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?

  1. #31
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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.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    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.
    Sorry, this is the right link to that paper:

    www.varros.hu/42-redistribution.pdf

  3. #33
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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.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Sorry, this is the right link to that paper:

    www.varros.hu/42-redistribution.pdf
    Thanks, this confirms what I said before, that paper is about how electrons affect light and how light affects electrons, not how they are a medium for it.

    It doesn't support your hypothesis.
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  5. #35
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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?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    Please provide details.


    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?
    I am talking about mechanical water wave generators and they might be a foot or two across. Perhaps my use of the phrase "quantum of energy", meant to make the analogy I was after clear, confused things. I mean that a bunch of devices could be putting some fixed amount of energy, say 100 joules each time, or taking out of the waves some fixed amount, say 100 joules each time, but that the transmission of waves around the pool would not be of quantized water waves. This is my attempt to get you to think that just because an atom absorbs or releases a fixed amount of energy is not by itself proof that energy is transported in fixed amounts. No luck for me?

    Also, it is very possible that you can ask questions faster than I can answer them. I don't know that I will ever answer all of them. I am trying to look at the ones I find most interesting first.

    I think you are right, and I was wrong, about that laser paper. I was thinking they were talking about the boundary between the laser device and the vacuum and it now seems they were just talking about the boundary between the laser beam in the vacuum and the rest of the vacuum.

    I have been upgraded from Newbie to Junior Member so my posts don't take hours to show up any more! So I might be a bit more responsive now just from that.
    Last edited by vincecate; 2011-Jul-10 at 11:54 PM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I am talking about mechanical water wave generators and they might be a foot or two across. Perhaps my use of the phrase "quantum of energy" meant to make the analogy I was after clear confused things. I mean that a bunch of devices could be putting some fixed amount of energy, say 100 joules each time, or taking out of the waves some fixed amount, say 100 joules each time, but that the transmission of waves around the pool would not be of quantized water waves. This is my attempt to get you to think that just because an atom absorbs or releases a fixed amount of energy is not by itself proof that energy is transported in fixed amounts. No luck for me?
    No. Macroscopic mechanical analogs are a very poor fit for what happens at the quantum level. You can't apply conclusions drawn from one to the other, quantum effects are simply not present on that scale.

    If you try to double-slit your water wave "quantum", you'll get a continuous interference pattern on the other side, with the wave spread out over the entire detector.

    If we double-slit photons (and electrons and everything else small enough to exhibit wave/particle duality, I think sodium ions are currently the most massive to have been successfully double-slitted), we instead get that each photon strikes the detector as a single unit, at a single spot.
    The interference pattern is still there to show that they reacted as waves to the two slits, but the interference pattern is built up by different numbers of individual photons hitting different parts of the detector.

    The reason why your analog is poor is that the photons are never absorbed in anything but the full quantum. For your analog to be true it would have to be possible for part of a photon to be detected without interfering with another part and this just plain never happens. No experiment trying to do this have ever managed to do so.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    No. Macroscopic mechanical analogs are a very poor fit for what happens at the quantum level. You can't apply conclusions drawn from one to the other, quantum effects are simply not present on that scale.
    The logic works in both. Simply that atoms give off and receive fixed amounts of energy does not, by itself, prove the energy transport is quantized any more than it would in my pool wave-maker analogy.

    Also, that a photon detector is quantized and either shows a photon or does not show a photon does not, by itself, prove electromagnetic waves are quantized.

    What I am saying here is right, and I don't think you give it the credit it deserves.

    Here is me in a quantized wave pool. Basically one wave my pool. :-)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2WebXIuPYY

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    The logic works in both. Simply that atoms give off and receive fixed amounts of energy does not, by itself, prove the energy transport is quantized any more than it would in my pool wave-maker analogy.

    Also, that a photon detector is quantized and either shows a photon or does not show a photon does not, by itself, prove electromagnetic waves are quantized.
    Electromagnetic waves are not quantized, they're quanta. Different thing.

    Incidentally, science doesn't care about what things are, it cares about how they behave. And electromagnetic radiation only interacts with matter in whole quanta. This in one of the fundamental characteristics of how they behave.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I am talking about mechanical water wave generators and they might be a foot or two across. Perhaps my use of the phrase "quantum of energy", meant to make the analogy I was after clear, confused things. I mean that a bunch of devices could be putting some fixed amount of energy, say 100 joules each time, or taking out of the waves some fixed amount, say 100 joules each time, but that the transmission of waves around the pool would not be of quantized water waves. This is my attempt to get you to think that just because an atom absorbs or releases a fixed amount of energy is not by itself proof that energy is transported in fixed amounts. No luck for me?
    Photons as quanta is a complete package; every phenomenon involving electromagnetism is fully describable (or some synonym) in terms of photons.

    You have, as I understand it, claimed otherwise.

    My question asks that you show, in sufficient detail, how your ATM proposal accounts for a small subset of relevant experiments.

    Would you please answer the question?

    Also, it is very possible that you can ask questions faster than I can answer them. I don't know that I will ever answer all of them. I am trying to look at the ones I find most interesting first.
    Thank you for your response.

    Consider me to be extremely selfish, and somewhat like an exceptionally generous thesis examiner. I am prepared to cut you an enormous amount of slack with respect to your answers (if this were a thesis defence session, my guess is that, by now, the chair would have politely informed you and/or your advisor/supervisor that it might be a good idea for you to take another six months or so, and re-schedule), but none whatsoever in terms of not even acknowledging my questions.

    So, when may I expect you to answer the many questions I have already asked you, in this thread?

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Electromagnetic waves are not quantized, they're quanta. Different thing.
    Quanta is the plural of quantum. Isn't a photon energy E=hf and said to be quantized?

    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Incidentally, science doesn't care about what things are, it cares about how they behave.
    I think this may be true for the last 100 years. Before that I don't agree.
    Last edited by vincecate; 2011-Jul-11 at 02:08 AM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    Photons as quanta is a complete package; every phenomenon involving electromagnetism is fully describable (or some synonym) in terms of photons.

    You have, as I understand it, claimed otherwise.
    I don't think I have claimed the standard model gets the wrong answer on any experiment I know of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    My question asks that you show, in sufficient detail, how your ATM proposal accounts for a small subset of relevant experiments.

    Would you please answer the question?
    My answer to the experiments that I understand is that the quantization may just be a property of the matter and that the electrodynamic waves may in fact be waves with electrons as the medium.

    The problem I find most compelling is the question of if there is really enough stuff in a vacuum to transmit the energy for the experiments done. This may be enough to sink this hypothesis and it seems to me the cleanest test as it does not depend much on a theory of matter. So I want to try to look into this angle most. As I said, you were right on the laser paper so I want to read a bunch more.

    I started writing on this idea on my blog on June 29th. If this was my thesis I would never have tried to defend after 10 days. It may well be best to say lets put this aside and give me another 10 days to study up, at least. :-)

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Quanta is the plural of quantum. Isn't a photon energy E=hf and said to be quantized?
    Quantized in physics is normally meant to mean something like "can only take specific discreet values", e.g. in an atom, the energy level of an electron is said to be quantized because it can only have one of several distinct discrete values.
    Photons can have any energy, so in that sense they're not quantized. They are quanta because once created they act as units that can't be split and will only interact with other stuff as a single unsplitable unit.
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  14. #44
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    Greetings,

    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.
    My apologies if my colleagues have posed this question already.

    ES1. Please provide the explicit mathematical formalism within your hypothesis that explains why radiation of any frequency propagates in a straight line within free space.

    Best regards,
    EigenState

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    ... Also, it is very possible that you can ask questions faster than I can answer them. I don't know that I will ever answer all of them. I am trying to look at the ones I find most interesting first. ...
    Not a good idea. The Rules for Posting state that you are required to address all pertinent, direct questions in a timely manner, not just those you "find interesting."

    If you cannot answer in a timely manner say so and give an indication of when you will be able to answer. If you do not know the answer, say so. But address all pertinent, direct questions.
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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by EigenState View Post
    ES1. Please provide the explicit mathematical formalism within your hypothesis that explains why radiation of any frequency propagates in a straight line within free space.
    I am proposing that Maxwell's Equations are correct and that electrons are the medium. Plane waves are going to be very directional and so going straight does not seem much of a problem.

    My favorite objection to this hypothesis so far is that the density of matter in space is too low for this to work. I am trying to look into this and any help on this topic appreciated.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    What I am saying here is right, and I don't think you give it the credit it deserves.
    ...and once you produce credible, testable evidence for the "correctness" of your idea, that idea will receive any credit it deserves...

    But not until you have provided that evidence.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I am proposing that Maxwell's Equations are correct and that electrons are the medium. Plane waves are going to be very directional and so going straight does not seem much of a problem.

    My favorite objection to this hypothesis so far is that the density of matter in space is too low for this to work. I am trying to look into this and any help on this topic appreciated.
    Pretty much all of the objections raised so far are my "favorites" -- they're all quite devastating.

    Here's a simple one: By your logic, the propagation of electromagnetic waves will depend on the density of electrons (zero density implies zero propagation, etc.). If I evacuate a chamber, then, the propagation of waves will be impeded if your theory is correct. At minimum, I ought to see a change. However, when one shines light through a vacuum chamber, no change is observed (ok; there's a tiny change, as the refractive index of air isn't quite unity, but let's neglect that). No electrons, yet no change. Rather impressive that the absence of your putative supporting medium has essentially no effect on the propagation of light.

    What say you?

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Not a good idea. The Rules for Posting state that you are required to address all pertinent, direct questions in a timely manner, not just those you "find interesting."

    If you cannot answer in a timely manner say so and give an indication of when you will be able to answer. If you do not know the answer, say so. But address all pertinent, direct questions.
    Ok. People give me till July 20th to look into some of these questions. It may be that by then the "particles in a vacuum are too low density carry the energy" argument will have convinced me and we can drop this.

    Thanks for all the help everyone.

  20. #50
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    Greetings,

    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I am proposing that Maxwell's Equations are correct and that electrons are the medium. Plane waves are going to be very directional and so going straight does not seem much of a problem.
    Emphasis added. Then you need to be able to explain the experimentally observed and theoretically explained angular distributions of radiation scattered by free electrons (see below)--that is, by your propagation medium of choice.

    Note the dramatic differences in the angular distributions as a function of frequency.

    Best regards,
    EigenState


  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    ...and once you produce credible, testable evidence for the "correctness" of your idea, that idea will receive any credit it deserves...

    But not until you have provided that evidence.
    I just meant the points in that particular post, not everything.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Ok. People give me till July 20th to look into some of these questions. It may be that by then the "particles in a vacuum are too low density carry the energy" argument will have convinced me and we can drop this.

    Thanks for all the help everyone.
    vincecate,

    What are you asking for here? Are you asking that the thread be closed till July 20th so you can do some more work. We can do that, but if we do, it still means you have 30 days from the original start date, for this thread. However, if it allows you to concentrate more, we can close it temporarily. Please indicate your desire.
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  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I just meant the points in that particular post, not everything.
    I don't see what difference that makes...you are still compelled to provide evidence for your idea.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    vincecate,

    What are you asking for here? Are you asking that the thread be closed till July 20th so you can do some more work. We can do that, but if we do, it still means you have 30 days from the original start date, for this thread. However, if it allows you to concentrate more, we can close it temporarily. Please indicate your desire.
    Oh. With a 30 day limit then closing does not seem a good idea.

    I guess what I would really like is to focus mostly on the vacuum propagation objection. My theory predicts that sending lots of energy through a vacuum with very few particles from a high powered laser would be trouble. I had thought that a laser was ejecting electrons sort of like the sun ejects electrons but this seems not to be so. If people know of experiments on this, that is what I am looking for.

    Thanks again.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    I am proposing that Maxwell's Equations are correct and that electrons are the medium. Plane waves are going to be very directional and so going straight does not seem much of a problem.

    My favorite objection to this hypothesis so far is that the density of matter in space is too low for this to work. I am trying to look into this and any help on this topic appreciated.

    Several of us (if not all) have already given you all the possible help on the above by telling you that ;

    -your idea is wrong
    -why it is wrong

    So, there is nothing more to be gleaned, your theory is DOA.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    My theory predicts that sending lots of energy through a vacuum with very few particles from a high powered laser would be trouble. I had thought that a laser was ejecting electrons sort of like the sun ejects electrons but this seems not to be so. If people know of experiments on this, that is what I am looking for.

    Thanks again.
    This paper describes the laser and other equipment used in the Lunar Laser Ranging experiments. This paper details some of the results.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Oh. With a 30 day limit then closing does not seem a good idea.

    I guess what I would really like is to focus mostly on the vacuum propagation objection. My theory predicts that sending lots of energy through a vacuum with very few particles from a high powered laser would be trouble. I had thought that a laser was ejecting electrons sort of like the sun ejects electrons but this seems not to be so. If people know of experiments on this, that is what I am looking for.

    Thanks again.
    What's wrong with actually spending a few seconds finding out what a laser actually is and does? It's certainly not a stream of electrons. It's light. Photons. Yes, a laser of the right color -- just like any other light -- is capable of causing electrons to be ejected (look up "photoelectric effect" online -- a guy named Einstein was awarded a Nobel for explaining it). But that's quite a bit different from saying that a laser beam consists of electrons. A bullet may liberate splinters when striking a piece of wood, but that doesn't mean that a bullet is made of splinters.

    I'll say this again: People have used vacuum pumps for a long time. Bell jars are traditionally made of transparent glass. As one pumps down, there is no obvious change in the optical properties of the bell jar; light passes through it just fine. Does your theory not predict that light's propagation would suffer as one pumped down to ever-lower vacuums?

    Now, if you were to object by saying that a typical bell-jar equipped high school science class vacuum pump doesn't produce very high vacua, I'd certainly grant you that, but I'd also immediately counter that a great many people have looked through the windows of high-vacuum chambers (pumped down to less than a millitorr, eg) without observing the effect you predict.

    This is but one of many reasons why your electron-as-aether theory is not even close to right.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    If people know of experiments on this, that is what I am looking for.
    Sorry, but this isn't a collaborative environment. This forum is where proponents present, support, and answer questions about their ATM theories. It's not the place to develop your ideas or engage in speculation. I assume you've already read our rules by now but you might also find it helpful to read Alternate Theory Advice, linked in my signature below.
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  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincecate View Post
    Oh. With a 30 day limit then closing does not seem a good idea.
    Which is why it is recommended that an ATM idea be fully developed before bringing it here.

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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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