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.