View Poll Results: Do you think electrons could be the medium for electromagnetic waves?

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  • Yes, that makes perfect sense.

    1 4.17%
  • Possibly, interesting idea.

    0 0%
  • Maybe, not sure.

    0 0%
  • No, does not make sense.

    11 45.83%
  • No, this is crackpot physics.

    15 62.50%
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Thread: Can the ether just be electrons?

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  1. #1
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    Can the ether just be electrons?

    Maxwell's equations for electromagnetic waves seem to imply electrons are moving to make the changing electric and magnetic fields. It seems like electrons are the medium for these waves.

    It seems that waves propagating through a vacuum is one reason any sort of medium is ruled out by most people. However, the vacuum has some matter, electrons, plasma. Also, light is a plane wave. The field of a plane wave does not drop off with small distances relative to the size of the wave. So light can reach out as far as needed to get enough electrons to propagate.

    The evidence that photons are particles and not waves does not seem conclusive. In fact most people seem to believe in wave/particle duality and use wave solutions most of the time. The seeming quantization of energy may just be due to matter absorbing and giving off quantized amounts.

    Lorentz and Maxwell seemed to be thinking that the particles for electricity and magnetism were the same ones for electromagnetic waves.

    To me this idea is appealing. The world would be more sensible if this were true. So I hope it works out.

    I have written up some more on it at the following URL but (as per rules) am willing to argue the idea here.

    http://electronwaves.blogspot.com/
    Last edited by vincecate; 2011-Jul-09 at 02:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Maxwell's equations for electromagnetic waves seem to imply electrons are moving to make the changing electric and magnetic fields. It seems like electrons are the medium for these waves.

    It seems that waves propagating through a vacuum is one reason any sort of medium is ruled out by most people. However, the vacuum has some matter, electrons, plasma. Also, light is a plane wave. The field of a plane wave does not drop off with small distances relative to the size of the wave. So light can reach out as far as needed to get enough electrons to propagate.

    The evidence that photons are particles and not waves does not seem conclusive. In fact most people seem to believe in wave/particle duality and use wave solutions most of the time. The seeming quantization of energy may just be due to matter absorbing and giving off quantized amounts.

    Lorentz and Maxwell seemed to be thinking that the particles for electricity and magnetism were the same ones for electromagnetic waves.

    To me this idea is appealing. The world would be more sensible if this were true. So I hope it works out.

    I have written up some more on it at the following URL but (as per rules) am willing to argue the idea here.

    http://electronwaves.blogspot.com/
    Be careful. Physics has shown us repeatedly that things are not always as they seem.

    The stuff of the cosmos is what it is and does what it does, and it does not care whether or not fallible human beings such as ourselves think it is sensible.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Maxwell's equations for electromagnetic waves seem to imply electrons are moving to make the changing electric and magnetic fields. It seems like electrons are the medium for these waves.

    It seems that waves propagating through a vacuum is one reason any sort of medium is ruled out by most people.
    I don't know why, EM radiation is a transverse wave. With the electrical and magnetic components of the EM wave orthogonal to the direction of travel and each other. This type of wave doesn't require a medium.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    However, the vacuum has some matter, electrons, plasma.
    You do realize that interaction with matter, electrons or plasma would broaden the observed spectra of distant object, right? Broadening that we don't see, but absorption and emission lines we do see, very similar to the line we see on Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Also, light is a plane wave. The field of a plane wave does not drop off with small distances relative to the size of the wave. So light can reach out as far as needed to get enough electrons to propagate.
    Are you suggesting that EM radiation (which is what light is after all) behaves differently at different wavelengths? I'm thinking here of Gamma Rays, the wavelength of which, can be quite short.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    The evidence that photons are particles and not waves does not seem conclusive.
    Are you aware of the multitude of single photon experiments?

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    In fact most people seem to believe in wave/particle duality and use wave solutions most of the time.
    Most of the time, the math is easier for the wave solutions. Just because we use the Newtonian equations for gravity doesn't mean that General Relativity is invalid.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    The seeming quantization of energy may just be due to matter absorbing and giving off quantized amounts.
    And how does this explain the particle experiments? Where various particles masses in the experiment are equal to amount of energy going into the experiment?

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Lorentz and Maxwell seemed to be thinking that the particles for electricity and magnetism were the same ones for electromagnetic waves.
    Well, since they were publishing mostly prior to the discoveries of quantum descriptions, not sure why this is relevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    To me this idea is appealing. The world would be more sensible if this were true. So I hope it works out.
    Yeah, I can understand this. Too bad the universe doesn't care if it makes sense to us.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    I don't know why, EM radiation is a transverse wave. With the electrical and magnetic components of the EM wave orthogonal to the direction of travel and each other. This type of wave doesn't require a medium.
    Any other time an electric field or a magnetic field requires moving electrons. For any other storage of energy there has to be something. For any other wave there has to be some medium. You are just asserting that it does not need a medium but that is the core question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    You do realize that interaction with matter, electrons or plasma would broaden the observed spectra of distant object, right? Broadening that we don't see, but absorption and emission lines we do see, very similar to the line we see on Earth.
    For some types of matter the signal passes through. For some things there are absorption lines. For some distant objects we see some absorption lines. The question is if most of space would just transmit light without absorption or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Are you suggesting that EM radiation (which is what light is after all) behaves differently at different wavelengths? I'm thinking here of Gamma Rays, the wavelength of which, can be quite short.
    I am saying that a plane wave is different than what most people are used to in that the field does not just drop off with distance. This means that low density is not a show stopper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Are you aware of the multitude of single photon experiments?
    I have looked at some. First, a "photon detector" in no way proves that photons are quantized. Having a quantized detector does not prove that energy is quantized.

    I have a design for one I would like to do or see done. Have you seen one like this:

    http://electronwaves.blogspot.com/20...r-photons.html

    Can you point me at an experiment that you find very convincing evidence that photons are particles and not waves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    And how does this explain the particle experiments? Where various particles masses in the experiment are equal to amount of energy going into the experiment?
    The ones I have seen can be explained by matter absorbing or giving off quantized amounts of energy. It seems the quantization can be a property of matter, not necessarily the way energy is transmitted. It could be energy is coming from several different directions and that an atom just absorbs a certain amount and transmits the rest on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Well, since they were publishing mostly prior to the discoveries of quantum descriptions, not sure why this is relevant.
    Yes, but. Maxwell developed the equations with the model that particles moving about are making the electric and magnetic fields. He predicted radio waves, and Hertz later produced them to test Maxwell's theory. Hertz did not even see a use for them, other than testing Maxwell's theory. So I think Maxwell gets a few points for predicting radio waves.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Any other time an electric field or a magnetic field requires moving electrons.
    It does?

    So if I manage to nail some electrons to the wall, and get them to remain stationary (i.e. not moving), their electric (and magnetic) field(s) goes away?

    For any other storage of energy there has to be something.
    What does this mean?

    For any other wave there has to be some medium.
    There does?

    Are there waves in quantum mechanics?

    What media do those waves require?

    You are just asserting that it does not need a medium but that is the core question.
    I know Tensor asked the questions to which you are responding, but this is too strange a response to not pass up (sorry Tensor).

    How familiar would you say you are with Maxwell's equations?

    Specifically, have you done (or seen) a derivation of electromagnetic waves - the sort of thing Tensor mentioned - from those equations? If not, in the words of long-time BAUTian Celestial Mechanic, get thee to a library! (Tensor most definitely did not "just assert" ).

    However, if you have done (or seen) such a derivation, please repeat it, here, and show where, in that derivation, a medium is required.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    So if I manage to nail some electrons to the wall, and get them to remain stationary (i.e. not moving), their electric (and magnetic) field(s) goes away?
    Here is the challenge. Make a stationary electric field without using electrons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    What does this mean?
    Any other method for storing energy requires matter. Any other waves involve matter, so electromagnetic waves are a bit peculiar if they don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    However, if you have done (or seen) such a derivation, please repeat it, here, and show where, in that derivation, a medium is required.
    I have "The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell". He derived it with a "mechanical model" that seems to fit electrons (though before electrons were discovered). He predicted radio waves before there were any. That afterwards someone else can do the same math without mentioning that electric fields are caused by electrons does not prove anything.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid
    So if I manage to nail some electrons to the wall, and get them to remain stationary (i.e. not moving), their electric (and magnetic) field(s) goes away?
    Here is the challenge. Make a stationary electric field without using electrons.
    I can't see how this answers my question, sorry.

    Would you please have another go at answering it? If you'd like, I can elaborate and/or rephrase it.

    As to your "challenge": nail a proton to the wall.

    What does this mean?
    Any other method for storing energy requires matter. Any other waves involve matter, so electromagnetic waves are a bit peculiar if they don't.
    Thanks for clarifying your statement ("For any other storage of energy there has to be something.")

    Isn't gravitational wave radiation the same sort of thing, in this regard?

    However, if you have done (or seen) such a derivation, please repeat it, here, and show where, in that derivation, a medium is required.
    I have "The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell". He derived it with a "mechanical model" that seems to fit electrons (though before electrons were discovered). He predicted radio waves before there were any. That afterwards someone else can do the same math without mentioning that electric fields are caused by electrons does not prove anything.
    This is - obviously - not an answer to my question.

    Would you please answer my question?

    If you'd like me to explain it further, or elaborate, I'd be happy to do so; you have simply to ask.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    For any other wave there has to be some medium. You are just asserting that it does not need a medium but that is the core question.
    MQ1: how do you explain all the experiments starting with The Michelson-Morley experiment that failed in detecting any medium?








    I have looked at some. First, a "photon detector" in no way proves that photons are quantized. Having a quantized detector does not prove that energy is quantized.

    Can you point me at an experiment that you find very convincing evidence that photons are particles and not waves?
    MQ2: Sure, how do you explain the photoelectric effect?


    The ones I have seen can be explained by matter absorbing or giving off quantized amounts of energy. It seems the quantization can be a property of matter, not necessarily the way energy is transmitted.
    MQ3: can you prove this? Do you have a mathematical formalism and an experiment to back it up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by macaw View Post
    MQ1: how do you explain all the experiments starting with The Michelson-Morley experiment that failed in detecting any medium?
    Michelson-Morley was testing if the medium for light was moving relative to the experiment and found that it was not. If the medium for light is the electrons in the air in the experiment, then it would not be moving relative to the experiment.
    Quote Originally Posted by macaw View Post
    MQ2: Sure, how do you explain the photoelectric effect?
    There are wave explanations for the photoelectric effect. I believe some are even published in peer reviewed publications. In my own words, to push an electron off the wave needs to be the right frequency so that it is in resonance with the electron as it moves around its orbital. If the electron is lined up with the wave and in the right phase relative to the wave then it can pick up enough energy to escape.

    Quote Originally Posted by macaw View Post
    MQ3: can you prove this? Do you have a mathematical formalism and an experiment to back it up?
    This is the crux of matter under question. I have not yet convinced anyone (only positive vote on poll is my own). I do not have a mathematical replacement for quantum mechanics.

    I am trying to think of experiments and have some ideas.

    http://electronwaves.blogspot.com/20...o-proceed.html
    http://electronwaves.blogspot.com/20...r-photons.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Michelson-Morley was testing if the medium for light was moving relative to the experiment and found that it was not. If the medium for light is the electrons in the air in the experiment, then it would not be moving relative to the experiment.
    Why, then, does LIGO - which is an MMX with sensitivity many OOM (order of magnitude) better than the original, and done in a high vacuum - also show a null result?

    There are wave explanations for the photoelectric effect. I believe some are even published in peer reviewed publications.
    Please provide some references.

    In my own words, to push an electron off the wave needs to be the right frequency so that it is in resonance with the electron as it moves around its orbital. If the electron is lined up with the wave and in the right phase relative to the wave then it can pick up enough energy to escape.
    Have you developed this explanation into a quantitative form?

    If so, please present it.

    If not, why not?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Michelson-Morley was testing if the medium for light was moving relative to the experiment and found that it was not.
    ...meaning that the "medium" either does not exist or, if it existes, is undetectable. same difference.



    If the medium for light is the electrons in the air in the experiment, then it would not be moving relative to the experiment.
    MQ4: But, then , again, it would be the same as not existing, so where is the logic in your statement?



    There are wave explanations for the photoelectric effect. I believe some are even published in peer reviewed publications.
    MQ5: Show the "references", please.






    I have not yet convinced anyone (only positive vote on poll is my own).
    The "positive" vote is yours, isn't it?

    I do not have a mathematical replacement for quantum mechanics.
    Do you have any math to support any of your claims?

    I am trying to think of experiments and have some ideas.
    It would be better to run the experiments after you have developed the mathematical formalism of your theory, this is how mainstream scientists work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Any other time an electric field or a magnetic field requires moving electrons.
    There does? Reference for this. It's news to me that an electric or magnetic field requires moving electrons. The field concept doesn't need electrons for the field. Another interesting point is that by Coulombs' law, negative charges point toward negative charges. Care to explain why, according to you, a field containing negatively charged particles would point toward negatively charged particles?

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    For any other storage of energy there has to be something. For any other wave there has to be some medium.
    And you can show that the EM wave requires a medium, other than by claiming other waves need them, how?

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    You are just asserting that it does not need a medium but that is the core question.
    Then by all means, show how a transverse wave requires a medium. Other than by assertion, because other waves require them.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    For some types of matter the signal passes through. For some things there are absorption lines. For some distant objects we see some absorption lines. The question is if most of space would just transmit light without absorption or not.
    I notice you totally ignored the question of line broadening. Not whether the spectra show an absorption line, whether the lines are broadened. If you are going to claim that electrons are the medium, you will need to show, mathematically, that there is no broadening. As, currently, interactions with electrons broaden the spectra absorption and emission lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I am saying that a plane wave is different than what most people are used to in that the field does not just drop off with distance. This means that low density is not a show stopper.
    And you are going to show that all the wavelengths of EM radiation are large enough to get to electrons. When can we expect the derivations? Oh, and exactly what is the permitivity and permeability of electrons?

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I have looked at some. First, a "photon detector" in no way proves that photons are quantized. Having a quantized detector does not prove that energy is quantized.
    You do realize that those detectors can detect waves or photons, right? You are claiming if the same detector that detects photons, detects waves, that doesn't mean there are waves. Are you sure you want to claim that?

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Can you point me at an experiment that you find very convincing evidence that photons are particles and not waves?
    There are quite a few. The UV catastrophe is probably the best. Or, the fine structure constant.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    The ones I have seen can be explained by matter absorbing or giving off quantized amounts of energy.
    Isn't this what you are arguing against?

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    It seems the quantization can be a property of matter, not necessarily the way energy is transmitted. It could be energy is coming from several different directions and that an atom just absorbs a certain amount and transmits the rest on.
    Which makes no sense when sending individual photons, or trying to explain the UV catastrophe.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Maxwell developed the equations with the model that particles moving about are making the electric and magnetic fields.
    I would suggest you actually go back an study Gauss' law (1835), Faraday's law (1831), and Ampere's law (1826). Note the dates. Maxwell did not develop the equations. I would suggest you look up Wilhelm Weber, Rudolf Kohlraucsh, Oliver Heaviside, Willard Gibbs and the theoretical work of Heinrich Hertz in the 1850-1860s. Maxwell gets a lot of the deserved credit for pulling a lot of the disparate parts together, correcting parts of Ampere's law, and, in general noticing a few things the others didn't. But he didn't develop the equations. And, by the way, I would like you to point out exactly in those laws where it mentions anything other than field lines of force in connection to magnetism.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    He predicted radio waves, and Hertz later produced them to test Maxwell's theory. Hertz did not even see a use for them, other than testing Maxwell's theory. So I think Maxwell gets a few points for predicting radio waves.
    Does that mean we take off points for not getting the fully correct version of the Lorentz Force equation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Maxwell's equations for electromagnetic waves seem to imply electrons are moving to make the changing electric and magnetic fields. It seems like electrons are the medium for these waves.
    The second sentence does not follow logically from the first. The first sentence is also incorrect.

    Maxwell's equations show that an electromagnetic (EM) wave is basically self-sustaining: the time-varying electric field induces a time-varying magnetic field, which in turn induces a time-varying electric field, which in turn induces a time-varying magnetic field, and so on. This process does not require the presence of charged particles (let alone specifically electrons) in the volume where the EM wave is propagating.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    It seems that waves propagating through a vacuum is one reason any sort of medium is ruled out by most people.
    Of course: if an EM wave can propagate without a material, then the material is not necessary as a medium for the EM waves.
    For example, sound waves do not propagate in vacuum, therefore a material must be necessary for the sound waves to propagate.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    However, the vacuum has some matter, electrons, plasma. Also, light is a plane wave. The field of a plane wave does not drop off with small distances relative to the size of the wave. So light can reach out as far as needed to get enough electrons to propagate.
    You cannot have it both ways: either EM waves need material medium to propagate or they do not.

    Also, experiments show that visible light (wavelength of the order of 500 nm, beam diameters of the order of 5 mm) can propagate in evacuated chambers containing so few particles, that the average distance between particles is of the order of 10 cm.

    Please show us in appropriate and quantitative detail how light could "reach out" to the particle without being able to propagate in vacuum independently.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    The evidence that photons are particles and not waves does not seem conclusive. In fact most people seem to believe in wave/particle duality and use wave solutions most of the time.
    That is because photons are quantum particles, which show properties typical of both classical particles and classical waves.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    The seeming quantization of energy may just be due to matter absorbing and giving off quantized amounts.
    Quantization of energy of what?


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Lorentz and Maxwell seemed to be thinking that the particles for electricity and magnetism were the same ones for electromagnetic waves.
    You mean, they realised that static electric and magnetic fields, and electromagnetic fields were basically the same phenomenon.
    Yes. So? That does not imply that EM waves need charged particles in the volume where they propagate.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    To me this idea is appealing. The world would be more sensible if this were true. So I hope it works out.
    Experiments show that it does not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    You cannot have it both ways: either EM waves need material medium to propagate or they do not.
    I am proposing that all EM waves need some electrons (free or tied up with atoms) to propagate.

    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Also, experiments show that visible light (wavelength of the order of 500 nm, beam diameters of the order of 5 mm) can propagate in evacuated chambers containing so few particles, that the average distance between particles is of the order of 10 cm.
    It seems that a laser shining into a vacuum sends lots of electrons out with the light. The sun also sends lots of electrons out with the light. For example:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/0953-4075/31/9/025

    Does that make any sense for a photon theory of light? If an electron has trouble passing the energy on then it seems reasonable that it will be accumulating energy and breaking free.

    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Please show us in appropriate and quantitative detail how light could "reach out" to the particle without being able to propagate in vacuum independently.
    See if this helps:
    http://electronwaves.blogspot.com/20...ar-vacuum.html

    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Quantization of energy of what?
    The energy that one atom takes out of the electromagnetic waves passing it or contributes to the total waves is quantized.

    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Experiments show that it does not.
    What do you think are the clearest/simplest/best experiments to show that electrons are not the medium for electromagnetic waves?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    It seems that a laser shining into a vacuum sends lots of electrons out with the light. The sun also sends lots of electrons out with the light. For example:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/0953-4075/31/9/025
    You're missing two things about that, the first is that the laser is shining through a non-absolute vacuum, and that the article is talking about the laser causing redistribution of energies of electrons already present in that non-absolute vacuum, the other is that it's talking about the result of calculations on a model, not the result of an actual physical experiment. It's not even certain the universe behaves as they describe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    What do you think are the clearest/simplest/best experiments to show that electrons are not the medium for electromagnetic waves?
    Light doesn't bend in an electrical field, light doesn't bend in a magnetic field.

    Electrons are accelerated in an electrical field and moving electrons also experience a force in a magnetic field causing them to change their movement.

    I did that experiment as part of high school physics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Light doesn't bend in an electrical field, light doesn't bend in a magnetic field.

    Electrons are accelerated in an electrical field and moving electrons also experience a force in a magnetic field causing them to change their movement.
    Moving at the speed of light, you should not expect the wave to bend easy. But a magnetic field does rotate the polarization of light.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_effect

    I think an electric field can also cause the polarization of light to rotate, but I can't find a link yet.

    Microwaves can cause molecules to spin:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotational_spectroscopy

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Moving at the speed of light, you should not expect the wave to bend easy. But a magnetic field does rotate the polarization of light.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_effect
    Yeah, explainable with Quantum Field theory, so?

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Microwaves can cause molecules to spin:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotational_spectroscopy
    Yep, they sure can. From YOUR source:

    Rotational spectroscopy or microwave spectroscopy studies the absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation (typically in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum) by molecules associated with a corresponding change in the rotational quantum number of the molecule. The use of microwaves in spectroscopy essentially became possible due to the development of microwave technology for RADAR during World War II. Rotational spectroscopy is practical only in the gas phase where the rotational motion is quantized.

    Note the bold. Quantum Field Theory does not use electrons as the transmission medium for light. If you are going to use this as support for your idea, please provide us with the equations that you are using to produce quantized rotational motion, in a theory using electrons as a transmittal medium for EM radiation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I am proposing that all EM waves need some electrons (free or tied up with atoms) to propagate.
    As the behaviour of free and bound electrons so completely different, this does not make any sense at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tusenfem View Post
    As the behaviour of free and bound electrons so completely different, this does not make any sense at all.
    It is my understanding that people use Maxwell's equations to see how a dielectric reacts to electromagnetic waves or free electrons in space react. The standard interpretation is that they are reacting to the wave and slowing it down and my hypothesis is that they are propagating the wave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    It is my understanding that people use Maxwell's equations to see how a dielectric reacts to electromagnetic waves or free electrons in space react. The standard interpretation is that they are reacting to the wave and slowing it down and my hypothesis is that they are propagating the wave.
    Well as your claim was:

    I am proposing that all EM waves need some electrons (free or tied up with atoms) to propagate.
    and electrons behave completely different when tied up to an atome or when free in space, AGAIN, your claim does not make any sense, it's just nonsense, a EM wave does not need electrons to propagate.

    An EM wave through a dielectric medium is something completely different, and far away from your original claim.
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  22. #22
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    I see that vincecate utterly ignored this part of my post:
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Maxwell's equations show that an electromagnetic (EM) wave is basically self-sustaining: the time-varying electric field induces a time-varying magnetic field, which in turn induces a time-varying electric field, which in turn induces a time-varying magnetic field, and so on. This process does not require the presence of charged particles (let alone specifically electrons) in the volume where the EM wave is propagating.
    which refutes his assertion that:
    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate
    Maxwell's equations for electromagnetic waves seem to imply electrons are moving to make the changing electric and magnetic fields. It seems like electrons are the medium for these waves.
    Please, vincecate, address this point and show us in the appropriate quantitative detail how Maxwell's equations imply that EM wave need specifically electrons as a medium.



    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    You cannot have it both ways: either EM waves need material medium to propagate or they do not.
    I am proposing that all EM waves need some electrons (free or tied up with atoms) to propagate.
    Please provide actual experimental evidence or at least a sound theoretical argument.
    "It makes sense to me" is not an argument.



    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Also, experiments show that visible light (wavelength of the order of 500 nm, beam diameters of the order of 5 mm) can propagate in evacuated chambers containing so few particles, that the average distance between particles is of the order of 10 cm.
    It seems that a laser shining into a vacuum sends lots of electrons out with the light. The sun also sends lots of electrons out with the light. For example:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/0953-4075/31/9/025
    Can you explain in the appropriate detail how that paper shows that "light can reach out as far as needed to get enough electrons to propagate" ?
    The abstract certainly does not say anything like that.

    But if the electric field of the EM wave can "reach out" in vacuum towards electrons, why would it need electrons to propagate anyway? After all, the time-varying electric field in the EM wave can induce a time-varying magnetic field without the need of particles...

    Also, the Sun sends out a lot of protons as well (solar wind). Why should light prefer electrons?



    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Does that make any sense for a photon theory of light? If an electron has trouble passing the energy on then it seems reasonable that it will be accumulating energy and breaking free.
    The mainstream theory of light accounts quantitatively for the experimental results, and is consistent with other branches of mainstream physics.



    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Please show us in appropriate and quantitative detail how light could "reach out" to the particle without being able to propagate in vacuum independently.
    See if this helps:
    http://electronwaves.blogspot.com/20...ar-vacuum.html
    Sorry, that blogpost has no detail whatsoever and just repeats what you posted here already without adding any new information.



    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Quantization of energy of what?
    The energy that one atom takes out of the electromagnetic waves passing it or contributes to the total waves is quantized.
    Yes, it is. The fact that this quantized interaction can be spatially localized points towards particle-like properties of photons. And the fact that the distribution of photons can follow interference and diffraction patterns, points towards wave-like properties of photons.
    The conclusion is that the photon is a quantum particle.



    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Experiments show that it does not.
    What do you think are the clearest/simplest/best experiments to show that electrons are not the medium for electromagnetic waves?
    I already mentioned it.
    EM waves can propagate in laboratory vacuum without significant change from normal atmosphere.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    which refutes his assertion that:
    Just asserting that EM waves do not need a medium does not refute my hypothesis that the medium is electrons. We need experiments that rule it out. I don't agree that blackbody radiation or the fine structure constant rule it out.

    Here is an interesting quote:

    As a consequence of Einstein's theory of special relativity, electricity and magnetism are fundamentally interlinked. Both magnetism lacking electricity, and electricity without magnetism, are inconsistent with special relativity, due to such effects as length contraction, time dilation, and the fact that the magnetic force is velocity-dependent. However, when both electricity and magnetism are taken into account, the resulting theory (electromagnetism) is fully consistent with special relativity.[6][10]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetism

    Do people agree that Gauss's law is talking about electrons?

    Do people agree that electricity is moving electrons?
    Last edited by vincecate; 2011-Jul-10 at 08:58 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Just asserting that EM waves do not need a medium does not refute my hypothesis that the medium is electrons. We need experiments that rule it out. I don't agree that blackbody radiation or the fine structure constant rule it out.
    It is in the textbooks as part of mainstream physics exactly because it has passed experimental tests.
    Please do not assume that mainstream physics makes unsupported assertions.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Here is an interesting quote:

    [SNIP!]
    I am not interested in quotes.
    Please provide either experimental evidence or a sound theoretical argument in support of your assertions.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Do people agree that Gauss's law is talking about electrons?
    Wrong. Gauss's law, just like Maxwell's equations, only deals with charge and charge density. This charge can be an electron, a positron, a proton, an alpha particle, a macroscopic charged object, and so on.
    There is nothing in the Theory of Electromagnetism that requires specifically electrons.


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Do people agree that electricity is moving electrons?
    Your experience is severely restricted.
    A beam of ions is a current, just like a beam of electrons or protons, or alpha particles, or...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    I already mentioned it.
    EM waves can propagate in laboratory vacuum without significant change from normal atmosphere.
    I think this is a good line to investigate. In that other paper I referenced about theory for lasers going into vacuum there are references to actual experiments. So this is the kind of thing I like. It make take a few days to look into this. But I will report back here.

    The experiments that depend on properties of atoms seems less conclusive in the claims about electromagnetic waves, as maybe there is a theory of atoms that would have these experimental results with waves.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I think this is a good line to investigate. In that other paper I referenced about theory for lasers going into vacuum there are references to actual experiments. So this is the kind of thing I like. It make take a few days to look into this. But I will report back here.
    As long as you don't misinterpret the papers you cite in the same way you did that one.

    Note that arguing based on an abstract is really poor form, since the abstract by definition doesn't contain all the information in the paper, missing is often boundary conditions and area of applicability.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno
    EM waves can propagate in laboratory vacuum without significant change from normal atmosphere.
    I think this is a good line to investigate. In that other paper I referenced about theory for lasers going into vacuum there are references to actual experiments. So this is the kind of thing I like. It make take a few days to look into this. But I will report back here.
    Have you considered looking into a textbook? Like Feynman's Lectures?


    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    The experiments that depend on properties of atoms seems less conclusive in the claims about electromagnetic waves, as maybe there is a theory of atoms that would have these experimental results with waves.
    Please look up "Quantum Electrodynamics".

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by papageno View Post
    Yes, it is. The fact that this quantized interaction can be spatially localized points towards particle-like properties of photons.
    It is certainly suggestive that photons have particle-like properties. However, it is not conclusive.

    I can make a mechanical device that either releases a certain quantum of energy by making a water wave or absorbs that quantum from water waves and generates electricity. I could then put a bunch of these around the edge of my pool. That each device was releasing or absorbing a particular quantum of energy would not prove that there were no waves in the pool. The waves would be very clear to see.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    It is certainly suggestive that photons have particle-like properties. However, it is not conclusive.

    I can make a mechanical device that either releases a certain quantum of energy by making a water wave or absorbs that quantum from water waves and generates electricity.
    Please provide details.

    I could then put a bunch of these around the edge of my pool. That each device was releasing or absorbing a particular quantum of energy would not prove that there were no waves in the pool. The waves would be very clear to see.
    Please show that such devices could produce the full spectrum of effects observed in experiments on:
    -> the UV catastrophe
    -> the photoelectric effect
    -> double slit experiments
    -> annihilation radiation.

    Also, I have asked you several question which you yet to even acknowledge, let alone respond to (or answer); may I ask: when you intend to answer those questions?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    It is certainly suggestive that photons have particle-like properties. However, it is not conclusive.

    I can make a mechanical device that either releases a certain quantum of energy by making a water wave or absorbs that quantum from water waves and generates electricity. I could then put a bunch of these around the edge of my pool. That each device was releasing or absorbing a particular quantum of energy would not prove that there were no waves in the pool. The waves would be very clear to see.

    Imagine that your mechanical devices are small and sensitive enough to detect a single water molecule hitting them. Imagine that each water molecule hitting one of your mechanical devices would produce a flash from the electricity generated. Imagine you run an experiment in the dark, so that you cannot actually see the water wave. Imagine you used a high-speed camera to film the flashing lights as the wave hits your set of mechanical devices, so that there are only a few flashes per frame.

    If you looked at each frame, you would not recognize a pattern. But if you run the film with the appropriate speed, then you would recognize that the flashes follow a wave pattern. The macroscopic water wave hitting your set of detectors is composed of individual molecules interacting with individual mechanical devices.

    Have a look at this video: Interference pattern built up photon by photon.

    As others have pointed out,your mechanical analogy does not very well for EM waves and photons.
    But your reply shows clearly that you did not actually get my point: it is not the quantized exchange of energy that points towards particle-like properties. It is the fact that the interaction occurs in a point in space.

    In your posts you have shown that you do not understand classical electromagnetism well enough to speculate outside established physics (you still do not seem to grasp that an EM in vacuum is basically self-sustaining, which is actually nicely consistent with the idea that an excitation of the EM field can "fly off" without a source pumping energy into it). You also do not seem to understand that in modern physics, macroscopic EM waves are pictured as composed of many photons, and that the photons are the excitations of the electromagnetic field.

    Now, if you want to continue with this thread, address the other points I made in my posts.

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