The Doppler Effect

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Offline McQueen

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The Doppler Effect
« on: 30/12/2007 13:16:11 »
Movie thrillers made in the latter part of the twenties and the early thirties of the last century, invariably included a scene at a railway station with the train coming into the station at speed, blowing its whistle with a gradual rise in volume and frequency of the sound and then a gradual diminishing in volume and frequency as the train faded into the distance. This rising and falling off frequency is called the Doppler effect after the Austrian mathematician and physicist Christian J Doppler who first investigated the phenomenon in 1842. It was later found that all waves, including the electromagnetic are subject to the Doppler effect, which was put down to the compression of waves (rise in frequency shorter wave-length) as a sound approached and an expansion when the sound moved away resulting in longer wave length and a drop in frequency.
   The thing that was remarkable about this discovery, lay in the prediction of scientists of the day that the doppler effect was caused by the compression and rarefaction of waves as they traveled through a medium .  Thus the speed with which  sound waves travel through a medium remains constant with only the wave length and frequency being affected. This was amply borne out when man first ventured into space and found that sound waves, lacking a medium in which to travel, could not exist in space.
   At the same time electromagnetic waves, which also exhibited the Doppler effect, were able to travel in (empty?) space. What did this mean, did it mean that Maxwell’s theory of reciprocating  self-sustaining magnetic and electrical fields was correct or was there a more mundane explanation for the phenomenon? Today Maxwells’ wonderfully ingenious explanation for the propagation of electromagnetic fields is found to be (if we are honest with ourselves) increasingly inadequate to explain all of the phenomena associated with light and other types of electromagnetic radiation.  For those who wish to persist in quoting Maxwell, let me state that in no way can Maxwell’s equations explain the particle properties of light.
   The only other explanation that would explain the Doppler effect in electromagnetic radiation in space, is the existence of an aether. Even QM has conceded that space might not be empty, it postulates that all of space is filled with ‘virtual’ electric charges. Thus a photon is transformed into an electron/positron pair which in turn undergo mutual annihilation resulting in the formation of another photon and so on ad infinitum. While this version of the QM ‘ether’ might fit in extraordinarily well with  Einstein’s matter/energy equivalence, it does little to explain the propagation of electromagnetic radiation or offer any help in explaining gravity. Ironically Einstein himself was often heard to lament the lack of an electromagnetic explanation of gravity.
   Returning for a moment to the QM version of the polarization of space we have to ask how did the photon get there in the first place, are we speaking of real photons or virtual photons?
   An ether that would explain all phenomenon to do with electromagnetic radiation and even gravity is a virtual photon ether as proposed in the Gestalt theory of light and related phenomenon.
“Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it’s wrong.”