life time on the order of 10 ^^  - 15  secs. which exist in all matter. Every atom of every sort is constantly emitting and absorbing virtual photons , in fact if it were not for this balancing act , the electron would radiate away all its energy and spiral into the nucleus in about 10 ^^ - 10 secs.  Thus matter would not exist if it were not for virtual photons.  The interesting thing is that although we are willing to attribute such an important role to “virtual” particles within the atom , they are completely ignored in the macro world , is such a notion valid ? As can be seen the concept of virtual particles has to a large extent replaced the role originally given to wave particle duality. An ether made up of   virtual photons would because of its extremely low energies , be completely permeable to matter , no electron would absorb photons of such low energy. Again because of Heisenberg’s  uncertainty relation , the low energy of such virtual photons would mean that they have lives equivalent to those of the proton or the electron. Also it is probable that unlike ordinary photons these “virtual” photons of the aether , do not move around at the speed of light , but are more or less stationary in space and randomly oriented. It must be assumed that in the presence of a real photon these virtual photons align themselves in the direction of the real photons direction of travel forming a line whose ends rest on infinity and that the energy of the real photon travels along this line of virtual photons.
An aether such as this  would occupy the whole of space and , taking matter energy equivalence , would almost exactly explain the mass of the Universe and obviate the search for  dark matter. Also it would serve to link together , as many great scientists have done , in fact for Einstein this was a life long search , the forces of electromagnetism and gravity.
« Last Edit: 02/10/2005 22:33:44 by McQueen »
 

Offline Solvay_1927

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #5 on: 15/09/2005 13:59:18 »
McQueen - I'm interested in more info on what you're describing - do you have any good web links?
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #6 on: 16/09/2005 09:12:50 »
Solvay 1927
Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately , I have not been able to locate any really trustworthy sites on the subject on the net , perhaps Gsmollin can help in this. However , information on the subject is available in most advanced text books on Quantum Mechanics. Experimental proof of the phenomenon I refer to known as the self interaction of electrons is available and is known as the Lamb shift. Briefly the situation deals with anomalies in the orbit of the electron in the hydrogen atom. The hydrogen atom possesses only one electron and one proton , and although similar anomalies in the orbits of more complicated atoms must take place , their effect would be masked or misinterpreted  by the presence of other electrons. It is thought that this anomaly in the orbit of the electron in the hydrogen atom must be due to the spontaneous emission and immediate absorption of virtual photons by the electron , which phenomenon as I had pointed out in my earlier post would account for the fact that the electron maintains its energy and does not spiral into the nucleus. This theory largely replaces the original QM dictum of wave particle duality which was used to explain why because the electron was diffuse (i.e., electron cloud ) the electron did not lose its energy through radiation , since a wave can be in many places at once. Yet QM still maintains the wave particle duality of all matter as an inviolable principle , although the original justification for the introduction of wave particle duality has largely disappeared with the establishment of the self interaction of electrons and which moreover is supported by experimental proof. The other great proof offered by QM for wave particle duality is the double slit experiment , which offers the fact that even single photons when observed over a period of time give rise to an interference pattern. Even relatively massive particles such as the neutron , result in an interference pattern. Yet the presence of an aether would explain the interference pattern in a much more comprehensive matter , for it is then just a circumstance resulting from , the particle in question following the lines where they are most dense , i.e ., where the aether is interacting with itself. This is surely a more acceptable conclusion than to suppose that dense particles , possessing both mass and size could be in two places at once or that they can intuitively or by some super luminal exchange of information know where to go , thereby resulting in the observed interference pattern. Can a particle be in two places at once ? Or can it know where to go ?
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #7 on: 16/09/2005 10:37:11 »
In Continuation .......
An interesting corollary to the existence of an all pervasive aether ,  a concept that has gained wide acceptance in recent times , is that it could mean the disappearance of the concept of “fields” as we have been accustomed to think of them. At the moment we have the electric field , the magnetic field , the electromagnetic field and the gravitational field. QM takes the concept even further by stating that every particle has its associated field and that conversely particles are the result of the interaction of fields , thus the photon is the result of the interaction of electric and magnetic fields.  Yet what if none of these fields exist and that all of them are manifestations of different orientations of the aether. I had stated earlier that in the presence of a real photon the virtual photons of the aether orient themselves in the direction of travel of the real photon forming a line whose ends rest on infinity and that the energy of the real photon travels along these lines. Suppose also that the virtual photons of the aether align themselves in cases where there is an uneven distribution of charge. With this supposition everything is in place to explain how each of the fields enumerated above is formed.  Before an attempt is made to do this , it is necessary to examine the phenomenon of an electric current.

       The whole  Universe , is to the best of our knowledge made up of different combinations of a mere hundred or so atoms , all life forms (on earth )  consist of  different combinations of just four amino acids. It is this underlying simplicity which is lacking in our understanding of physics at present. Take for instance the subject of  magnetism. Although the magnetism induced by a flow of current and that present in a permanent magnet are identical they are attributed to two different causative factors. The magnetism due to a flow electricity in a wire is thought to be directly related to the movement of electrons in the wire or to the vibration of ions present in the lattice structure of the wire , caused by coming into contact with these moving electrons, while the magnetism present in a permanent magnet is thought to be due to the alignment of spin of the electrons present in the material of the magnet. This might sound like a mere technicality but in reality represents a substantial difference , in the first instance the electrons are moving  i.e ., they are free electrons , in the second instance the electrons are bound. Yet the magnetism caused by the two phenomenon is identical , it would be impossible to distinguish by any means the origin of the two types of magnetism. Yet as things stand it is stated that the magnetism due to a current is due to the movement of electrons while the magnetism manifested by a permanent magnet is due to alignment of electron spin.  Can this be true ?  Surely if one thinks about it dispassionately , it is a highly unlikely explanation. What are the alternatives ? One possibility that definitely exists is that both types of magnetism are due to the same phenomenon , namely the emission and absorption of photons. This would explain not only the origin of both types of magnetism but also at the same time explain the phenomenon of electricity. At present electricity is thought to be carried by electrons , yet we know that the drift velocity of electrons in a wire carrying a current is on the order of fractions of a centimeter a second while electrical energy is established in a circuit at close to the speed of light. How can an electron traveling at fractions of a millimeter a second   deliver up energy measuring in hundreds of amperes. It certainly cannot be due to its kinetic energy. How for that matter does electricity cross an open circuit when an AC current is established across a capacitor.  In Maxwell’s explanation for this , once again two explanations are put forward for what is in effect the same phenomenon. The current flowing across an open circuit is according to Maxwell due to a displacement current while the current flowing in the wire is an ordinary current. In the age in which Maxwell lived , photons and for that matter electrons had not yet been identified or properly investigated. What Maxwell was explaining in simple terms is that the displacement current was in fact electromagnetic radiation in the form of fluctuating electric and magnetic fields which had the ability to cross the open space between the plates of the capacitor. Yet if Maxwell had known about photons , it is possible he would have attributed the displacement current to the crossing over of photons from one plate of the capacitor to the other.  Light consists of photons , this fact underlies all our understanding of the changes of energy levels in the atom and the transfer of energy. Yet electricity , which according to Maxwell is electromagnetic radiation ( he calculated the speed of electricity and of light using this theory )  , is completely divorced from the concept of photons. Photons do not even come into the picture. Yet if photons were considered they  would explain all phenomenon from electricity , to magnetism to electromagnetism and possibly even gravity and super conductivity.  If , it is argued it is photons that convey electricity , how does it happen ,since they carry no charge ? The obvious answer to this is that although photons are electrically neutral they are the mediators of energy between electrons and the surrounding world ,  electricity is basically a form of energy. So photons as a mediator of this energy is a perfectly logical explanation.
The ELECTRIC FIELD : results when there is uneven distribution of charge between two objects or surfaces. The virtual photons of the aether align themselves , forming lines of force between the two unevenly charged surfaces or objects and the energy of the field is contained in this alignment of  virtual photons. However , no real photons are traveling along these lines or chains of aligned virtual photons .  Thus the “electric” field does not have the same energy as a magnetic field and forms what appear as being open lines of force between two unevenly charged objects. The MAGNETIC FIELD : A magnetic field exists when a current is flowing from a more highly charged object to a lesser charged object. The photons which do not take part in the transfer of energy (i.e ., which are not absorbed ) , return via the virtual photons in the air to the electrons in the conductor. Why does this happen ? It must be presumed that most of these electrons are absorbed and emitted by free electrons within the conductor, thus , in keeping with the laws of conservation and the Pauli Exclusion Principle , the electrons have to immediately re-absorb a photon of exactly the same energy which has been emitted while the photon has an equally urgent need to be absorbed by electrons missing the same energy they possess. The nearest source of such electrons are within the conductor ,  since forces exist within the conductor which prevent them from re-entering the conductor at any point they have to follow certain paths , giving rise to the typical  lines of force which are observed around the conductor and which are termed magnetic lines of force. Thus in the electric field , real photons are not  involved , while in the magnetic field , real photons , one to each line of oriented or linked photons , are present. The ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS are formed when the magnetic lines of force (i.e., linked chains of virtual photons along which real photons are traveling ) are suddenly denied access to the electrons in the conductor , as for instance by a change of polarity or turning off of the current. The chains of linked photons then proceed to move away from the conductor , at the speed of light in the manner of ordinary photons , this is electromagnetism. In permanent magnets the emission and absorption of photons takes place via bound electrons in the outer orbits of the atoms , as a result of this the process is stabilized and continues to exist even when no current is flowing and since they are self sufficient no current is seen to flow through the magnet.  Finally GRAVITY , is the result of the alignment of the virtual  photons of the ether brought about by the emission and absorption of virtual photons within the atoms of a substance. This makes sense because gravity is also almost a virtual phenomenon to give you some idea of this  gravity is an amazing 10 ^^ - 40 times less powerful than the electromagnetic force. Also , it explains how the gravitational force is dependent on the density of objects rather than on their size. Denser atoms possessing more virtual activity than lighter atoms. Incidentally all atoms are constantly emitting and absorbing virtual photons.
          FACT: Lines of force do exist, both magnetic lines of force and electric lines of    
                      force , how doe we account for these lines of force , if they are merely due
                      to the presence of a field. Why are they so precisely defined. Is it not more
                      in keeping with individual absorptions and emissions emanating and ending
                      at definite points , rather than some anomalous force field.

          FACT :  As long as a current is flowing the photons stay attached to the conductor  
                        ( something which is not supposed to happen ) . Yet when released they  
                        start to behave like ordinary photons , moving away from the conductor at  
                        the speed of light , preserving their identities and energies intact etc.,

       By eliminating the concept of fields , a simpler conceptualization is achieved of everyday phenomenon like , electricity , magnetism , electromagnetism , light and gravity , which is more in keeping with the essential working of the Universe , taking a few basic concepts and evolving from it an amazing variety of phenomena , than the present fractured explanations which frequently result in three or four causative factors being assigned to what is essentially identical phenomenon.


 

Offline Solvay_1927

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #8 on: 16/09/2005 12:46:16 »
McQueen (or shall I call you Steve?),
thanks, this is very interesting and informative.  It all sounds quite plausible based on a quick read of the above, but I'll have to study this further / look at other material before I can fully understand and accept it.

Just a couple of questions:

1. You make a clear distinction between Virtual and Real photons - what exactly is the difference between them? What different properties do the exhibit, and why? (If the answer is that virtuals only live very short lives but photons are more  permanent, then this just begs a further question - WHY do they exhibit this difference in lifetime?)

2. You propose that this mechanism can explain 2 of the 4 fundamental forces (EM and gravity) - do you have anything to say re: the other 2 forces (weak and strong nuclear forces)?

Thanks.
Solvay.
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #9 on: 16/09/2005 16:26:56 »
Thanks  Solvay , I think your post  represents what has become an extremely rare commodity in  present day physics , namely an open mind and a willingness to explore new ideas.  I guess that what I was attempting to put across is that Physics has become dogmatic about what are extremely weird ideas , it is not a question of could this be right , but more like ; there can be no question , what we say is right and everything else is wrong.  Take the two interpretations of the Double Slit experiment that I had mentioned in the last post , namely either a particle having rest mass , and a definite weight etc., like the neutron , can be in two places at once (i.e., pass through both slits simultaneously ) or it receives faster than light information on where it should and should not go ! Both of these options are far out and do not correspond to our experience of the macro world , yet QM states that only the former explanation is valid and no other explanation can even be considered.  Although as QM puts it there is some question as to whether we can ever really measure the Micro world of the atom in the same terms that we are able to explore the macro world , even these barriers are being breached . Take Femto second lasers which are on the verge of tracing the orbit of the electron within the atom . An aether like substance would  explain the Double Slit Experiment without resource to explanations depending on FTL interactions or the disassociation of matter.   Again look at the fractured state of physics when it comes to explaining phenomena .  There are two explanations for magnetism , although both types are identical , there are two explanations for electricity , that flowing in a wire and that flowing across a capacitor , there are two explanations for electromagnetic radiation , namely frequencies of visible light and above and of frequencies below visible light and so on , the list can go on. The amazing thing about these explanations is that they are attempting to explain phenomena which are identical. The explanation I had outlined very briefly in my post , covers all these phenomena using a single root foundation.

1)   As regards your question on “virtual” photons , according to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle , a particle can be virtual in terms of momentum and position OR  in terms of energy and time. Thus a “Virtual” photon can be virtual by virtue of its very short life (i.e., between emission and absorption ) such virtual photons can be found in the self interaction experienced by electrons i.e., they are energetic but extremely short lived . Or they can be “virtual “ because of their very low energies , in which case their life spans can be almost infinite , these are the type of virtual photons found in what for want of a better term I have called the aether. As to why these “virtual “ photons exist and the differences between them , it might be dependent on the situation in which they find themselves.  Let’s face it although the HUP might sound controversial , still there does exist a definite basis for its use when dealing with sub-atomic phenomena , if only because there is no way in which we can correspond exactly our experience of the macro world with that of the sub-atomic world , even if technological improvements like femto second lasers are gradually bridging this gap.
2)   I think the strong interaction is exactly as represented by Hideki Yukawa whose work took fifty years before it was accepted but which is remarkable because it more or less mimics virtual transitions of the electron within the atom and therefore represents a continuity of thought.

McQueen
 

Offline David Sparkman

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #10 on: 18/09/2005 03:41:07 »
Very interesting McQueen, and agrees with what I know about electricty and electron spin. Light waves are just a group of photons, which I suspect can interact with each other, and will try to minimize their interactions with each other. So coherent light (laser) syncs itself to minimize interference (lots of vp exchanges). Electrons dance around the nucelus always moving to states that minimize the interference with other electrons until disturbed by external energy.

David
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #11 on: 18/09/2005 10:13:35 »
David

Right , it is interesting to note your comments on the manner in which electromagnetic radiation propagates.  The propagation of waves involves the transport of energy from one vibrating particle to another. If one drops a pebble into a pool of water , the molecules of water merely move up and down in the same place , while the energy is transported to the next molecule of water and so on. Thus in general all waves need some kind of medium to be transported. The alternative AAD action at a distance , is generally unacceptable.  The manner in which Quantum Theory gets around this lack of a medium when explaining the propagation of light is interesting and makes use of the wave-particle duality (i.e., the ability of a particle to undergo disassociation.)  Thus when a photon travels from one point to another , according to QM it potentially exists at all points in  between and only manifests itself at the point where it is detected. Using probability theory it is possible to calculate that when a photon leaves point A the probability of its turning up at point B is extremely high. When we look at this theory in a dispassionate manner we find that in actual fact it is quite straitjacketed in its thinking because it in effect admits the need for a medium through which light must travel but circumvents the problem by proposing that the light undergoes dissociation (i.e., disembodiment ) and materializes at the other end. Addressing the second point you had made with regard to light as a stream of particles. Once again I would tend to agree because although low frequency electromagnetic radiation might exhibit predominantly wave like properties , its particulate nature ,  is shown by the fact that these low frequency photons maintain their energy over unimaginable distances. For instance the Voyager craft , sending signal over several billions of kilometers is still intelligible on earth for precisely this reason , the individual photons comprising the radio wave have maintained their energy or identity enabling their reception here on earth. In other words just as a photon of green light of wave-length 555 nM will maintain its identity or energy of 2.3 eV  more or less indefinitely until it is absorbed so too a radio wave of  2 GHz or 15 cms wave length will similarly maintain its energy of  0.8 x 10 ^^ -5 eV , which is why we are able to detect these signals and extract information from them. Thus the QM claim that low frequency EM radiation is wave like while high frequency EM radiation is particle like is superficial and does not address this critical point. Again regarding your point viz-a-viz the manner in which ordinary light propagates against the manner in which laser light propagates is also based on observation. Ordinary light spreads out in keeping with the inverse square law while laser light does not. This might be  because ordinary light presents a greater surface of interaction with the medium through which it is traveling than laser light which is shielded from such interactions in the manner of its formation. In Laser light we have a mass of photons all with the same frequency , energies and direction ( coherence ) while in ordinary light we have individual photons being released by individual electrons.  Lastly we have to consider the possibility that the photon itself gives rise to electromagnetic phenomenon , so far we have been making the assumption that electric and magnetic fields give rise to photons. Where does this leave the photon? We know by observation that every time a photon is emitted by an electron , electromagnetic phenomenon are observed , thus every individual photon might in fact exhibit electromagnetic properties because of its structure and the manner in which it interacts with other photons and the medium (aether) rather than being a manifestation of electric and magnetic fields , they might in fact be the electromagnetic field.
 

Offline David Sparkman

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #12 on: 18/09/2005 14:34:44 »
I don't have much more time for this, have to leave in 15 minutes. But as a start (i.e. moving though the known toward the unknown) consider the conservation of energy due to vibration. If you pluck a stringed instrument, you may produce quite a few frequencies, but one frequency is reinforced, and the other frequencies (other than overtones) quickly die out. Different instruments have "color" due to the decay rate of these non-harmonic frequencies.

I believe that the basic electron orbit that gives rise to QM is a single harmonic around the nucelus, the pitch being determined by the forces holding the electon orbit. Add a second electron to the orbit, and it will be exactly out of phase with the first electron like a sine and cosine wave as well as having opposite spin. Bump either electron with a little energy and it will quickly shead that energy and resume its harmonic dance with it's mate. Other electron orbits are all determined by minimizing interference with other pairs of electrons. This stabalizes the atom and gives rise to the quantium aspect of electron orbits: i.e. you cannot maintain fractional frequencies as orbits of electrons.

As to coherant light vs non-coherant light, if there is an interaction between photons, then a beam of light that has all photons moving in lock step with each other would be the lowest energy state for that beam (i.e. the least amount of energy transfer interactions trying to smooth things out). This is not really possible with light of different frequencies. These frequencies would tend to interfere with each other and fight with each other. This would lead to the spreading of the light.

But with light of all the same frequency, it would become to reinforce the frequency and prevent frequency spread due to random energy transfers. Though the photons may have been generated at different points in time, the light pattern quickly stabalizes into a single wave pattern due to this interaction. I.E. the wave nature of light is simply due to the interaction between photons of the same wavelength syncing themselves so as to minimize distructive interactions or energy transfers between them much like an electron in orbit or a vibrating string.

David
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #13 on: 20/09/2005 14:38:38 »
David

I cannot agree with your comment that you don’t have time to discuss this further. It is precisely because there is something to discuss that we are here after all. Although I do appreciate that you might have other more compelling commitments. Let us for the moment consider what we know about the photon.
1)   A photon has the properties of both a particle and a wave.
2)   A photon  always travels at the speed of light.
3)   A photon  originates and ends in electrons. (i.e., photons are emitted and absorbed by electrons.)
4)   A photon has no mass.
5)   All electromagnetic radiation is made up of photons. Which means that there is a huge range of photon energies and wave - lengths from 10^^12m to 10 ^^ -13m.
6)   A photon maintains its energy or identity or is absorbed.
7)   A photon is electrically neutral
If we collate this information it is possible to build a structure for the photon which meets all these requirements. Taking point (3) , we  note that photons originate and terminate in electrons. The electron is a charged particle having a negative charge of  - 1.6 x 10 ^^-19 C. One possibility is that what the electron is emitting is negative charge in pulses:

  and that the pulses emitted first are more negatively charged than those subsequently emitted by the electron , this would result in the polarization of the emitted pulse charges :

Such a polarised structure would have a solenoidal field ( closed loop ) around it and therefore   resemble a capacitor or condensor as seen in the following image ( whether this solenoidal structure of energy is the result of still smaller circulating particles is immaterial for the moment ) However it does ovbviate AAD, Structure of a Photon :


A capacitor like or condensor like structure is primarily notable for its ability to store a charge , thus with the above structure the original charge emitted by the electron would be maintained indefinitely , because of this a photon bearing such a structure would be both electrically neutral and possess  particle like and wave like properties. Such a structure would also enable two orientations namely in series : (a)
And in parallel(b)




« Last Edit: 20/09/2005 14:54:18 by McQueen »
 

Offline David Sparkman

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #14 on: 21/09/2005 04:14:28 »
Steve,
Missed the meaning of the abbreviatoin AAD.

I take it that you are working out the details of this theory in preperation for publishig?

While this concept of a photon carring a balanced charge and therefore neutral is possible, of course you need some compelling reason to show that this is the correct view. Does this concept suggest an unexplained behavior such as photon spin? and the uneven distribution of such spin?

It does suggest to me the "binding force" between photons and even the dispersion of dissimilar light that would cause behavior as we observe, so you have my full attention.

David
« Last Edit: 21/09/2005 04:16:22 by David Sparkman »
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #15 on: 22/09/2005 16:07:17 »
David
AAD stands for “Action at a distance”  a concept  which would have to be used to explain  the propagation of light in the absence of a medium. The photon model I have proposed , not only complies with the neutrality of the photon , but also accounts for its being without mass and therefore allows for it to travel at the maximum imposed limit I.e., c. and enables it to maintain its energy and thus exhibit the properties of both a wave and a particle , it also accounts for lines of force.The final two images in my last post in this thread , are critical to the explanation of what  , which as you had surmised , I wish to propose as a new theory . The photon model I had proposed allows for two orientations in which photons can link together , either in parallel or in series. Existing wisdom in physics states that photons are excluded from the process of electrical conduction , in keeping with the Pauli Exclusion Principle.  PEP states that free electrons within the conductor , which considering the number of interactions involved , would have to be included , would be unable to cope with the forces of recoil , involved in the absorption or emission of photons. I propose that it is precisely because of the Pauli Exclusion Principle that “magnetic” fields are formed around a conductor. Consider the situation of a free electron within the vast interstitial spaces of the crystal lattice of the conductor which has just emitted a photon , it is stranded far from any source from which it can make up the energy it has lost , yet it urgently needs to make up the lost energy , the photon it has emitted is in a similar position , it has to be absorbed by an electron missing exactly the same amount of energy it possesses , the nearest source of such electrons are within the conductor , since dynamic forces present within the conductor mean that it cannot immediately  return through the conductor , the photon , if not absorbed , leaves the conductor , resulting in the “virtual” photons of the aether  lining up in its direction of travel , the real photon travels along this line at the speed of c and re-enters the conductor at the closest available point and is absorbed by a free electron and the cycle is repeated. During this process the photons are lined up in series , thus each line ( of force if you will ) contains the energy of a single conduction photon. This explains why in an AC circuit . the same current results regardless of the number of hertz at which the current is oscillating. When the current is switched off  or reversed , the lines of virtual photons are released since they can no longer find receptive electrons within the conductor, re-orient themselves in a horizontal formation , and leave the conductor in solenoidal (closed ) loops. This is an electromagnetic field.  The energy of the single photon is now shared by all the photons forming the loop , resulting in  lower energies . This explains the difference between reactive and radiative fields. Thus central to the theory is the premise that there is a fundamental photon length to do with the conduction of current , and all wave lengths of electromagnetic radiation greater than that of visible light are therefore composite waves , made up of linked photons. The validity of the theory can easily be proved but it does require a certain amount of application. Photons of the wave-length I have proposed (i.e., around  800nm )  are already being produced and  used  in various applications. It should be possible to design an experiment which would either validate or disprove the theory. As a post script I would like to quote Max Born on the spin of sub-atomic particles : …….one should not imagine that there is anything in the nature of matter actually rotating. in other words it is the idea of spin without anything actually spinning . I have naturally considered the subject viz-a-viz my theory but it would be too long to go into here.
« Last Edit: 22/09/2005 16:11:33 by McQueen »
 

Offline David Sparkman

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #16 on: 22/09/2005 17:43:48 »
Very interesting, this will take a little time for me to digest. Where does the 800 nmeters wavelength sugest itself? Areas of interest are the energy consumed by generating a magnetic field, and the same energy given up as the field collapses, the energy loss due to alternating current in a transformer, high frequency fields stay close to the conductor, lower frequencies venture further out. We use this in inductive melting: high frequency for small diameter furnaces, lower frequencies for larger diameter furnaces. In fact the whole concept of transformers (does anything change with this theory?) and many other questions. Let me mull this one over for a while.

The term photon spin was taken from electron spin, which was originally deemed the best way to explain the magnetic properties of electrons. I suppose a rotating electron would work to explain a lot, so why not a photon? The spin would be at right angles to the magnetic field (good old right hand rule).

Does coherent light react at all with charged materials? If photons are charged energy, they might show some strange behavior in a very powerful field. They move very quickly, so the effect would be very small.

What changes does an electron go though on the discharge of a photon? We often think of things being instantaneous, but they aren’t. The electron in the second shell, sheds exactly the right amount of energy to drop it back into the first shell. Perhaps we are dealing with trillionths of a second, but does the electron shed energy and then drop down, does it drop down and then shed the energy, or does it shed the energy while dropping down? The last could be a longer event. What is the size of the photon with respect to the dimensions of the atom? (I know it is fuzzy.)

Does the spin of the electron bear any relationship to the spin of a photon?
Does the direction of the photon arise out of any property or state of the electron it comes from?
And finally, photon spin is distributed rather lopsidedly; I bet there is a natural reason.

hehe lots of questions. David
« Last Edit: 23/09/2005 04:24:33 by David Sparkman »
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #17 on: 22/09/2005 22:50:15 »
David

 I have to say that your posts have been inspirational to me , particularly your comments on how light might interact with itself , they have also helped me to better understand my own concept of the Virtual Photon Field.  The Virtual Photon Field , it must be assumed , came into being simultaneously with the Universe and occupies the whole of space , given the fact that all matter is closely involved with virtual photon activity , this seems to be an acceptable premise. The Virtual Photon Field  is the fabric of space , and if matter energy equivalence were considered , would exactly account for the missing mass  in space. Thus instead of Dark matter pervading the Universe , we have light in suspension , ready to be brought to life as radiation approaches in its direction. It is marvelous to think of this space fabric , which orients itself in a myriad of directions to accommodate a myriad of energies , while at the same time also orienting itself between the masses of matter in space , drawing them together and lending an underlying form to everything. Even more amazing is that because of the way in which the Virtual Photon Field reacts with electromagnetic radiation , it is possible to have literally trillions of  different energies crisscrossing space in every direction , combining together to give different colours and frequencies , and yet miraculously keeping each of these frequencies and energies distinct and separate , so that like a magician it is possible in the end  to draw out each individual frequency intact in its original energy . This is an amazing phenomenon.  The propagation of white light is the supreme example. Light of different frequencies and energies combines to give the impression of white light , but within that white light each of the frequencies survive intact and untouched , ready at any time to appear as individual colours and frequencies. Perhaps the circumstance which gives me the most pride is that , my theory yields up , although I have to say that this was completely unpremeditated , the ideas which some of our greatest scientists have had on the various subjects involved. Taking things chronologically , Newton had stated with regard to gravity  that : “ This is certain that it must proceed from the very centers of suns and planets , without suffering the least diminution of its force ; that operates not according to the quantity of the surface of the particles upon which it acts ( as mechanical causes used to do ) but according to the quantity of the solid matter which they contain . and propagates its virtue on all sides to immense distances decreasing always in the duplicate proportion of the distances ………….” My premise that gravity might have its cause in the virtual photon activity or self interaction taking place in atoms and the resultant alignment of the virtual photon field , comes close to fulfilling these criteria.   Secondly   Faraday who had first coined the term line of force frequently stated , before Maxwell took over his research , that he would not be satisfied with any theory unless it showed that lines of force had some actual existence.  My theory lends support to this view. Lastly both Henri Lorentz and Albert Einstein were strongly convinced of the close relationship between electromagnetism and gravity , again my theory strongly favours this conclusion. In short the theory I have been working on is almost complete , it is almost 98% in conformance with observed phenomenon , what remains is to try and validate it. P.S Just read your last post , will think about it.
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #18 on: 26/09/2005 00:49:22 »
To david and mc queen  

i've been getting into this topic.

Unfortuanatly i am unable to take part due too obvious reasons ,however i have learn't a few things.

when's the next instalment please

Michael  
« Last Edit: 27/09/2005 03:43:39 by ukmicky »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #19 on: 27/09/2005 04:20:58 »
Thanks Micahel...I'm going to have to read it all now !!...sheesh !

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #20 on: 27/09/2005 06:49:56 »
Michael

I am in emphatic  agreement. It wouldn’t do for you to get overly involved in anything non-conformist right now. On the other hand it is always a good thing  to keep an eye on new ideas .  As for the next installment this would be a good  place to start  , namely the juncture at which Classical Physics fails and Quantum Mechanics  steps in to fill the gap . It is this step over from one discipline into another which , I feel , is the most controversial . Classical Physics experienced a complete failure in its ability to explain the existence of atoms , according to Classical Physics a charged body in motion , should radiate away all of its energy , ( in t = 10 ^^- 10 secs. ) and spiral into the nucleus.  Classical Physics had no explanation for how atoms could exist ! Quantum Mechanics filled the gap with its theory of wave – particle duality. They took as the starting point the newly discovered properties of the photon , which was observed to posses the properties of both a particle and a wave. Thus the photon is considered by Quantum Mechanics to be the absolute personification of wave – particle duality , it not only possesses the properties of a wave and a particle but actually is a wave or a particle depending on the conditions under which it is observed , but  can never possess both properties simultaneously. It is either a particle or a wave. This position was seemingly strengthened by the discovery of Prince Louis De Broglie of  matter waves , a theory which he extrapolated from Einstein’s equations of matter / energy equivalence.  As far as I can see there are two things which are basically wrong with De Broglie’s theory , the first is that  there is no doubt that matter/energy equivalence does exist , but even at the sub-atomic level it takes enormous , ( as we have seen from experiments with particle accelerators ) energy to effect this transformation. Yet according to Broglie this property is inherent in all matter even under normal circumstances and without the input of extra energy.  Secondly is the fact that De Broglie was never able to explain what “matter waves “ were. One thing that is sure is that they are not ordinary waves. When pressed all he could say was that they are ‘waves associated with matter’ , more than this he refused to comment , and to this day no-one knows what matter waves actually are. Thus all matter from elephants to sub-atomic particles have their associated matter waves. At the macro size they are insignificant but at the sub-atomic level they take on significance. This , surely , is merely an example   of inverse proportion and should not be given the importance it has been given. It is after all  merely a mathematical abstraction. As I said earlier on there is nothing wrong per se with wave- particle duality. It is after all a theory , what is unacceptable is the raising of this theory into an inviolable tenet. As if to say this is our interpretation and no other interpretation can or should exist.  It was this intractability against which Einstein was so vehemently opposed. Take for instance the premise that because the photon manifests the properties of both a wave and a particle that all sub-atomic particles should have the same property. This is like saying my cat is white therefore all cats are white. I have shown earlier on in this thread that an alternative interpretation of the wave-particle properties manifested by the photon is available and that it is capable of being subject to a different interpretation , one which fulfils all the properties of the photon , while in no way fixating these properties on other sub-atomic particles. The theory at the same time also explains how electrons can maintain their stability in the atom through self interaction.
« Last Edit: 27/09/2005 07:00:28 by McQueen »
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #21 on: 27/09/2005 23:36:47 »
I have been giving this more thought. Let’s clear the air first. De Broglie’s equations were based on the equations of Max Planck and Einstein namely ; E = h/v and e = mc ^^2 so De Broglies equation is  (where w stands for wave-length) w = h/mv  , which states that the wave-length of an object is dependent on its momentum. For a car weighing 1000 Kg and traveling at 10 Km/hr this would give a  De Broglie wave-length of  approx. 2.4 x 10 ^^ -36m. Isn’t this mind boggling , string theorists have spent the last fifty or so years trying to get the guts to quote figures like this for their strings. But what if we were talking about the Brooklyn bridge ,the Empire State Building or let’s take the  sun itself , the figure would be something like 10 ^^ -73m . Do comparisons like this even exist in the Universe ? With typical élan , the QM physicist states simply that The wave character of the car is so immensely smaller than the car itself, that there is no experiments we can perform that can probe its wave character. Hence, we never observe cars diffracting off each other in a collision - they just smash up. Duh ! Am I hearing things ?  OK , right many , I will say most ( without exaggeration ) of you are still not convinced.  Let us turn to the experiment which won for De Broglie and Davisson the joint Nobel Prize , namely that showing electron diffraction. The principle of diffraction has been studied since Classical times and is well known.  However it might be more easily understood by  a rather unusual definition of diffraction. Imagine that there are two states A and B , A is a state of low pressure and B is one of high pressure , the two are separated by a partition which has a small aperture in it. The aperture in effect functions like a venturi , compressing the matter moving from the high pressure state in B to the low pressure state in A , naturally  matter from B immediately on exiting the aperture , expands into the low pressure state in A. This in essence is diffraction and it applies equally to molecules of water , dust etc., There is no way that the stream of electrons , used in the Davisson experiment and manifesting diffraction , shows that electrons possess wave properties , the idea is patently absurd. If the experiment had shown diffraction using a single electron , the case would have been different. Then it could have positively been stated , that yes a single electron is undergoing diffraction hence electrons must possess wave properties. The experiment as it stands is meaningless and does not prove anything , least of all the wave properties of electrons.

 

Offline Solvay_1927

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #22 on: 28/09/2005 14:06:50 »
McQueen,

single electrons, passed through a double-slit experiment one-at-a-time, show diffraction and interference patterns - the experiment has been done - the electrons hit the back wall detector one at a time in what appears to be a random pattern at first, but as the pattern builds up it shows the normal interference pattern.

The same has been done with individual photons, and also with large individual molecules.

Let me know if you want references (I can't come up with any just now - I'm at work).
 

Offline Rincewind

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #23 on: 01/10/2005 17:49:11 »
Is it important to remember that a photon doesn't experience time according to relativity, or does one dismiss relativity whilst thinking in QM terms?  

A photon does have mass, just no rest mass.

For any other object, its kinetic energy is a function of its rest mass, yet a photon has no rest mass.  It is precisely for this reason that nothing other than a photon can reach light speed.

As a massive body approaches light speed, more and more of its net mass is made of Kinetic Energy, analogous to photonic mass.

Sorry, just thinking aloud:)
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #24 on: 01/10/2005 19:37:08 »
originally posted by Rincewind

Sorry, just thinking aloud:)

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Thats ok mate. no problems... just don't start talking to yourself:)

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Re: Light's interaction with matter
« Reply #24 on: 01/10/2005 19:37:08 »

 

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