Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on October 28th, 2019, 2:34 am 

@Reg - I still don't see the connection with the subject of this thread. Can you you provide that please.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby Reg_Prescott on October 28th, 2019, 2:41 am 

BurtJordaan » October 28th, 2019, 3:34 pm wrote:@Reg - I still don't see the connection with the subject of this thread. Can you you provide that please.



Ok, your claim was...

"The null result of the MM-X demonstrated that either the aether doesn’t exist or photons don’t exist since the aether can’t effect the path of a nonexistent particle."

Without knowing any physics, on grounds of pure logic alone, your claim is false.

We could do this two ways:

1. I rehash the Duhem-Quine thesis

or

2. You demonstrate how an experimental result leads ineluctably to one of two conclusions.


I don't mean to be a pain in the ass, good sir, but isn't this just common sense? Is it not possible that (among myriad other possibilities) neither the ether nor photons exist?

Ans: Of course it is.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on October 28th, 2019, 2:56 am 

Pivot » 28 Oct 2019, 05:28 wrote:Assuming that you consider, as for all EMR, the gamma radiation to be a continuous wave, how do you visualise or explain the transformation at the point of impact?

I would view the propagation as two pulses of energy, as EM wave packets or photon bundles, which are essentially the same things. The detection method will determine if they interact as particles or waves.

For the photonic particle supporters, when photons are plane polarised by reflection and/or refraction are the photons squeezed to become thinner or do they just become more wave-like with their electric and magnetic components in orthogonal planes; and how do you visualise or explain the transformation?

I think it is a matter of convenience which interpretation is used and again, it can be influenced by the method of observation and subsequent interpretation.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on October 28th, 2019, 3:18 am 

Reg_Prescott » 28 Oct 2019, 08:41 wrote:
BurtJordaan » October 28th, 2019, 3:34 pm wrote:@Reg - I still don't see the connection with the subject of this thread. Can you you provide that please.



Ok, your claim was...

"The null result of the MM-X demonstrated that either the aether doesn’t exist or photons don’t exist since the aether can’t effect the path of a nonexistent particle."

Oh, I see the confusion - I never made such a claim... I think Bangstrom did some replies ago.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby Reg_Prescott on October 28th, 2019, 4:58 am 

Whoops, sorry, Burt.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby hyksos on October 30th, 2019, 11:22 pm 

It would be interesting to hear a defence of the established view

I get a funny feeling this thread is waiting for me to be the person who takes up the torch of the establishment.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby hyksos on October 31st, 2019, 11:59 pm 

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(I'll call that a green light.)

Okay so the photon is the boson of the electromagnetic force. Photons are a first-class particle in the Standard Model. They are not some exotic 2nd-class particle (like a pentaquark or a kaon.) There are other forces of nature , all with their individual bosons. Some bosons have mass, and some of them have a lot of mass. The mediators of the Weak Force are so massive that they decay in mere femtoseconds , and so they exist on only very short ranges of space. In fact this is why the Weak Force is confined to the nucleus.

As a teenager I took seriously the idea that photons are not actually real, and are not elements which pass through a trajectory in space. At the time this seemed like a logical conclusion to draw, considering the panoply of strange, ghostly behaviors of photons : including among them double-slit self-interference, total internal reflection, odd behavior in M.Z. interferometers and et cetera. I even tried to hoist this theory on my physics professor in high school -- right in the middle of class. But because I was a teenager, I lacked the speaking and verbal skills of my adult years to properly communicate the idea. I was naive at that age. I now understand that such personal theorizing should only ever take place in private in office hours.

What is observed is that electron Alice is wiggling in such-and-such a way, and it stops wiggling and later on, electron Bob begins wiggling. The wiggles are correlated by polarization and energy level. The apparent "Transfer of Wiggle" (lets call it) is increased if charged particles are accelerated. Should we postulate that some object/entity departed from the first electron, moved through space , and then collided with the second electron? It doesn't seem on its face that we have to propose such an entity.

Feeling uncomfortable about the way photons stack up in lasers, and how they act around double slits could further motivate us to dispense with the idea of photons.

However, there is gorilla in the room which is lurking there in the corner : some un-examined aspect of our reasoning that should be led into the light and criticized. It seems like if we could just get rid of these pesky ghostly quantum behaviors of photons, then we can move quickly towards restoring an objective, concrete classical reality made up of concrete, hard little bullet particles objectively existing at a specific location at all times. When considering that we only observed "electrons wiggling" our reasoning there was that electrons are solid, concrete, have objective positions and are like bullets of pure massive existence ... sort of like very tiny charged rocks.

... except they're not.

Electrons, beamed towards sufficiently small slits, will also pass through both of them and interfere with themselves. Yes even electrons can make interference patterns. Electrons are also seen to teleport through insulators and instantly switch between orbital states.

"That fine", you say to yourself "It's okay that electrons are also ghostly and strange and have a wavelength and so on, because the nucleus... ah! The nucleus is still hard, concrete, objective, and masculine. The nucleus is that succinct, objective place which cannot be tainted by the mysteries of quantum behaviors. You can have your QED electrons and photons, but you can't defile the proud nucleus.".

... except that's wrong too.

The protons and neutrons of the nucleus are just as much subject to the laws of quantum mechanics as are photons. If you found the behavior of photons discomforting, the field theory description of the nucleus is far more terrifying. Different things like angular momentum, energy, mass, and position become a tangled interchangeable mess of equations in the nucleus. A large portion of the mass of atomic nuclei has to be accounted for by considering the binding energy of the nucleons. Down there, mass and energy are interchangeable. Changes in spin alone seems capable of converting fermion to boson. Decades ago, nuclear physicists gave up on switching back and forth between joules and kilograms, and just started referring to the mass of particles in giga-electron-volts ( GeV ).

I think what my teenage version didn't know at the time was that there is no place in the universe that is safe from quantum mechanics. QM is a theory of all matter and energy. If it is our stated goal to resolve the double slit by proposing that photons do not exist , shouldn't we also propose that electrons do not exist? Why stop there? Should not also the nucleus of the atom be deemed to non-existence by the same rationale? Where does this reasoning end?
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby bangstrom on November 1st, 2019, 1:53 am 

hyksos » October 31st, 2019, 10:59 pm wrote: If it is our stated goal to resolve the double slit by proposing that photons do not exist , shouldn't we also propose that electrons do not exist? Why stop there? Should not also the nucleus of the atom be deemed to non-existence by the same rationale? Where does this reasoning end?

At the quantum level, photons, electrons, and atomic nuclei are more wavelike than solid which does not mean they don’t exist but it also doesn’t imply that they are “first class particles”. The double slit is resolved by proposing that photons are wave-like quanta of energy rather than solid particles as the “ton” in the name pho-ton implies.

"What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just Schaumkommen.” (appearances) Erwin Schroedinger 1937
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Re: Instant Karma

Postby Faradave on November 1st, 2019, 1:56 pm 

hyksos wrote:Should we postulate that some object/entity departed from the first electron, moved through space, and then collided with the second electron?

Heaven forbid! That would be instantaneous, clearly in violation of limit c.

hyksos wrote:Decades ago, nuclear physicists gave up on switching back and forth between joules and kilograms, and just started referring to the mass of particles in giga-electron-volts ( GeV ).

As far as gravity is concerned, there's no difference between mass and energy. Mass-energy destabilizes separation in a particular way, simply modeled by spinning a radial defect (a pinhole) about a temporal axis.

The point being that a chronaxially spinning hole naturally provides wave (spin) and particle (interval contact) aspects to any "particle".
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby dandelion on November 3rd, 2019, 1:34 pm 

bangstrom » November 1st, 2019, 6:53 am wrote:At the quantum level, photons, electrons, and atomic nuclei are more wavelike than solid which does not mean they don’t exist but it also doesn’t imply that they are “first class particles”. The double slit is resolved by proposing that photons are wave-like quanta of energy rather than solid particles as the “ton” in the name pho-ton implies.

"What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just Schaumkommen.” (appearances) Erwin Schroedinger 1937


Regarding words mentioned like continuous and wave-like, I'll add some others more about discreteness including founding thoughts too from another thread where Marshall wrote of the "Heisenberg story about what helped inspire his invention of Quantum Mechanics---the Night Park story about the intermittence/discreteness of phenomena..."
(viewtopic.php?f=72&t=26987&p=259727&hilit=heisenberg+light#p259727 )

Here is more about that-
“Heisenberg gives a telling story about how he got the idea. He was walking in a park in Copenhagen at night. All was dark except for a few island of light under street lamps. He saw a man waking under one of those, then disappearing in the dark. Then appearing again under the next lamp. Of course, he thought, man is big and heavy and does not “really” disappear: we can reconstruct his path through the dark. But what about a small particle? Maybe what quantum theory is telling us is precisely that we cannot use the same intuitions for small particles. There is no classical path between their appearance here and their appearance there. Particles are objects that manifest themselves only when there is an interaction, and we are not allowed to fill up the gap in between. The ontology that Heisenberg proposes does not increase on the ontology of classical mechanics: it reduces it. It is less, not more. Heisenberg removes excess baggage from classical ontology and is left with a minimum necessary to describe the world”. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1508.05543.pdf
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby bangstrom on November 4th, 2019, 6:43 am 

dandelion » November 3rd, 2019, 12:34 pm wrote:
"But what about a small particle? Maybe what quantum theory is telling us is precisely that we cannot use the same intuitions for small particles. There is no classical path between their appearance here and their appearance there. Particles are objects that manifest themselves only when there is an interaction, and we are not allowed to fill up the gap in between. The ontology that Heisenberg proposes does not increase on the ontology of classical mechanics: it reduces it. It is less, not more. Heisenberg removes excess baggage from classical ontology and is left with a minimum necessary to describe the world”. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1508.05543.pdf


This is another quote from the same article,
“For all these reasons the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics is particularly suitable for quantum cosmology. Of course there is a price to pay for this remarkable simplification, as always the case with quantum theory. The price to pay here is that we are forced to recognize that the fact itself that a quantum event has happened, or not, must be interpreted as relative to a given system. Quantum events can not be considered absolute, their existence is relative to the physical systems involved in an interaction. Two interacting systems realize a quantum event relative to one another, but not necessarily relative to a third system.”

This is a question involving the relational interpretation of QM in the citation above. Can a quantum event be said to happen if there is only one given system?
In the early Heisenberg era the question took this form. If a cosmos consists of nothing but a kettle of hot water, will the kettle ever cool if there is nothing to receive its heat?
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby dandelion on November 4th, 2019, 2:24 pm 

Indeed, such thoughts as these interest me a lot, Bangstrom.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby bangstrom on November 8th, 2019, 6:04 am 

removed duplicate
Last edited by bangstrom on November 8th, 2019, 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby bangstrom on November 8th, 2019, 6:11 am 

BurtJordaan » November 7th, 2019, 11:36 pm wrote:
bangstrom » 08 Nov 2019, 04:29 wrote:In the diagrams by Minkowski, Epstein, or Faradave, the so-called “speed of light” is represented as a spacetime dimensional constant rather than as a speed which is valid because this is consistent with observations. There is no suggestion in the diagrams that light has a speed.

It may be so in Epstein and Faradave diagrams, but traditional Minkowski spacetime diagrams show the speed of light as 1 light-second per sec, or whatever units, provided that are the same on the space and time axes have compatible units, so that the light-cone has a 45 degree slope.


A ratio of distance to time may be a speed but that does not imply that all ratios of distance to time are necessarily speeds. The 45 degree angle of Minkowski’s light-cone is a dimensional constant and not a speed. How could it be? Or how can any speed be measured relative to a vacuum?
BurtJordaan » November 7th, 2019, 11:36 pm wrote:The correct statement is that the speed of light is equal to the constant c.


Olaus Roemer discovered that astronomical distances are also times proportional to the constant c which makes c a factor for converting units of distance to units of time or time to distance. C is nothing more than the length of a standard meter expressed in standard seconds. Roemer unfortunately called his constant ratio a speed and the error remains.
In Maxwell’s equations c appears as the combined effect of the magnetic permeability and the electro permittivity of a vacuum rather than a speed, and in SR, c is the same c regardless of whether it is interpreted as the ‘velocity of light’ or as no more than a dimensional constant.

Assuming that c is a speed carries with it the assumption that light travels through space with an identifiable and constant speed- the same for all observers- independent of their own velocities. This is not logical and it adds a totally unnecessary complication to SR where c serves perfectly well as a dimensional constant.

BurtJordaan » November 7th, 2019, 11:36 pm wrote:
bangstrom » 08 Nov 2019, 04:29 wrote:
BurtJordaan » November 7th, 2019, 5:04 am wrote: Then you must have some other theories than QM and Einstein's GR in mind as the foundation -

Dark matter and dark energy are not a part of either QM or GR so any model that includes either one or both of these can not be said to be “founded” on either QM or GR.

Not true. GR includes all forms of energy, whether we can 'see' it or not, as long as it produces spacetime curvature. Einstein's full GR equations (10 potentials) of 1916 included the cosmological constant as one of its solutions. As is still practiced today, Einstein selected the simplest possible solution that would conform to what he thought was a static universe at that time.

Adding something ad hoc to GR or any other calculation that is proven to work perfectly well without it, just to make the the calculations fit some ideal model, is a blunder no matter when it is done or by whom.

BurtJordaan » November 7th, 2019, 11:36 pm wrote:QM predicts the cosmological constant as the energy of the vacuum, but they have the its density wrong by a factor of some 1060.

Things such as this are telling us something is wrong with this picture.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on November 9th, 2019, 1:15 am 

bangstrom » 08 Nov 2019, 12:11 wrote:Assuming that c is a speed carries with it the assumption that light travels through space with an identifiable and constant speed- the same for all observers- independent of their own velocities. This is not logical and it adds a totally unnecessary complication to SR where c serves perfectly well as a dimensional constant.

It seems that there is a fundamental misunderstanding here. The one-way speed of light is very simply determined by how we synchronize clocks. We use light to synchronize clocks, so the one-way speed of light is guaranteed to come out as c - and all other speeds as fractions of it.

The two-way (or round trip) speed does not depend on clock synchronization and this is where the central relativity mystery lies. It does not matter in which direction we measure the two-way speed, even if the measuring apparatus moves relative to the CMB background, it comes out the same. By Galilean/Newtonian relativity, it should not be the case. But it remains a speed - we time light over a distance and divide the travel distance by the measured time to get a speed.

The following is slightly off topic, but since you mentioned it here:
bangstrom » 08 Nov 2019, 12:11 wrote:Adding something ad hoc to GR or any other calculation that is proven to work perfectly well without it, just to make the the calculations fit some ideal model, is a blunder no matter when it is done or by whom.

Unfortunately, one must look at and understand the gory details of Einstein's energy-momentum tensor in order to show that you have the wrong perception here, but this is a bit outside the scope of this Forum. It will suffice to say that he stated a special case of his own equations that includes vacuum energy (paper of 17 February 1917):

Rμν − 0.5gμνR − λμν = −κTμν

where λ = 4πGρ/c2, the cosmological constant, proportional to the vacuum energy density ρvac.

Einstein's "biggest blunder" was probably taking out the vacuum term later!
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby bangstrom on November 9th, 2019, 4:13 am 

BurtJordaan » November 9th, 2019, 12:15 am wrote:
It seems that there is a fundamental misunderstanding here. The one-way speed of light is very simply determined by how we synchronize clocks. We use light to synchronize clocks, so the one-way speed of light is guaranteed to come out as c - and all other speeds as fractions of it.

The two-way (or round trip) speed does not depend on clock synchronization and this is where the central relativity mystery lies. It does not matter in which direction we measure the two-way speed, even if the measuring apparatus moves relative to the CMB background, it comes out the same. By Galilean/Newtonian relativity, it should not be the case. But it remains a speed - we time light over a distance and divide the travel distance by the measured time to get a speed.

The two way speed of light does not not depend on clock synchronization because same clock is used to measure the departure and return times. This is no mystery for any named brand of relativity

Any distance divided by time is a ratio of distance to time and not necessarily a speed.

Units of time and distance and the value of c are all mutually defined so, if we know the value of any two, we know the value of the third. C is a constant we use to to synchronize clocks and determine units of length. This makes c a dimensional constant and a “speed” in name only especially since we can’t observe what we claim is speeding.

The danger in thinking of c as a speed is the trap that Einstein fell into when he denied the possibility of non-local interaction “Spooky action at a distance.” with his EPR effect which was later invalidated by Bell and Aspect. The paradoxes of SR such as the “Pole and Barn” or the several of the un-explainables of QM such as entanglement or Wheeler’s delayed choice experiments can be explained when we recognize that c is a dimensional constant rather than a speed and non-local interaction is possible.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on November 9th, 2019, 6:11 am 

bangstrom » 09 Nov 2019, 10:13 wrote:The two way speed of light does not not depend on clock synchronization because same clock is used to measure the departure and return times. This is no mystery for any named brand of relativity.

It was a mystery for Galilean/Newtonian relativity. That's all that I pointed out.

Any distance divided by time is a ratio of distance to time and not necessarily a speed.

Distance traveled by a particle divided by elapsed travel time is what even particle physicists define as a speed. I have no problem that c is a dimensional constant of nature. But light travels under ideal conditions precisely at a speed equal to c. When it has to propagate through any medium but free space, even through a gravitational field, its round trip average speed is less than c - and it has been measured.

The paradoxes of SR such as the “Pole and Barn” or the several of the un-explainables of QM such as entanglement or Wheeler’s delayed choice experiments can be explained when we recognize that c is a dimensional constant rather than a speed and non-local interaction is possible.

“Pole and Barn” and other so-called relativity "paradoxes" are explained by the relativity of simultaneity (clock synchronization). Quantum entanglement's "action at a distance" has nothing to do with the speed of light, because it transfers no information or energy.

I think this possibly detracts from answering the big question asked by the OP, so I'll leave it here.

PS: Bang, I hope you are not feeling that I'm grinding you down, because as I know you, you will accept robust debate. On this forum moderators have a duty to "protect" the mainstream scientific view to a reasonable degree. Or at least point out when conflicting views are expressed.
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Re: Grinding Finding

Postby Faradave on November 9th, 2019, 11:15 am 

I find bangstrom's defense increasingly sophisticated with many interesting points.
As someone who takes a bit of "grinding" from time to time, I can only say I find it helpful. It sure beats talking to myself!
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby bangstrom on November 11th, 2019, 7:31 am 

BurtJordaan » November 9th, 2019, 5:11 am wrote:Distance traveled by a particle divided by elapsed travel time is what even particle physicists define as a speed. I have no problem that c is a dimensional constant of nature.

The key word is “particle”. Particle physicists invent a new particle for every interaction not involving an obvious physical contact but, if there is no particle, there is no speed. QM does not require a particle intermediary for one particle to affect another particle at a distance.

BurtJordaan » November 9th, 2019, 5:11 am wrote:But light travels under ideal conditions precisely at a speed equal to c.


This statement presumes that light energy “travels” through space and that its delay is evidence of a “travel” time. This is a circularity.

BurtJordaan » November 9th, 2019, 5:11 am wrote:
When it [light]has to propagate through any medium but free space, even through a gravitational field, its round trip average speed is less than c - and it has been measured.


There is no such thing as a gravity free medium because gravity (spacetime) IS the medium. More precisely, gravity is curved spacetime and the timing of our observations of events in spacetime are limited by the permittivity and permeability of space itself.
This implies that the c related delay between a signal source and receiver depends on the amount of distance AND time (spacetime) between the two. The only travel time that energy can have between a signal source and receiver, while remaining consistent with SR, is if the travel time is instant. Instant is the same for all observers and "instant" does not add or subtract to the timing of light related events that all observers see.

Observers moving at different velocities observe different amounts of distance and time between the signal source and receiver and, as we know from SR, all observers see the same c ratio of distance to time in light related events. We may call this a speed and it certainly looks like a speed but it is a spacetime dimensional constant common to all observers. The timing of events is in the nature of spacetime itself and not in the speed of light.

If the time delay we see with light is due to the speed of a light signal traveling through space, then different observers should see light traveling at different speeds because their individual velocities add or subtract to all velocities they observe.

The movement we see with light is cinematic like the movement of letters on a moving signboard or the movement on a computer screen where one light or pixel goes out as another goes on. Light “moves” from one point to another but it does not move by traveling through the space between.

BurtJordaan » November 9th, 2019, 5:11 am wrote:
“Pole and Barn” and other so-called relativity "paradoxes" are explained by the relativity of simultaneity (clock synchronization).


Clock synchronization is enormously difficult in SR, but once all the possible sources of error are accounted for and the calculations are completed, the conclusion is the same. We observe a one second time delay for every 300,000,000 meters of distance. This simplifies SR enormously once we realize that c is a dimensional constant and not a speed so we can predict the outcome of any light related experiment simply by measuring its dimensions and the confusing paradoxes about light speeds vanish.

BurtJordaan » November 9th, 2019, 5:11 am wrote: Quantum entanglement's "action at a distance" has nothing to do with the speed of light, because it transfers no information or energy.


This is the error in thinking that comes with the assumption that EM energy has a speed. We know from SR that every event separated by distance is also separated by a c related time delay. This can only be a universal observation if the observed time delay is due to the presence of spacetime itself while the actual exchange of energy for all observers is instant. Instant is the only “speed” that is the same for all observers and "instant" does not add or subtract from what appears to be a travel time delay for light. Space and time are inseparable and every separation in space includes a separation in time.
This must be what Minkowski meant when he said we can never think of space as separate from time.

BurtJordaan » November 9th, 2019, 5:11 am wrote:I think this possibly detracts from answering the big question asked by the OP, so I'll leave it here.


Photons exist as imaginary particles used to explain the nature of light as a familiar particle interaction in a space that does not include an element of time. Non-local interactions and displacements in time that occur with every displacement in space are not a part of our everyday experience so they are hard to comprehend.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby Positor on November 11th, 2019, 8:50 am 

bangstrom » November 11th, 2019, 11:31 am wrote:We observe a one second time delay for every 300,000,000 meters of distance.

But why does this not apply to quantum entanglement, which has no delay?
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on November 11th, 2019, 9:10 am 

If anyone is interested in better hand-waving arguments than what we can dish up here, read
Vesselin Petkov's excellent: Relativity, Dimensionality and Existence.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby davidm on November 11th, 2019, 3:57 pm 

BurtJordaan » November 11th, 2019, 7:10 am wrote:If anyone is interested in better hand-waving arguments than what we can dish up here, read
Vesselin Petkov's excellent: Relativity, Dimensionality and Existence.


I haven’t had time to read this thread in detail — only to skim it — so I wonder if you could elucidate why you brought up Petkov, whose work I am quite familiar with, in this particular context? Apologies if this is not obvious, but again, I’ve only had time to skim the thread.

I am surprised — even chagrined? — to discover that I am largely in agreement with Reg_Prescott, specifically about underdetermination and the pessimistic meta-induction. :-0
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby TheVat on November 11th, 2019, 4:48 pm 

The conclusion that relativity of simultaneity is possible only in a four-dimensional world seems unavoidable provided that existence is regarded as absolute (frame- or observer-
independent) – the observers in relative motion can have different sets of
simultaneous events only in a four- (or higher-) dimensional world; these sets
constitute different three-dimensional ‘cross-sections’ of such a world. In this sense relativity of simultaneity is a manifestation of the four-dimensionality
of the world...


Good stuff. Intuitively satisfying, thinking of particles/events as quantumly skinny cross-sections of a world. It's not a big leap for me to go from worldtube...to wormhole. In the Eternal Now of the photon (eternity and an instant are really one), emitter and absorber are touching. The only real separation lies in our (slow sub-C beings) recognition of that contact.

Like many people in the life sciences, when I traverse a physics chat, I often feel like someone who time traveled a century and experienced some disorientation. Which is why I usually spare you all my brainfarts.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on November 11th, 2019, 4:54 pm 

David, the reason is simply my long-standing head-banging with Bangstrom, whose 'hand waiving arguments' can be quite tedious to oppose. Then, as fate would have it, Reg_Prescott accidentally quoted me as the poster of some of Bangstrom's statements, which caused a lot of confusion in the posts. You may have missed that if you just scanned.

I'm not too familiar with Petkov's work, but I liked the few that I have read, even if he is not too well supported (it seems to me) in the physics community.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby bangstrom on November 12th, 2019, 4:05 am 

Positor » November 11th, 2019, 7:50 am wrote:
bangstrom » November 11th, 2019, 11:31 am wrote:We observe a one second time delay for every 300,000,000 meters of distance.

But why does this not apply to quantum entanglement, which has no delay?

The non-instant light speed does apply to entanglement. We know from SR that any two simultaneous events separated by space are also separated by time at the rate of one second for every 300,000 km and this applies equally well to entanglement as it does to light. For light and entanglement, emission and absorption are simultaneous and instant for both but we can never observe them as simultaneous if there is a distance+ time (spacetime) between them. This makes instant communication by entanglement both impossible and indistinguishable from a “light speed” communication.

Measuring the speed of entanglement requires two synchronized clocks which is difficult in SR because the clocks need to be observed together by some means for synchronization and moving the clocks gets them out of sync but it can be done and synchronized clocks indicate that the speed of entanglement is either instant or far too fast to measure. If we were to measure the speed of light by the same means with synchronized clocks, we should find that light speed is no different from the instant timing of entanglement.

When two electrons are entangled, they share a common Schroedinger wavefunction and they act as two halves of a single particle no matter what the distance between them. The electron in one atom can jump to a higher orbital at the same instant that the electron in the other drops to a lower orbital and the electron with the higher energy level can be found in either of the two atoms. The two atoms share a common energy level and their energies are in superposition. The location of the electron with the higher energy level is said to be “indeterminate” until observed. When entanglement is lost and if the atom that previously had the low energy electron now has the higher energy, then energy has been exchanged instantly with no need for energy to travel through the space between. The events are simultaneous, but as described by SR, the simultaneity is lost.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby bangstrom on November 12th, 2019, 4:19 am 

davidm » November 11th, 2019, 2:57 pm wrote:
I haven’t had time to read this thread in detail — only to skim it — so I wonder if you could elucidate why you brought up Petkov, whose work I am quite familiar with, in this particular context? Apologies if this is not obvious, but again, I’ve only had time to skim the thread.

I am not familiar with Petkov but he frequently uses the word "world tube". Is that what we commonly call a "worm hole" or a "E-R bridge" or is it something different?
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on November 12th, 2019, 4:31 am 

I hope someone with particle physics knowledge will comment on Bangstrom's post, because I think there is lot of made-up personal theory in there. I will rather stay out of it.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby Positor on November 12th, 2019, 10:04 am 

bangstrom » November 12th, 2019, 8:05 am wrote:Measuring the speed of entanglement requires two synchronized clocks which is difficult in SR because the clocks need to be observed together by some means for synchronization and moving the clocks gets them out of sync but it can be done and synchronized clocks indicate that the speed of entanglement is either instant or far too fast to measure. If we were to measure the speed of light by the same means with synchronized clocks, we should find that light speed is no different from the instant timing of entanglement.

Why, therefore, is it said that information can be passed by EM radiation (which is lightlike) but not by entanglement (which is spacelike)? If all points on a 45-degree line on a Minkowski diagram (representing a lightlike interval) are considered to be 'touching', then I do not see how all points on a horizontal line in such a diagram (representing a spacelike interval) can also be 'touching'.

I would be interested to know Faradave's view on this point.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby BurtJordaan on November 12th, 2019, 11:28 am 

bangstrom » 12 Nov 2019, 10:05 wrote:Measuring the speed of entanglement requires two synchronized clocks which is difficult in SR because the clocks need to be observed together by some means for synchronization and moving the clocks gets them out of sync but it can be done and synchronized clocks indicate that the speed of entanglement is either instant or far too fast to measure. If we were to measure the speed of light by the same means with synchronized clocks, we should find that light speed is no different from the instant timing of entanglement.

I will not comment on the entanglement aspects, but on the SR side, there is no absolute synchronization available to us humans. So if you know about an experiment, please give us the reference - it should be Nobel price worthy.
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Re: Photons: The Argument for their Existence?

Postby davidm on November 12th, 2019, 11:38 am 

bangstrom » November 12th, 2019, 2:19 am wrote:
davidm » November 11th, 2019, 2:57 pm wrote:
I haven’t had time to read this thread in detail — only to skim it — so I wonder if you could elucidate why you brought up Petkov, whose work I am quite familiar with, in this particular context? Apologies if this is not obvious, but again, I’ve only had time to skim the thread.

I am not familiar with Petkov but he frequently uses the word "world tube". Is that what we commonly call a "worm hole" or a "E-R bridge" or is it something different?


A world tube is a 4D generalization of world lines in spacetime diagrams. Petkov maintains that everything’s physical existence is, in fact, a world tube — that each person (and everything else) literally exists timelessly as a world tube, such that each person exists timelessly between his birth and his death. The indexical that we label now is a temporal part of a much larger whole, in the same way that, for example, the eyes are a spatial part of a much larger whole, an entire body.

Specifically, Petkov has argued in a number of papers that special relativity is impossible under the alternative view — that we are 3D objects that somehow “move through” time. I was curious how Petkov came up in this thread in relation to a discussion of photons, but I distinctly recall that toward the conclusion of one of his papers, which alas I can’t find at the moment, Petkov said that photons do not move. Neither does anything else. Everything just exists timelessly as unchanging world tubes in 4D Minkowski spacetime. He specifically discusses, in a number of papers, how the phenomenon of length contraction can only be understood (says he) on the premise that observers in different relative “motion” are observing different cross-sections, or angles, of an existent world tube that does not actually contract or change at all.

Petkov, then, is an eternalist, or block universalist, who believes that all moments in time are equally real, just are all locations in space are equally real. He also argues that this fact precludes free will, because, he says, the future “already,” in a sense, exists, and therefore cannot be changed, any more than we can change the past.

I did have a brief e-mail exchange with him once on this subject, in which I disagreed with him about free will, even in a block world. The upshot of my objection is that changing the future is not a pre-requisite of free will. That is a separate philosophical discussion, and off topic for this thread, but for those who are interested in pursuing it, I recommend the works of Norman Swartz, a professor emeritus of philosophy at Simon Fraser University, whose entire body of work, including three books, can be found and read online, for free.

I found Petkov’s response to me to be a bit … obdurate, but perhaps he misunderstood my objection. In any case, Sabine Hossenfelder, bless her blunt heart, analyzed one of Petkov’s papers, and — specifically addressing Petkov’s claim that only a 4D block world permits special relativity — she said she “threw the paper in the trash,” LOL. However, Sabine actually agrees with Petkov that the universe is an unchanging 4D block, and agrees with him that we have no free will. She just disagrees that special relativity can only be understood by supposing that Minkowski spacetime is physically real, as opposed to a useful mathematical description.
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