Back to Main Physics International
Back to Physics International TOPICS Page
Current Theory (as symbolically diagrammed above)
Light is considered to consist of waves, but waves can be transverse (as water waves ripple) or longitudinal (like sound waves from your stereo speaker). Until early in the 19th century, scientists thought light waves were longitudinal. Then some scientists considered that the light must be a transverse wave to account for polarization and refraction. The scientist of the 19th century established light as a transverse wave form, which raised a few problems. If light is a wave, something must be "waving" so an "ether" was postulated and light was reconsidered to be a longitudinal wave, which caused problems with the idea that light was a transverse wave.
Some also thought that light was a "particle" of some sort and so the ether had to be defined with properties that could allow both transverse AND longitudinal waves. But light was eventually determine to be defined as "an atom of pure energy" or "particle of light". These particles eventually came to be called photons.
This caused problems for the scientist who were trained that light was a wave based on wave theory that had been firmly established centuries before. So to to try to justify the discrepancy, it was decided that light was both a particle AND a wave ... and with the extension that: all things in the universe are thus both particles and waves.
We don't have to conclude that scientists can't make up their minds about waves vs. particles, but conclude that how we see light depends on how we look at it. Light in some ways looks and acts like particles and in some ways looks and acts like waves. This idea easily eliminates the need for some sort of mysterious "ether" which has now been abandoned to scientific antiquity. With the more recent theories of relativity and quantum theory, the ether was gone forever and the photon became defined as a particle with wave-like characteristics (or a wave with particle-like characteristics - depending on how you look at it) was established.
A New Theory of Light
A Proposal for a Photon "Energy of Propagation"
A Proposal Explaining the Big Bang Fallacy
( and other explanations of mistaken concepts in physics
based on the true nature of the photon as revealed in this new theory )
New definition of a photon: "A photon is a two-dimensional plane of perpendicular, mutually regenerating, alternating, electrical and magnetic fields that are oscillating at a specific rate which is a function of that photon's energy and which is moving perpendicular to the plane of the oscillating fields at the speed of light and which degrades in energy slightly with each oscillation according to the needs of the 'Energy of Propagation' " Ralph Rydman 2008
This new theory will shake up a lot of things: This new theory will replace the wave theory of the nature of light. This new theory will also explains the redshift without the need for a Doppler shift and eliminates the need for the big bang and the theories derived from that. It rules out the need for an expansion of the universe and allows for a steady state universe (as preferred by Einstein). This new description of what a photon is reduces the need for dark energy and negative gravity. It also explains the reason for the apparent acceleration of the expansion of the universe which should then result in questioning the concept of an inflationary universe. It also eliminates an eventual "big crunch" and justifies the eternity of infinity that is a steady state, constantly changing, universe. This new theory also accounts for the cosmic microwave background. This may also form the basis for a mathematical determination of the degree of "stretching" caused by very great gravity or inertia fields by being able to compare the space-time distance with the physical photon travel distance. What else could you ask for? Such explanations as will be presented here are usually rejected by the "experts" in the field because the standard beliefs are questioned and the derived theories based on these beliefs are destroyed -- and it is not acceptable to question "beliefs" Some Comments on Truth and Beliefs
A photon is NOT a "very light particle" and a photon is NOT a "fuzzy ball of light", a photon is NOT a "wave" of anything or a "particle" of anything. A photon does NOT have a third dimension in its direction of travel or leave a sinusoidal longitudinal trail of electromagnetic field waves. Any physicist who believes such concepts or uses such explanations or teaches such things should be (and soon will be) banished to antiquity. Such a physicist probably also believes in the "big bang", the "neutrino", "black holes" or "worm-holes" and has concepts of "time" or "time-travel" that are equally absurd and baseless except on a pyramid based on a mistaken theory of light and a theory of a never-occurring big bang.
Fact is: A photon is a massless two-dimensional plane of perpendicular, mutually regenerating, alternating, electrical and magnetic fields that are oscillating at a specific rate which is a function of that photon's energy and exists only as it moves through a medium at a speed, which is defined as being the speed of light.
If a photon stops moving or even just somehow manages to slow down to below light speed (usually by passing near a heavy nucleus) - the photon can no longer exist under those sub-lightspeed conditions and is immediately gone in accordance with Einstein's E=mc2 and the photon's entire energy is completely replaced with an equivalent mass of "something" (depending on the photons energy -- usually a particle and an anti-particle to balance mass, angular momentum, charge and spin), but not a photon! (Although the anti-particle will then almost immediately interact with its "real" equivalent particle and those two will annihilate each other and produce two new photons each with the energy equivalent of the particle and the anti-particle. (Sounds more complicated than it is).
The photon is absolutely massless, because nothing that has any physical mass can ever reach this speed because it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate any physical particle (no matter how small) to a reach such a speed. This is because as anything that has mass is accelerated, the increasing speed is converted to inertia and inertia is essentially the same as mass. As an item is accelerated, its apparent mass is thus increased and it then takes progressively more and more energy to accelerate the increased virtual inertial mass to any additional higher speed. As the physical object approaches the speed of light, its virtual inertial mass grows and grows and would ultimately attain infinite inertial mass as it reaches the speed of light. It can't do that. There is not enough energy in the entire universe to pour into even the smallest physical particle to accelerate it enough to actually reach the speed of light. A photon can have no mass or it could not be traveling at the speed of light.
Here it is - coming straight at you. First a magnetic field, then an electrical field.
(Of course you couldn't even see this because the image of it could not ever reach your eye
because, in order to do so, if you were in front of it looking back at it,
whatever image you see at your position ahead of the photon would have had to travel faster than
the speed of the light photon that created the above image of the oscillating fields.
A contradiction? Yes, nevertheless, here is what it looks like, but you cannot ever see it.
|Actually this graphic is not like a photon at all, but just a representation to try to explain things. Perhaps it would be better if the electric field were colored one color (e.g.: red) and the magnetic field colored another (e.g.: green). Then as one field collapsed, the other would simultaneously be generated by the collapsing complimentary field. As soon as either field reached zero, the other would be at a maximum and then, having no generating field to maintain it, it would start to collapse and, in collapsing, generate the opposite field that had just gone to zero. Repeating endlessly, oscillating through space at the speed of light.|
A photon is purely an electrical field oscillating with a magnetic field that must be moving (by definition) at the speed of light nor can there be any mass associated with the photon (or for that matter, anything) traveling at the speed of light. The question might then become: "what is a 'field?' ".
It is generally well accepted that mass and energy can be related by Einstein's equation: E = mc2 (where c is the speed of light and m is the mass of the moving particle). The energy of a photon can also be expressed as a "mass-equivalent", just as any mass can be express as an "energy-equivalent". You must be careful to remember that a photon and the "mass equivalent" is a mathematical method of relating mass and energy when one is converted to the other, but simple mass is not actually energy, although it does have an energy equivalence which it could be converted into (but then it is no longer "mass"). Mass can have inertia, however, and that inertia can change with the speed of that mass.
Although mass cannot be created nor destroyed, it can be changed in form. This statement assumes that one form of mass/energy can be converted into the other. And it turns out that it can. This is demonstrated in real life in many situations, such as in pair production (which produces an electron and a positron, which is a form of anti-matter) in high-energy photon interactions with matter and with the release of vast amounts of energy in nuclear explosions, which convert a mass to an equivalent (huge) amount of energy, and nuclear binding energy can be derived from the mass difference of particles in a nucleus compared to the masses of the nucleus' constituent parts.
Incidentally, anti-matter, such as positrons, which do exist in that they can be quite easily, and often are, created in the physical world, do not exist for very long because the anti-matter particles immediately encounter and react with ordinary matter (of which there is an exclusive abundance in this known universe). When this happens, the anti-matter and the balancing amount of ordinary matter, annihilate each other in a conversion of their balancing masses by a total conversion of their masses into an equivalent amount of pure photon energy.
But I digress...
So what does a photon look like? Here we must rely on what Einstein called "thought experiments". If, by some imaginary means, you could travel along with that photon as it traveled through space, what would you see? In the first place you (as a physical body with mass) cannot travel that fast and furthermore, you could not see anything at all even if you could travel that fast, so you will have to use your imagination and rely on a "thought experiment". The power of your imagination wonderfully allows you to do experiments that are physically impossible. You only "see something" by the interaction of some photons of light on the retina of your eye which is interpreted by the "wetware" of your brain into some sort of a perceived visual image. A photon traveling along beside you would not be emitting any light in your direction that you could see from the side. You could not see the photon, so what does it "look like"? You will have to, and can only, use your imagination.
Furthermore, a photon also has no "length". It does not leave a sinusoidal longitudinal trail of anything. As defined here, a single photon of light is only a 2 dimensional plane of oscillating electrical and magnetic fields traveling forward in one direction that is perpendicular to the plane of its electo-magnetic fields. Since there is nothing that can go faster than the speed of light, therefore there is no part of its energy field oscillations that can expand in a direction forward in its direction of travel. There is likewise no portion of its oscillation that can be extended to the rear of its direction of travel because the photon is traveling at the speed of light and the electrical and magnetic fields could not collapse back forward towards its source of the oscillation because to do so it would have to exceed the speed of light, so it could never be able to catch up with the "photon" again -- A photon has NO dimension in its direction of travel because, in order to have a third dimension in its direction of travel, something would have to travel faster than the speed of light.
You would not see a wave of anything. It would have no length and there would be no "packet" of anything that has any dimension in its direction of travel. There is no "very light particle" nor is there a "fuzzy ball of light" despite what some less knowledgeable persons (maybe even some physicists or cosmologists) might try to tell you as an explanation of what a photon is. It has no mass and has no dimension in its direction of travel. A photon cannot interact with another photon because of these two properties (there is nothing to interact, no mass no 3rd spatial dimension).
The only thing left is a single moving two dimensional plane in which the electro-magnetic oscillation can occur. This plane of oscillation is moving in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the electro-magnetic oscillation at the same speed of light and that moving plane of electro-magnetic oscillation is the photon. (Note: it's third dimension is the dimension of "time" - and that may hold the key to time travel in that "third" dimension)
The electrical field is expanding as it is generated by a decreasing, diminishing and hence changing, moving magnetic field. When the magnetic field has completely collapsed, there is no longer anything to maintain the generation of the electrical field, which then in turn collapses. As the electrical field collapses, the moving electrical field lines of that decreasing electrical field generates a magnetic field. These two fields repeatedly regenerate each other as they themselves repeatedly decay and are regenerated by the other. The orientation of the electrical and magnetic fields are generated at right angles to each other and the plane of their oscillation moves perpendicularly to itself at the speed of light and the rate of oscillation is a function of the photon's individual energy (more energy=faster oscillation).
So what is a photon? As mentioned earlier, that is like asking what is a "field". What is an electrical field or what is a magnetic field? A photon is a self-sustaining electro-magnetic "field". Except that the photon is a field which is associated with no physical anything, no wires, no magnetic cores, no coils, no capacitors ... no anything. It is simply a free standing electrical field and then a free standing magnetic field, both alternately being mutually generated by each other and that electro-magnetic field is propagated without benefit of a supporting medium (no, once postulated, "ether" is required) through space at (by definition) the speed of light. Light does not require any medium to propagate itself. Even what we perceive as matter (e.g.: glass, or air) we must remember that even what we consider to be a solid is in fact just a bunch of very, very tiny nuclei surrounded by a meager swarm of even much smaller electrons with mostly absolutely nothing but nothing in between. Even what we perceive as solid matter is mostly the same "nothing" that deep space and, in fact, the entire universe is made of. However, all that other non-nothing stuff is pretty important to the very existence of ... of everything physical and material.
Particle or Wave -- and the Two Slit Experiment:
The planar nature of a photon easily explains the results that are generated in a one slit and a two-slit experiment where the photons seem to interfere and react with themselves. Even a single photon (electro-magnetic field) will travel through both slots of a two slot experiment because the photon is a planar entity that will not ever go entirely through a single one of two slots and will always have portions of its wave nature go through both slots and generate the interruption patterns seen in the classical two-slit experiment. A single slit will generate the expected single slit dose distribution of intensities and the two slit situation will always show the effect of the wave going through both slots at the same time. The photon is not a "particle" of any sort, ever.
Despite what you might expect, the intensity of a single photon does not decrease as the inverse square of the distance from the originating source. An inverse square decrease in total number of photons (the beams intensity) can only decrease as the inverse square if the expanding "swarm" of items (photons in this case) is spreading out in proportion to the radial spacing of expansion of the items from a single point source. A single photon by itself cannot "spread out" (and neither can a uniform planar wave front of co-parallel photons). Inverse square expansion can only occur with a multitudes of radially projected photons. It is the radial spreading out of the immense flux of billions of billions of photons that would give the impression of a beam of light decreasing in intensity with the inverse square of the distance from the source.
Also, the individual photon's energy or intensity has no reason to decrease as the inverse square of anything because a single photon does not spread out ... it oscillates, expands and contracts and regenerates itself on each oscillation and continues on repeating its oscillation until it interacts with something physical (your eye, a telescope mirror, a CCD camera) where its energy is ultimately absorbed as heat or chemical stimulation. Unless absorbed, it should continue its relentless oscillation for millions, even billions, of light years of time and distance unabated (except for the energy lost by the Energy of Propagation as newly proposed and described in this website)
As any astronomer who has ever looked through a telescope can easily recognize, the light from the individual photons does not decrease with the distance, only the total number of photons that arrive. To increase the information received from distant galaxies, one has only to wait for a longer period of time to allow more photons to arrive, not wait for more energetic or bigger photons to arrive. The individual photons are not individually decreased in any way as a function of the inverse square of anything, only the total number of photons crossing a specific location is decreased by the radial spread of an immense number of individual photons. A single photon itself does NOT decrease in intensity as the inverse square of distance.
An object like a distant galaxy is emitting an enormous number of photons each instant of its existence. Most of which, almost all, are distributed in every possible subtended angle and only an extremely small portion of the total are directed in a direction that will eventually interact with the retina of our eye or the sensitive element of a camera lens or a silver halide ion on a piece of film. It's surprising they we get to see any of them, except there are such an incredibly vast number of them. Those incredible swarms of trillions of billions of individual photons spread out as they move away from the source and they increase in lateral spacing as the radials spread out in a manner that is shown as a decrease in the intensity of the brightness of an object of known initial brightness as a function of inverse square of distance (simple mathematical diversion of radials). This can form the basis of a means of measuring the distance from an object which has a likely known brightness at its source (such as a nova).
Measuring Super-stellar, Inter-galactic Distances:
There are some objects (such as novas and super-novas) in the distant celestial skies that are assumed to have similar brightness' and the brightness that actually reaches us from those cosmic events can be used as a measure of the distance of those objects from us. This decrease in the intensity of the light that reaches us from a distant source of known intensity, can form the basis for determining the distance of that galaxy from us by knowing the intensity of the numbers of photons that reach us from that initially known intensity of those multitudes of photons emitted from those special known cosmic galactic events and applying the inverse square relationships to determine how far away they must be.
The efficiency of the photon's oscillation is almost perfectly. (Notice I said "almost" -- I will explain the theory of the "Energy of Propagation" elsewhere on this website as the true explanation of the "Red Shift").
In deepest intergalactic space there is essentially no medium to absorb the oscillating energy and there is no medium that the oscillation relies on to continue. There is no external resistance to the creation of the photon's fields and there is no external resistance to the decrease in the fields. There is no medium to provide the resistance. There is no mass associated with the moving photon to induce any resistance. There is no decrease in energy with the inverse square of the distance.
Although there may be an occasional electron floating around out there in deep space and maybe even a tiny particle of some sort of cosmic dust, the occurrence of such interference is so astronomically improbable that there is essentially no real external resistance to scatter or absorb a photon. Consequently the oscillating photon itself has essentially nothing that is likely to ever decrease its intensity (except the minimal amount of energy it takes to generate the fields) and it can easily continue its happy dance between being an electric field and a magnetic field unabated for as long as the photon exists. Only infinity and eternity are the limits (if you care to call such things "limits").
And so the photon continues its trip through infinity and eternity happily traveling through the vast limitless stretches of infinite, essentially empty space, for millions, billions and even trillions of years and who knows for how much longer and for how much farther -- until they are finally interrupted and caught by our eye, a CCD camera, or a silver ion in a detection film -- or most likely by falling on a leaf or a stone in a forest or a desert on some planet in some galley somewhere in that deep infinite space. And maybe generating the inspiration for a poem. "Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder ....." Yes, how I wonder at the vast complexities of even the simple, unknowable photon!Back to Main Physics International Start Page
The Energy of Propagation
(A new concept and the true explanation for the "red shift")
But it turns out that this oscillation is actually not 100% efficient and that is the basis for this new theory requiring an "Energy of Propagation". It is generally accepted that nothing is perfect (except maybe God?) and any such activity in making the change from an electrical field to a magnetic field requires some work to be done. A very, very tiny fraction is required to be expended in the process on creating each oscillation and eventually even that almost infinitesimally slight amount of energy loss will eventually add up to measurable amount of energy loss (the red shift).
The amount of energy required for the propagation of this oscillating wave is herein originally defined as the "Energy of Propagation" and relates the amount of energy lost in accomplishing each oscillation and can be use to very accurately determine the distance to remote light emitting sources (stars, novas, etc.).
This energy of propagation can be initially determined and simply calculated by knowing the initial energy (and hence its initial frequency) of the photon, its distance from us (which must initially be determined by means other than a red shift) and hence the time it has taken to reach us. Knowing the time and the frequency, we can determine the actual total number of oscillations. We can determine the decrease in energy by knowing its loss of energy (formerly referred to as the "red shift" and which is actually a measure of the individual light photon's decrease in energy). Knowing the decrease in energy, we can then determine the decrease in energy per oscillation. That energy loss per oscillation is hereby defined as the "Energy of Propagation" expressed here as a percentage loss per oscillations (or million oscillations).
For a mathematical derivation of : The Energy of Propagation
For other concepts in modern physics
that are debunked by this new theory
Other Concepts Debunked
So, here's something to think about. How can a photon of light get through several billions of light years of space, several feet of glass or water and yet cannot get through a few fractions of a millimeters of tinfoil or single sheet of black construction paper?
You can nominate me for a Nobel Prize as:
Dr. Ralph H. Rydman, Ph.D., ABR Board Certified
Radiation Physicist. (Retired, Consulting)