The KISS Theory of Everything - Keep It Simple Stupid

Physics has gone crazy, and I refuse to join with it! Here is my view of the world, a view defined by an informed outsider!!

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Management Consultant Specialized in CEO training in small and medium sized companies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Part 3 - Some further insights into energy and charge

In a previous paper, we showed that electro-magnetic radiation could be seen as a series of events which transported a quantum of energy from its origin to some receiver or observer located at another place. It was pointed out that the key issue that emerged from that model was that the energy quantum was being transported along a series of events which in themselves acted as vibrations, and would therefore appear to have wave properties. Thus the wave particle dichotomy of electro-magnetic radiation disappears. In this paper I want to look at one of those events in a little more detail and see if we can make some deductions about some other mysteries of physics which look a lot more complicated than they should be.

The model we developed transported a quantum of energy along a series of events in each of which a dipole was sprung from empty space under the driving force of the magnetic field from the immediately preceding event, reinforced by the fields from earlier ones (only a very small number would actually be of any marked influence.) We know that the quantum energy of electro-magnetic radiation increases with the apparent frequency, and we showed that the likely effect of that is that the magnitude of the charge would increase proportionately. We also showed that the initial velocity of the poles or charges would have to be the same irrespective of quantum energy in order for the time it took for them to move apart, stop, and reverse to again coalesce to be in accordance with the beam’s apparent frequency. We noted that the only actual motion was that of the poles or charges, and that motion was perpendicular to the direction of the beam.

When we look at this dipole event in a little more detail, the first thing that comes to mind is the question of how straight the paths of the charges will be. The first assumption is that they will shoot out perpendicular to the path of the electro-magnetic radiation beam, and come back right to the spot where they started. I’m sure that's what they would do in a perfect world, but in the real world that’s not quite possible because the event is taking place only a very short distance away from the preceding one. Just as in two parallel wires carrying current, there will be a force between these two sets of moving charges which will result in the path being nudged in the direction of the beam. So the charges actually will traverse a short parabola meeting again not exactly where they were spawned but a very short distance away in the direction of the beam. The effect of this is to make their collision not exactly perpendicular, but at a very slight angle, which will result in a very slightly reduced magnetic effect. The ultimate result is that the next event will have a very slightly reduced energy, or will have a lower frequency. Voila! we have red shift.

So what happened to the bit of energy that was not transferred. As we said the charges moved just a little bit down the path of the beam. this very small movement is in effect an origination event for a new photon, but one that starts out traveling at right angles to the source beam, and with a very low quantum energy. So each event is actually spawning two new events, the main path being the majority of the energy, but the second path at right angles to the first takes away a very small bite of energy from each event. With all the electro-magnetic radiation that shines around our universe all the time one would expect this low energy radiation to create quite a buzz, and it does! It is the cosmic background radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson in 1965. Some of you will be wondering if this slow degradation of electro-magnetic radiation is at variance with the requirement that a full quantum of energy be absorbed, and the simple answer is that it is not. The full quantum released by the previous event is absorbed by the new event, but two not one quanta are released.

So here we are, we have explained two of the great mysteries of the cosmos, and we have never mentioned the expanding universe, or the big bang!

As great as that understanding is, there is more. As the quantum energy of an electro-magnetic radiation beam increases so the magnitude of the charges increase, and so the forces on the charges increase. The result is greater deviation from the vertical path. So the higher the energy of the beam, the greater will be the red shift. Also a very strange thing happens when you try to calculate the amount of deviation. As the quantum energy grows to a level approaching twice the energy equivalent of an electron mass, calculation shows that the charges start to have such a great velocity in the direction of the beam that the attraction of the opposing charge can never catch up. Yes, the charges approach the speed of light itself. So what the model predicts is that at that quantum energy the two charges will travel along parallel to each other and to the beam, and will not recombine. This can be interpreted in two ways, firstly that electro-magnetic radiation cannot propagate in the usual way with quantum energies this high, and perhaps electro-magnetic radiation of these energies is actually more akin to a kind of neutrino, two equal charges zipping through space being virtually undetectable by any observer. What is clear is that if such a photon were to be disturbed by passage close to a particle or barrier, the possibility that the charges could separate and spin off into the observable world is very high. Thus the creation of an electron positron pair.

So now we begin to see how everything hangs together, how energy is transported through space by vibrating dipoles and how these dipoles break apart to form particles with mass. At the heart of both these phenomena are charges. and it seems to me to be the most basic of issues. Whenever energy is present, so is charge, and spinning charges create the rest mass of the observable world.

So if charge is related to frequency by the direct relationship e=kN, and energy of a photon is also related to frequency by the simple relationship E = hN where h is Planks constant, then charge must be related to energy by e = kE/h. We do have one known point of equivalence namely in the electron, where we know it’s charge, and we can use the above relationship to deduce k.

If this all hangs together, we can finally put a face on charge itself. Charge is the tendency by which space resists being deformed by energy.

While discussing this most basic of phenomena, it is interesting to consider what effect the presence of a charge would have on the surrounding space. As we said in our discussion on electro-magnetic radiation, it is considered a certainty that small dipole like events occur in free space on a random basis. It seems likely that very small events occur quite frequently, and space can be visualized as a shimmer of these tiny random events, John Wheeler’s “quantum foam”. Because the events are small and random they cannot be observed, and have no effect on observers or objects in their vicinity, but they can be said to create a fabric of space.

Now what happens if one brings a charge into the picture. Instead of all these little events being random, all of a sudden there is a driving force to align them radially around the charge, which has the effect of transmitting the effect of the charge outwards. Any other charge some distance away will now find itself in a quantum foam that is no longer random, and will therefore feel a force towards or away from the first charge. And so we have electro-static force.

As in the case of electro magnetic radiation, nothing has actually traveled between the two charges, but they feel the effect of each other via the quantum foam, or the fabric of space whichever term you prefer to use.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Part 2 - What a Photon would be like if Physics wasn't so complicated.

I started this series of essays on what the world of science, and in particular, physics, would be like if it were not so complicated, with a look at the most elementary of physical entities, the electron and the positron. We described the entities as being like spinning point charges, either positive or negative, and with this very simple model we were able to visualize how all of the known properties of the particles could come about, and how just these two particles could form the basis of all matter.

In this discussion I want to extend that kind of thinking to the world of electro magnetic radiation (EMR) of which light is a small slice. The principal properties of electro-magnetic radiation are wave characteristics, quantum transportation of energy, polarization and the fact that it travels in a straight line, so any picture one may form of a photon must be able to demonstrate these properties.

Existing models of electro-magnetic radiation are either wave based or particle based, but all envisage the wave or particle traveling through space from the generator to the receiver. The wave model which has oscillating electro-magnetic fields is mathematically most successful, but it fails totally to explain the quantum nature of light. This is not all that surprising because it was developed before the quantum characteristics were known. The particle models cannot explain the interference patterns, particularly those which form with very low intensity beams. So let us begin at the beginning and try to do better.

We know that all radiant energy originates from vibrating atoms or parts of atoms, and we know that those parts of atoms are electrically charged. So the simplest case is an electron in a high energy state dropping to a lower energy state. This is a distinct event, and it releases a unique quantum of energy. If we think of that event as a charge falling rapidly from one spot to another, it can be seen as a very short lived micro electric current which will briefly cause a magnetic field to grow, and just as quickly to die away. If there were a conductor near that event, the magnetic field would cause an equally brief current to occur in that conductor first traveling one way as the magnetic field grew, and then reversing as the field died away. But empty space is not a conductor in the normal understanding of the word, so something else or some other event must happen to cause space to act like a conductor. As the originating event was discrete and contained a unique and definitive amount of energy, and we know that the quantum nature of the process allows the energy from the source event to be passed only to a receptor which absorbs all and only all of that energy, we should assume that the transmitting events must also be discrete.

So what kind of event may we be thinking about? In the strange world of quantum mechanics it has become an accepted fact that even in empty space, pairs of particles, one positive and one negative, can and often do randomly appear out of empty space, skipping apart briefly, only to be attracted back together to annihilate each other and disappear. These many random events have been variously described, but the term I like is “quantum foam“ used first by John Wheeler. If one were to visualize one of these events as a - charged entity moving upward and a + charge moving downward, what one would see is the two charges starting out at some high velocity, slowing down as the attractive force decelerated them, turning around towards each other and meeting again at the point they originated from, probably at very close to the velocity they started with, but obviously in the opposite direction. Effectively, the event is the appearance of a small dipole stretching apart, and then collapsing, and if one were an observer a few micro meters away, it would have appeared to be a very short lived micro current starting out in one direction reversing itself and then disappearing. Now that is exactly what we said would occur if a conductor were near our falling electron! So let us take a leap of faith and assume that this is actually what happens, and imagine our event as a small dipole, emerging, stretching apart, and collapsing back together again.

For the process to work, what we would see is the dipole appearing a short distance away from the falling electron. As the driving magnetic field stopped growing, the poles or charges would stop at which time they hold the total energy released by the electron. Because they are attracted to each other, the charges start to fall back towards each other till they again met and neutralize themselves. Now of course, these charges collapsing towards each other is in effect exactly the same as the electron event which began the whole thing, only it is occurring a short distance away, and a short time later. And also, of course it will cause another similar event to occur a further short distance away, and a further short time later, and will in the process transmit the energy to that new event. And so on, and so on.

What we have visualized is a process by which an effect of the event of a collapsing electron is propagated through space by successive dipole events. As the charges in the first event move apart they absorb the energy given up by the electron, and as they collapse back together, they pass that energy on to the succeeding event. In so doing the little burst of energy that the original electron gave up is transported along the chain of events and it will continue to be so until it meets a receptor, or observer, where it can be absorbed. The interesting thing about the model is that, other than the brief vibration of the dipole, nothing has actually moved except the energy has been transported along a chain of events. In truth what we have visualized is the passage of a photon, or a quantum of light, and we can better understand the wave particle dichotomy of electro-magnetic radiation. The concept is really not that far away from the Maxwell model, except that each and every quantum of energy is traveling as its own distinct series of wave like events made up of vibrating dipoles

In the above visualization we have used the single dipole as the event but it would be equally valid to suggest that the falling electron merely caused an alignment of a number of the random events of the quantum foam that were occurring in the vicinity such that the total energy of the aligned events was equal to the quantum energy. This extension to the model quite likely would be more accurate, but it adds complexity without benefit, and just as in the Bohr model of the atom the electrons have melted into electron clouds, it is still useful to revert to the original model to provide a visual and not too inaccurate understanding of what is happening.