They say that light behaves sometimes like a wave, and at other times like a particle.....and we can't quite work out why.
Perhaps we're looking at it from the wrong angle.
We know that the speed of an electron is very slow, but each electron bumps the next electron, creating a current and ultimately electricity. What I'm suggesting is that the electrons in the 'electricity' look like they're moving like a wave....and they are indeed moving slowly as particles.
Why can't we extend this theory to light. There is supposed dark matter which we cannot yet find making up a large mass of the universe. What if this dark matter exists everywhere. ie. between the sun and earth....and what we see as light is actually the particles of the 'dark matter' bumping each other like electrons in the electricty example.
Perhaps Einstein is right say that light travels are 186,000 miles per second....but it's only particles 'bumping' other particles moving slowly through the dark matter.
Just my thoughts. I no physicist.
I'm afraid its a little bit more complicated then that.
First of all the question that light behaves like a particle and like a wave has been solved in the twenties by Schroedinger. He proposed a wave equation that discribes the particles wavefunction. This function however has no direct physical interpretation, it has to be squared first and then you get the particle's probability of finding it in that place on that time.
"If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants."
Solved in the twenties. I was not aware of that as I recently watch a program with some quite respected Australia physicists and they were not sure how it behaved. That was the concensus. I must look up the guy you mentioned though.
10-15-99, 02:39 AM
Firstly, an electron isn't a fundamental unit of light. A more correct term would be photon. The photon's speed is always the speed of light. An electron has no fundamental speed; as a particle, it can be accelerated, and its velocity ultimately depends on the amount of energy imparted upon it and intrinsic to it. Electric current is a representation of how much charge passes a certain point in a certain time, and has no relation to the velocity of individual electrons. I hope this helps to further illuminate your theories. (pun intended :) )
When the first questions of "whatis light?" came about they quickly ran into the problem of what does it travel through. Sound carries through air, and water for reasons I hope you understand, but does not travel through a vacuum. Which leads to the question of, how does light do it? In the early days they came up with the idea that there was somthing called an Ether that light travled through. It was a grasp to answer a question they had no answer for, it was soon tossed to the way-side. Allthoguh it still left the question of the wave particle duality. As Plato said it was all ready answered in 20's. You still have pepole who come across the papers on the "Ether" and the arguments about wether or not light was a partical or a wave, and tend think mabye they were on to somthing and try to revive it. This is ware the seeing a tv show that says that is unanswered comes into play. I know it was a bit long winded and my spelling isn't all that great, but I hoped it helped.
The Belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it
seems to me the depest root of all evil that is in the world
[This message has been edited by 666 (edited November 10, 1999).]
Fyrestar, I don't think that Andrew was suggesting that the electron is the fundamental unit of light so much as seeing how his hypothesis might be extensible to a more comprehensive theory of electromagnetism.
Andrew, Fyrestar is right about photons always travelling at the speed of light, but keep in mind that the speed of light is a variable which is constant only for a given medium. The speed of light in a vacuum, for example, is ~186,232 miles per second and never varies from that.... so long as it stays in a vacuum. Changing the medium to anything else lowers the speed accordingly. Sticking charged plates within an Angstrom or so of each other demonstates the rather touchy subject of the Casimir force, where the speed of light exceeds that of its vacuum speed.
I won't get into tachyons here, I've had way too many debates (pro and con) on that subject, but you might be interested in researching Cerenkov radiation. Trust me, it connects with your subject as a general extension.
As for the dark matter, it may be that the dark matter is in the form of massive top quarks, massive neutrinos,weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) other than neutrinos, axions, or a number of other wilder hypothetical results of different theories. The idea of dark matter came about in order to explain certain observed anomolies in galactic rotation (and I think a few other things), it's not really thought of as a source of photons due to its basic nature: dark. Were it to emit photons, then the galactic halos of dark matter posited to exist (and thus stabilise the structure against catastophic failure) would be luminescent and thus not dark. Sorry. :-)
Este est percepi - to be is to be perceived.
The answer to the biggest unanswered question is so simple! IS A PHOTON A PARTICAL OR A WAVE? Imagine a photon as a pie plate, blasting through space. Is that enough or do you need more?
My God! You resurrected a thread that has been dead for over 4 years! Someone call the voodoo-specialists to kick it back to the grave!
PS: You should check the Physics & Math forum where there currently is a discussion on the wave/particle duality and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principlle.