I did my Bachelor of Science at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, as a multidisciplinary course, specialising in Biological Chemistry (formerly known as Molecular Biology). The degree inculcated a basis in most of the sciences which has broadened my knowledge and outlook.
This page will include some of the thinking I have done on the unanswered questions of science and life.
One of the things which I found difficult to accept was the proposition that electromagnetic energy, such as light, can exist as both a wave and a particle (photons).
This is a summary of a Scientific American article which brought to the forefront what had been on my mind about quantum theory since I first saw a statement of the theory and my comment which was commended by one of the physicists debating the subject:
Is Quantum Reality Analog after All?
Quantum theorists often speak of the world as being pointillist at the smallest scales. Yet a closer look at the laws of nature suggests that the physical world is actually continuous—more analog than digital.
By David Tong
- Quantum mechanics is usually thought of as inherently discrete, yet its equations are formulated in terms of continuous quantities. Discrete values emerge depending on how a system is set up.
- Digital partisans insist that the continuous quantities are, on closer inspection, discrete: they lie on a tightly spaced grid that gives the illusion of a continuum, like the pixels on a computer screen.
- This idea of pixilated, discrete space contradicts at least one feature of nature, however: the asymmetry between left- and right-handed versions of elementary particles of matter.
1. gilstamp 01:36 AM 11/27/12
This is the question I had fifty years ago when I first heard the proposition that light appears to exist both as waves and particles. I could not fully accept it then and I still cannot now. The condition, as I later found out, is that the change is observed in interaction with matter. Lately, I refined my ideas to suggest that a stream of discrete packets of energy (photons) or interruptions in the continuity of the wave is caused when the wave intersects with the energy of electrons in orbit around a nucleus. The electrons, as we know, gain energy in this interaction and are promoted to larger orbits around the nuclei of their respective atoms. The energy that is absorbed from the intersecting wavefront reduces the constancy needed for continuity of the wave and appears as discrete packets to the observer. The exact nature of this interaction should be able to be calculated as a function of the frequency of the waveform and the energy constant of the outer orbitals of the specific elements involved. The observed frequency of the stream of pseudo-particles, in this scenario, would relate to the frequency of revolution of the orbital electron. Under this conjecture, when out of the influence of matter, the wave should reform at the same or at a less energised level of the spectrum (e.g., the same or a different colour), depending on how much energy has been “robbed” from it. Can this be tested?
2. jtdwyer 07:43 AM 11/28/12
Nicely put! I think you might find this essay quite interesting: Eric Stanley Reiter, “A Challenge to Quantized Absorption by Experiment and Theory”,
It is nice to know that I am in good company of the experimental physicists who challenge this theory. The abstract of Reiter’s essay states the refutation (http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1344):
After recognizing dubious assumptions regarding light detectors, a famous beam-split coincidence test of the photon model was performed with gamma-rays instead of visible light. A similar test was performed to split alpha-rays. Both tests are described in detail to justify conclusions. In both tests, coincidence rates greatly exceeded chance, leading to an unquantum effect. This is a strong experimental contradiction to quantum theory and photons. These new results are strong evidence of the long abandoned accumulation hypothesis, also known as the loading theory, and draw attention to assumptions applied to key past experiments that led to quantum mechanics. The history of the loading theory is outlined, including the loading theory of Planck’s second theory of 1911. A popular incomplete version of the loading theory that convinced physics students to reject it is exposed. The loading theory is developed by deriving a wavelength equation similar to de Broglie’s, from the photoelectric effect equation. The loading theory is applied to the photoelectric effect, Compton effect, and charge quantization, now free of wave-particle duality. It is unlikely that the loading theory can apply to recent claimed success of giant molecule multi-path interference/diffraction, and that claim is quantitatively challenged. All told, the evidence reduces quantized absorption to an illusion, due to quantized emission combined with newly identified properties of the matter-wave.
Electromagnetism and Gravity
This is another subject which has always fascinated me. The search for a theory combining these forces (Unified Field Theory) always eluded Einstein and the other great physicists and theorists. However, others have proposed solutions to this problem. I am attracted to the work of an Israeli academic scientist (when I find it again),