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If you want my opinion ......
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Click HERE to go to my web site about the anthrax attacks of 2001.
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Click HERE to read my scientific paper titled "The Reality of Time Dilation".
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My interests are writing, books, movies, science, psychology, conspiracy theorists,
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hotography, photographic analysis, TV, travel, mysteries, jazz, blues, and ...

just trying to figure things out.


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A major interest: Fact Finding
                                  I have a fascination with Time and Time Dilation.                                Another interest: Movies Click on the above image to view a larger version.

My Latest Comments


Comments for Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, thru Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017:

December 14, 2017
- Yesterday afternoon, I got tired of thinking about "destructive interference," and so, since I was already over 85% done, I sat down on my couch and finished reading the Kindle version of "The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump's America" by Alexander Zaitchik

The Gilded Rage

It's basically a series of interviews with people who voted for Trump, and an attempt to understand what motivated them to vote for such an idiot.  The answer seems to be fear and anger.  Trump supporters are mostly people who are afraid of what is happening in the world (which is understandable), and somehow they feel that Donald Trump will make things better (which is NOT understandable).  They just seem to like what Trump was saying.  Trump seems to be angry about the same things that anger them, so they voted for him.  The fact that Trump didn't have any intelligent ideas on how to make things better wasn't an issue.  His supporters just wanted someone who declared he was going to make things better. Trump told them what they desperately wanted to hear.

I've got several other books about Trump "on reserve" at my library.  I'm #55 on waiting list for 8 copies of a book the author talked about on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert a couple nights ago.   On that show, the author of the book suggested that Trump appeals to "tribalism," and that "tribalism" is what got Trump elected.  Tribalism is the "us against them" mentality that breaks society down into small groups who do not trust anyone outside of their group.  The groups can be unions, neighborhoods, towns or even counties.  Of course, it can also be religion or race.  Whatever the group is, the group is tired of "cooperating" and the members want to change things back to the way they were.  Back to the good old days when there were lots of good-paying manual labor jobs in coal mines, steel mills and automobile factories, and you didn't have people who look different or pray differently competing for your job.    

I keep trying to fit all that with the fact that my town just signed a 3 billion dollar deal with a Taiwanese company that plans to build a gigantic plant to make flat screen liquid-crystal TVs less than 2 miles from where I live.  They're going to hire 13,000 employees.  The population of the town is 26,400.  What makes it profitable for a Taiwanese company to build a plant in my town, while American companies move their manufacturing to Mexico?  The only guess I have is that making cars is very different from making "state-of-the-art liquid-crystal TV displays." Clearly, they aren't going to bring back "the good old days."  Instead, things will continue changing and changing and changing.  


December 12, 2017
- This is going to be another "thinking in writing" comment, i.e., I'm going to be writing this comment while trying to figure out what my thoughts are telling me.

This morning I awoke thinking I need to go "back to the drawing board" on how "interference patterns" are created.  I remembered one of Thomas Young's first experiments, circa 1801, when he put a thin card (about twice the thickness of a playing card) edgewise into a beam of light. 
card in beam of light
It created a very narrow "interference pattern" in the shadow of the card on the wall, and when the card was at the right "focus" distance from the wall.  When Thomas Young used a second card to block the light going around one side of the card, the entire "interference pattern" vanished.

That experiment was the birth of the double-slit experiments.  Instead of two slits, Young simply put a thin obstacle in the beam, and the obstacle created multiple shadows.  But when the light that was going around one side of the card was blocked, all the shadows disappeared.   That was later converted into blocking one of the slits in the double slit experiment.

But, as was pointed out in yesterday's comment, if you have a single slit where the card is located (directly in the light path) you get an "interference pattern" with a bright line in the middle and dark lines on the sides.  Only, it's not called an "interference pattern" when done that way, it's called a diffraction pattern.

So, you get a "diffraction pattern" if the light goes straight through a single slit located directly between the light source and the wall, but it seems you do not get a "diffraction pattern" or "interference pattern" if the light has to travel at a slight angle to reach the single slit.   Likewise, you get a diffraction pattern around an obstacle if the obstacle is directly in the beam of light, but you do not get a diffraction pattern if light can only travel around one side of the obstacle.

And, you get a very clear diffraction pattern if there is no obstacle in the light path and the light is going through a pinhole, instead of a slit. 

I recall Einstein and Infeld wrote about that on page 279 of their book "The Evolution of Physics."  They wrote:
A photon passes through the [pin]hole. We could expect the screen to appear light if the photon passes through and dark if it does not. Instead, we find light and dark rings. We could try to account for it as follows: perhaps there is some interaction between the rim of the hole and the photon which is responsible for the appearance of the diffraction rings. This sentence can, of course, hardly be regarded as an explanation.  At best, it outlines a programme for an explanation holding out at least some hope of a future understanding of diffraction by interaction between matter and photons.
Yes, it seems there must be some "interaction between the rim of the hole and the photon."  And between the sides of the slits and the photons.  And between the sides of the card and the photons.  But how does that "interaction" work?  It appears to be some cause and effect situation.  Passing very close to the rim of the hole causes the effect of changing the path of the photon.  But, no one seems to care exactly how it works, i.e., exactly what causes the effect.  They just know that it seems to make light act like waves, they know how to use the effect to make mathematical calculations, and that's all they care about.

Wikipedia's article about "diffraction" begins with this:

Diffraction refers to various phenomena that occur when a wave encounters an obstacle or a slit. It is defined as the bending of light around the corners of an obstacle or aperture into the region of geometrical shadow of the obstacle.
That definition seems to state that you start with a shadow and some light is bent around edges to cause the bright lines to appear within the shadow.  That very definitely implies "destructive interference" is total nonsense Hmm.  That is a very interesting piece to the puzzle.

So, I've still got a "mystery" that is basically the same mystery that has puzzled physicists for centuries.  But, I should probably stop writing about it here until I've got it figured out - or until I give up, whichever comes first.

December 11, 2017
- This morning, someone who read the comment I posted yesterday sent me a short email consisting of this question:

The interference pattern in the two slit experiment can't be solely due to diffraction from the slits as you seemed to suggest today because if one slit is closed/covered, the interference pattern disappears. (Why wouldn't the remaining slit still diffract the light, by your reasoning?)
The answer that I provided in yesterday's comment was that the interference pattern disappears when one slit is closed because there is nothing to cast a shadow.  The dark lines are shadows of the bar between the slits.  And I stated that the question then becomes: Why are there multiple shadows for a single bar?  And my answer was that the slits are diffraction lenses. You "focus" the lenses by moving the wall.  Anywhere closer than 2 meters and you get a blur.  But at two meters, you get the "interference pattern" of dark and bright lines.  If you widen the bar between the slits, you have to move the wall farther away to eliminate the blurring and to get the interference pattern (presumably with wider dark lines).

If you block one of the slits, you can't get a pattern at the same focal distance because there is no bar to create an image on which to focus the light.  (You can focus on an image of a house, but you can't focus on an image of a white sheet.)  The bar between slits puts the diffraction pattern in the middle of the image.  If you just have a single slit, any diffraction pattern would have to be along the edges, not in the middle.  And that seems to be why single tiny pinholes produce a diffraction pattern like this:

pinhole diffraction pattern
 
Can you get the same pattern with one slit covered over in a double-slit setup?  I dunno.  I found a web page that suggests you do.  It shows this image:
single slit diffraction pattern

And if you click HERE you will be taken to another web site that says the same thing.  It uses this image:

slingle slit diffraction pattern

But, I can't find any actual pictures of what you get if you cover over one of the slits in the double-slit setup.  The problem with doing that is that the slit would not be directly in the light path, it would be slightly off-set, so it is not like the two images above.  That could mean the focusing might be different, or there could be other problems.

Does that make any sense?  I'm doing what I call "thinking in writing."  I'm writing my thoughts down to see if they make sense.  It's as the writer E. M. Forster wrote in Chapter 5 of his book "Aspects of the Novel":
How can I tell what I think till I see what I write?
I spent the entire morning writing on this topic, but I came up more questions than answers.  Now it is nearly time for lunch and to go to the gym. 

So, I cut and pasted the rest of this comment over to a work file that isn't on-line.  It's like the answers are all there, they just aren't in focus.  I could leave all that I wrote here, but there is no end to it.  I come to no conclusion.  And, a lot of what I wrote could turn out to be irrelevant.

So, for now, the answer to the question of why you do not get a diffraction pattern when you block one of the slits in a double-slit experiment setup is because you need an obstacle to create a shadow to focus upon. The obstacle is the bar between the slits.  I think there is a lot more to it, but I haven't thought it through, yet.   Sorry about that.   

Added note: After I returned from the gym, I did a Google image search for "single slit light pattern" (without the quote marks) and I found a seeming endless supply of web sites which show the single slit diffraction pattern.  One site even shows 1-slit, 2-slit, 3-slit, 4-slit and 5-slit patterns.  And a site in India has a photograph of a single-slit "interference" pattern:
single slit interference pattern
The interference seems to be along the edges, while the center clearly gets the most photons.  This seems a bit different from the double slit pattern where the bright lines are all pretty much the same size.

single and double slit interference
                              patterns
 
I could probably go on and on about this, but it's time to shut down for today.

December 10, 2017
- Back on December 5, I wrote a comment here about an idea that occurred to me that morning as I was laying in bed waiting for it to be time to get up.  For the next couple days I walked around like a man in a trance as I tried to sort out the implications of that idea.  Then I started over on the paper I was writing.  The paper is currently titled "The Logic of Light."  It's no longer about whether light is a wave or a particle.  As far as I'm concerned, that argument has been settled.  Light consists of photons, which are neither a particle nor a wave, but have some properties of both waves and particles.  There is no point in me writing a paper to that effect, since all I'd be doing is rephrasing things that others have written.

Instead, I plan to write a paper about how light photons work.  And in the paper I plan to debunk a lot of what is taught about light in college physics courses - particularly the asinine notion of "destructive interference" in the Double-Slit experiments.  That is easy to do, since "destructive interference" requires the destruction of energy, and every student of physics should know that the law of conservation of energy says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.  It can only be transformed from one form to another. 

That means that the countless Double-Slit experiments that have been performed do not show "destructive interference" as the experimenters, textbooks and college professors claim. 

So, what do the experiments show when an "interference pattern" like the example below appears on the wall? 


double slit interference pattern     

We know that the bright lines represent areas where photons hit the wall and are "reflected" (i.e., re-emitted) back to your eye, but what do the dark lines represent?

For awhile I thought that the dark lines might represent areas where visible light was transformed into ultraviolet or infrared light that is not visible to the eye.  But, now I think the answer is that the dark lines simply represent areas where photons did not hit the wall.  That is why the double-slit experiments that use single photons instead of a constant flow of photons show the same pattern but cannot possibly show "interference."  Those experiments clearly show that the only areas where photons actually hit are the areas that are seen as bright lines.   

Another annoying aspect of what is taught in colleges and universities around the world is how the illustrations that are used in textbooks distort the problem.

Typical illustrations for the Double-Slit Experiment initially performed by Thomas Young between 1801 and 1804 look similar to the one below.  The illustration shows the experiment as theoretically viewed from above, so the slits become holes with width but no height. 

The double-slit experiment

The illustration is very misleading in other ways, too.  It's as if they are deliberately trying to make the "waves" look like waves in a pond.  In reality, the two slits look nothing line what the illustration shows.  One single-photon double-slit article I found on Harvard University's web site describes their experiment in detail.  The article states that
the S0 slit is just 5µm (5 millionths of a meter) wide in order to prevent more than one photon from passing through the slit at a time.  Each of the double slits (S1 and S2) is 3 millimeters high and 1 millimeter wide (1 thousandth of a meter).  And, most importantly, the divider between the two slits is also 1 millimeter wide.  So, in the illustration above, the distance between the two slits should be the same width as one of the slits. 

The second-most important aspect of the experiment is even more wildly distorted in the illustration above.  The illustration shows the distance from the two slits to the wall to be roughly four times the distance between the slits.  In reality, the distance from the two slits to the wall is generally about two thousand times the distance between the two slits. 

Below is an illustration of the device used for the Harvard single-photon double-slit article I found.  

double slit experimental equipment

Instead of having the photons hit a wall, which requires someone to be able to view the wall, the experiment uses a CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) like that used in TV cameras.  That allows the experimenter to see the "interference pattern" on a TV screen outside the device.

Depending upon the size of your computer screen as you read this, the area in the illustration identified as the "double slit" could be about 3 millimeters high and 3 millimeters wide, with two 1-millimeter slits separated by a 1-millimeter divider.

But also note that the distance from the double slit to the CCD is 2 meters, or two thousand times the width of a single slit.  So, if I look at the illustration above with my arms outstretched, the double-slits would be just beyond the tip of my left middle-finger, and the EMCCD camera would be just beyond the tip of my right middle-finger.  And, I'd have to do that again to show the distance from the polarizer to the double slits.

The Harvard single-photon article also says,
Although a slit separation greater than 1.0mm would make it easier to cover each slit with a separate filter and would provide a greater number of interference fringes in the image area of the CCD, the distance between the doubleslit and the CCD would become inconveniently large if one wishes to be in the far field region.
I had to look up "far field region."  Basically, it seems to be the area that is far enough away from the source of the radiation to produce clear patterns on the CCD or a wall.  If you are in the "near field region," the light is all intermingled.  The Harvard single-photon article also says,
We found that increasing the slit distance from 50 cm to 2m indeed made the interference pattern much cleaner and sharper, in the sense that the light intensity goes to zero in the destructive interference regions. 
That is just a obfuscating way to say that the slits work as diffraction lenses, and when the wall or CCD is closer than 2 meters, the light is NOT FOCUSED, therefore you get a blur on the CCD or wall.  However, at exactly 2 meters no light at all reaches the dark so-called "destructive interference" areas in the "interference pattern" and the light is focused.

This means the dark lines are shadows of the barrier between the double slits.  If you remove the barrier, the shadows of the barrier go away.  Duh!  If you have only one slit, there is nothing to cast a shadow and you get a solid area of light.  Duh!  The only question is: Why are there multiple shadows?  The answer is: diffraction.  Of course, college professors will then hold up their textbooks like preachers holding up Bibles and declare that diffraction produces "destructive interference" which produces the dark lines on the wall, and if you do not accept that you are doomed (i.e., you will flunk the course). 

But there can be no "destructive interference" when you use a single pinhole and properly FOCUS the light.  Yet, if you do that, you get this pattern:

Lens diffraction

The pattern shows that the light is FOCUSED.  The image reproduced above is from an article about LENS DIFFRACTION on a photography web site HERE. The light is focused to create bright circles where the most photons hit, and dark circles where few or no photons hit.  The pinhole works as a lens - a diffraction lens.  And slits must also act as diffraction lenses.  If you have two slits, you have to adjust the distance from the slits to the wall to focus the light so that the bright areas from one slit line up with the bright areas from the other slit.  And the dark areas are simply areas where no light photons hit.

Now I just have to figure out how to present it in the form of a scientific paper.

Added Note: A few hours after writing the comment above, I found an unpublished article on-line titled "Does Destructive Interference Destroy Energy?"  The article asks:
In principle, a pair of counterpropagating waves (with separate sources) whose waveforms are the negative of each other can completely cancel at some moment in time. Does this destructive interference also destroy the energy of the waves at this moment?
And then it answers:
While the answer is well-known to be NO, and energy is conserved in the superposition of waves, discussion of this is sparse in textbooks.
The rest of the article is mostly mathematics, but I wondered how "superposition" could conserve the energy.  Superposition generally applies to waves traveling through some "medium," like sound through air, and, as the word "super" implies, it generally means adding together two positive values.  When used with light, according to the sources I find, "superposition" means  
When two or more light waves meet at a given point, their electric fields combine (interfere) according to the laws of linear superposition:
The waves can add together either constructively or destructively.

In constructive interference, the amplitude of the resultant wave is
greater than that of the individual waves.

In destructive interference, the amplitude of the resultant wave is
less than that of the individual waves.

In other words, energy is destroyed.  Reduction of amplitude is reduction of energy.

A Google search for "destruction interference requires destruction of energy" shows that a lot of people have asked questions about this, and all the answers are total bullshit.  The answers are just gibberish, mostly arguing that because the wave is gone that doesn't mean the energy is gone.  But they do not explain what happened to the energy, other than to bizarrely claim that a wave flattened out is still a wave.  
 

Comments for Friday, December 3, 2017, thru Saturday, December 9, 2017:

December 6, 2017 - A few days ago, while researching single photons and the double-slit experiment, I found a web page at this URL http://www2.hawaii.edu/~pine/book1qts/chapter8qts.html which very eloquently describes the problem, and does so virtually without any mathematics.  Here's part of one paragraph:
As physicists conducted further experiments with subatomic phenomena, they found that all subatomic phenomena display this same ambiguity. This ambiguity has come to be known as wave-particle duality. This result was not easy to accept. One of the most fundamental principles of science seemed to be mocked by these results: the notion that we are dealing with, and can know the details of, an objective world.
Elsewhere it states very clearly that this was Niels Bohr's point of view, and it says:
Wave-particle duality is nature's way of informing us that cannot impose our human concepts on the subatomic level. Just as Einstein had discovered that we cannot impose our normal assumptions of space and time to all levels of reality, so quantum physics reveals that we have no empirical justification to impose our most basic thoughts about the nature of reality on the subatomic realm.
Einstein believed that we could figure out how things work by using thought experiments and real experiments. 

I saw that what I was reading was a web page from the University of Hawaii's web site.  I also noticed that the URL link contains "chapter8" which implies that it is part of a book.  The web page indicates that the title of the book is "Science and the Human Prospect," by Ronald C. Pine.  A little research found the entire book appeared to be on-line at this link: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~pine/book1-2.html  And it is also available in print at Amazon.com

The book is beautifully written, yet it is also a book that describes scientific problems from the mathematician's perspective.  It basically preaches the same nonsense about Einstein's theories that most other physics textbooks preach, but Pine's book does it in plain English, virtually devoid of mathematics. 

I've often complained that mathematicians don't understand anything about science, so they cannot explain anything about science.  Ronald C. Pine explains the mathematician's beliefs very well, making it very clear that what they believe is dogmatic crap.  With a little ingenuity, I was able to make .docx copies of chapters 7 and 8, so that I could highlight key passages and make notes.  The only problem is that I cannot cite specific page numbers, because Amazon doesn't provide any "Look inside" option for this book, and the web site has one page per chapter.     

Chapter 7 is about "Understanding the Theory of Relativity."  One particular situation is the one Einstein presented in his book Relativity: The Special and General Theory.  It involves two simultaneous bolts of lightning as seen by an observer on a fast moving train and by an observer on the embankment next to the train.  While looking for an illustration to use here, I found that parts of Pine's book had been reproduced by someone at http://personal.tcu.edu/dingram/edu/pine2.html which is the web site of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.  Here's the image they copied from Pine's book:

Einstein's train thought experiment

Pine's book says in the section titled "Cosmic Trains" in Chapter 7:
If Y is close to the equator of the Earth, he is moving at about 1000 miles per hour. From the point of view of the Sun, Y is moving at approximately 66,600 miles per hour. And from the point of view of the center of our galaxy, he is moving at a speed of over 500,000 miles per hour. Where is the right place? Why can't X assume that Y is the one who is moving?

A Newtonian might object that X could use the Galilean transformation to detect his motion, and on the basis of this he could calculate the simultaneity of the lightning flashes. If the addition of velocities assumed in the Galilean transformation is universally valid, then X should be able to measure the velocity of light coming from A as being the normal speed of light plus another three-fifths the speed of normal light and the speed from B as only two-fifths the speed of normal light. By using these values and measuring the time he receives each flash, he could calculate the "real" time of the original flashes, which would then agree with Y. However, in the case of light nature does not cooperate with the Galilean transformation and our common sense notion of the addition of velocities. If X had the proper equipment to measure the speed of the incoming light signals from A and B, he would find that the speeds of each beam are the same, the normal speed of light. Similarly, if Y had the proper equipment, he would also find the beams coming from A and B to have the same speed. Thus, both observers are entitled to adopt the perspective that they are at rest and the other is moving.

Einstein's solution states that we must obey the empirical facts. The speed of light, as a universal law of nature, is the same everywhere for every observer, and this is true no matter how each observer is moving relative to another. We cannot just make a unwarranted metaphysical assumption. Time must be tested and the belief that there is a "right" place where time is absolute is just an assumption for which there is no evidence.
That is definitely NOT what Einstein said or implied.  But it shows how the mathematicians misinterpret Einstein.  Einstein said that X (the observer on the train) would see the light from the two strokes of lightning arriving at different times, while Y (the observer on he embankment) would see them arriving simultaneously, because the two observers are in different frames of reference.  But Pine and other mathematicians say,
If X had the proper equipment to measure the speed of the incoming light signals from A and B, he would find that the speeds of each beam are the same, the normal speed of light.
And then their thinking really gets crazy:
Thus, both observers are entitled to adopt the perspective that they are at rest and the other is moving.
In other words, the person on the embankment can "correctly" state that he is moving and the person on the speeding train is actually "at rest" or standing still.  That's just plain crazy!

Pine's book makes it very clear how the mathematicians twist things.  Einstein said the person on the train can be considered to be "at rest" in his frame of reference, and if he performs an experiment, he will get the same test results as the person on the embankment who is also "at rest" in his frame of reference.  HOWEVER, although the test results are the same, if they compare their input data, they will find that their data is different, which means their test results were actually also different. (Test results involving a measurement of time, specifically the length of a second at different velocities or altitudes, are the data that typically change the test results.)

Ronald C. Pine and mathematicians twist this to say that since both test results are "valid" in their frames of reference, that means all frames of reference are equally valid.  So, when we send an astronaut off into deep space, and the astronaut looks back and sees the solar system moving away from him, his view is equally valid to the people on earth who are watching the astronaut travel away from the earth and the solar system.  That's absurd.

It ignores all other science, specifically Newton's Laws of Motion.  FORCE was applied to cause the astronaut move off into space.  Not even a mathematician can argue that the same amount of force can move the solar system away from the astronaut.  So, one frame of reference is essentially correct and the other is basically just an illusion.  The mathematician's counter argument, of course, would be to simply repeat the part of Pine's book that I quoted above:

If Y is close to the equator of the Earth, he is moving at about 1000 miles per hour. From the point of view of the Sun, Y is moving at approximately 66,600 miles per hour. And from the point of view of the center of our galaxy, he is moving at a speed of over 500,000 miles per hour. Where is the right place? Why can't X assume that Y is the one who is moving?
In the grander scheme of things, it is certainly "possible" that the astronaut is actually traveling toward the spot where the Big Bang occurred, while the solar system (and most of rest of the universe) is moving away from the spot where the Big Bang occurred.  Thus, from that perspective (the Big Bang's "frame of reference"), the astronaut could be standing still while the solar system could be moving away from him.  BUT, without knowing exactly where the Big Bang occurred and how fast our solar system is moving away from that point, all you have is an absurd theoretical (or mathematical) argument.

Einstein was trying to bring things back reality.  Pine states in Chapter 8, on the subject of whether light is a particle or a wave,
Einstein viewed quantum physics to be an incomplete theory. He argued that we simply do not know enough yet. Our knowledge is not complete. Because we cannot produce a consistent picture of subatomic phenomena, we obviously do not know exactly what these things are yet and enough about the mysterious forces governing their motions and manifestations. Einstein summarized his view with the famous statement, "God does not play dice with the universe." In other words, God has created one universe and does not choose to have it manifest itself as full of waves at one moment and as particles at another for no reason.
The same argument can be made about "who is moving?".  We do not have enough knowledge yet to state with certainty that the astronaut cannot be standing still while the solar system moves away from him.  But that doesn't mean we have to consider that wild "possibility" to be proof that everything we do know has no value or importance.  We can admit our ignorance and state that, until solid evidence is found to the contrary, the astronaut is the one who is moving away from the solar system.    

But, unfortunately, in our world, admitting to ignorance of anything immediately gives your opponent an argument he can use to dismiss your idea.  We saw that with Trump arguing that the person who admits his guilt is "guilty" while the person who denies his guilt is not "guilty."

December 5, 2017 - This morning, as I was laying in bed waiting for it to be time to get up, an idea occurred to me.  The idea was an incredibly simple solution to the problem of how light "interference" patterns are created if "destructive interference" is impossible because "destructive interference" requires energy to be destroyed.  But, I can't describe what the idea is until I've thought it through a bit more.  It's like it is too simple.  And I don't want to have to describe how I made another mistake if the idea turns out to be nonsense. 

When I started researching the question of whether light is a wave or a particle (or a photon), I began with the first mysteries about light, which were questions about how light coming through a pinhole (as in a "pinhole camera") creates the reversed, upside down image on a wall.

pinhole camera 

That kind of science goes back to ancient times when they used pinholes to safely watch solar eclipses.  They still use it today.
watching solar eclipse through a
                            pinhole camera

Thomas Young's first experiments in 1801 did not involve any "double slits."  He worked with pinholes, not with slits.  And he started with one pinhole.  He inserted a card edgewise into the beam of light coming through the pinhole. 

Thomas Yount's single pinhole and card
                            experiment.

What Young got was not a single shadow, but multiple shadows, which he called "fringes."

Instead of trying to figure out how the card experiment worked, he evidently decided it was due to light arriving as waves, and he then set out to prove his decision was right. 
And he switched to using two pinholes, which other people eventually turned into two slits and the "double slit experiments."

But how does the card experiment work if light does NOT consist of waves, but of photons?  That's the question I need to think through.

It seems I now have the time to work on it, since it appears that the arguments I was involved with on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum have ended.  I seem to have ended one of them by responding to a comment from "Lara Ashline."  I'd written about finding a complete copy of the 1921 New York Times article titled "Einstein Defines the Speed of Light" on page 103 in a book titled
"Albert Meets America: How Journalists Treated Genius During Einstein's 1921 Travels."  Lara responded:
Good appendix.  It's because Albert made his theory published in an useless language, german. Nobody understood anything in it. He had to flee that hole, heading a civilized country, re-publishing it in English. Which explains its success. Thank you, making this point obvious for the uninformed.
And I responded by simply quoting from page x of the book's Forward:
"Distinguished European scientists had begun traveling to America in the previous two decades, received enthusiastically by an academic community eager to adopt the practice of research-oriented scientific education that had taken hold, primarily at German universities, since the late nineteenth century. Physics, and theoretical physics in particular, had experienced extraordinary growth in Germany since Hermann von Helmholtz, Felix Klein, Max Planck, and other distinguished physicists had started the intellectual revolution leading eventually to quantum physics and relativity, fields in which Einstein had made his most remarkable and lasting contributions between 1905 and 1915. It had been customary for American students to travel to the great chemical and physical laboratories of Berlin or Leipzig for postgraduate work and then to return and recast American science departments at MIT or Caltech on the model of German higher education, emphasizing independent research as an integral component of scientific education."
Evidently, my response made it perfectly clear who was "the uninformed."  The discussion ended there. 

December 3, 2017 - As part of my morning routine, during which I gather statistics for my web sites and blogs, answer emails and check various news sites, I also check Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum to see if anything of interest has been posted in the past 24 hours.  Yesterday morning, I noticed someone who calls himself "Pentcho Valev" had started yet another new link-filled thread.  He seems to start one or two threads a day, virtually all of them attacking what he calls "Einsteinians," i.e., people who Valev mistakenly believes support the theories of Albert Einstein.  In reality, most of the links and quotes Valev puts in his posts are about mathematicians who twist and distort Einstein's theories to make them fit Quantum Theory.

Yesterday, Valev started a brand new thread titled "Variable Speed of Light: Face the Fact, Einsteinians!"  In his initial post, Valev included two animated GIFs.  The first shows light being received by a stationary observer:

stationary receiver

The second animated GIF shows light being received by a moving observer: 

moving receiver

Valev then wrote this comment:

By observing the two indicator lights, you can see for yourself that, once more, there is a blue-shift - the pulse frequency measured at the receiver is somewhat higher than the frequency with which the pulses are sent out. This time, the distances between subsequent pulses are not affected, but still there is a frequency shift: As the receiver moves towards each pulse, the time until pulse and receiver meet up is shortened. In this particular animation, which has the receiver moving towards the source at one third the speed of the pulses themselves, four pulses are received in the time it takes the source to emit three pulses."  [END OF QUOTATION]

"Four pulses are received in the time it takes the source to emit three pulses" means that the speed of the pulses relative to the moving receiver (observer) is greater than their speed relative to the source, in violation of Einstein's relativity.
Valev doesn't provide any link to who or what he is quoting, but Einstein never said that the speed of light couldn't appear faster than c to moving observer.  That is the bogus claim made my mathematicians that I dissect in my paper about Einstein's Second Postulate.  Einstein explained many times (particularly in his train analogies) that light would appear to arrive faster than c if an observer was moving toward the source of the light.

So, for the first time since mid-October, I posted a comment on the forum, telling Pentcho Valev that he was mistaken:

How many times does it have to be explained to you, Pentcho, what Einstein wrote and how MATHEMATICIANS interpret what he wrote are VERY DIFFERENT.

Einstein's Second Postulate is:
"light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of THE EMITTING BODY."
It is the MATHEMATICIANS who spin that and claim that what Einstein really MEANT was:
"the velocity of light in free space appears the same to ALL OBSERVERS regardless both of the motion of the source of light and of the observer."
Einstein meant what he wrote.  The Mathematicians' version is STUPID.  But, it is also what is taught is most colleges around the world.
And, of course, the mathematicians in the group immediately started attacking me.  But then Valev responded with another link-filled post.  The last link in the post was to a New York Times article with this headline:

EINSTEIN DEFINES THE SPEED OF LIGHT; Says Its Velocity Is Relatively Variable Based Upon Whether System Is in Motion. HE ALSO DISCUSSES TIME The Faster the System Moves the More Slowly Time Passes, He Tells N.Y. College Faculty.

Unfortunately, I'm not a subscriber to the New York Times, so the text of the article wasn't available for my viewing.  But, that didn't prevent me from doing some searches to see if I could find a copy of the article somewhere.  I did.  First, I found five images of different sections of the article HERE.   The first image looks like this:

NYT article - part 1

Wow!  That's my Time Dilated Light theory.  The article is from page 17 of the April 19, 1921 issue of the Times, so it's also (somewhat) Einstein's theory.  But I'd never read about it anywhere -- as far as I can recall.  I deduced it from my theory that time is particle spin.  If time is particle spin (instead of distance or length, as Einstein proposed), then when light is emitted from an atom it should be affected by that spin.   If the light is from a star that is moving at high speeds, Time Dilation affects the light.  If light is from the top of a mountain versus the bottom of the mountain, Time Dilation affects the light.  The speed of light is how fast light travels in a unit of TIME.  And if TIME runs slower because the source of the light is moving fast (or because it is closer to a gravitational mass), then the light will travel slower.  Or as one of the headlines in the article above says, Einstein "Says Its [light's] Velocity Is Relatively Variable Based Upon Whether the System Is in Motion."

There seem to be pieces of the article that are missing, so I'm going to have to hunt for a better version (and any transcript of Einstein's talk I might find).  However, it is certain that the article ends with this paragraph:
Professor Einstein used mathematics to demonstrate the relations between moving bodies.  He said that time passed more slowly the faster the system moved.  The constancy of the velocity of light forced us to these conclusions by mathematical processes which admitted of no doubt, although direct experimental verification was not possible.
Where Einstein and I disagree is that I say that experimental verification IS possible.  It's not only possible, it's done virtually every day.  But no one does the comparisons.  They get the same speed of light when they measure it at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in mile-high Boulder, Colorado, as they do when they measure it at near sea level in New York City, yet they KNOW that time passes at different rates in those two locations.  And if the length of a second is longer in New York City, yet the speed of light per second is that same as in Boulder, then the speed of light must actually be slower in New York City. 

It's a terrific example of Relativity.  The speed-of-light test results are the same in the two frames of reference (NYC & Boulder), but, if they would ever compare the input data between frames, they would find that TIME (the length of a second) is different, therefore the results are NOT the same.  The speed of light is faster in Boulder than in New York City.

Not only that, in theory, the speed of light is different virtually everywhere, since virtually every point on Earth is either moving faster than another point (due to the Earth's spin and that fact that the surface of the Earth moves faster at the equator than away from the equator) or the point is either nearer or farther from the center of the Earth.

Why aren't they doing more tests to prove this?  It seems they do not want to upset the mathematicians who currently control things.  Or maybe they somehow believe that "direct experimental verification" is "not possible."  That is a really sad state of affairs.

ADDED NOTE: After writing the above comment, I did more research to see if I could find a better copy of the New York Times article.  I found the entire article was printed, starting on page 103 in the 2006 book "Albert Meets America: How Journalists Treated Genius During Einstein's 1921 Travels," edited by József Illy.


Comments for Friday, December 1, 2017, thru Saturday, December 2, 2017:

December 2, 2017 - During breakfast yesterday morning, I finished reading the Kindle version of "The Explorers: A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success" by Martin Dugard.

The Explorers

It was a pretty interesting book.  Evidently, the author started out planning to write a book that was just about two explorers who tried to find the source of the Nile, Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke, but the book gradually expanded to include other explorers and other types of exploring.  Plus it contains a lot about the psychology of explorers and exploring.  I was particularly surprised to see this on page 88:
The difference between people like Burton, however, and those who don't make use of the brain's more freewheeling capabilities, is a vestige of our primitive selves that has been dubbed "the reptilian brain" -- or more colloquially, the lizard brain.  This prehistoric portion of our brain is, quite literally, the sort of brain that a chicken or lizard possesses.  The lizard brain is devoted to staying alive and propagating the species -- or more specifically, to fear and pleasure. 
That's a variation on the idea that mankind is divided between "slow thinkers" who think logically, and "fast thinkers" who think emotionally (i.e., out of fear and pleasure).  I wrote a comment and a blog page about how Donald Trump seems to be someone who thinks emotionally instead of logically.  I got the idea from a book titled "Thinking, Fast and Slow."  It seems more true every day.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book.  It's really incredible how much pain and suffering explorers like Burton and Speke went through to get the "pleasure" and "glory" of being the first to find some spot in a jungle.  The odds seemed to be that they'd be chopped up for stew meat before they reached their goal, yet when they initially failed, they went back again and again.  Their "lizard brains" evidently wanted the pleasure of glory more than anything else life had to offer.

December 1, 2017 - Microsoft keeps changing things in their Windows software. I've noticed that lately I have to be more careful and "refresh" web pages more often when I access them.  Even my own web site.  If I access the main page after updating it, the updates may not appear.  Instead, I get the most recent "cache" copy that was stored inside my laptop.  I have to click on "Reload" to get the newly updated version from the website.  It's probably a way of saving time and bandwidth for people who view websites on their I-phones.  They instantly get a copy that is stored in their I-phone instead of going out and downloading a fresh copy every time they turn on their phone.  Windows has always been doing that, but something has changed to make it more noticeable now.

Some time within the past week they also changed how "Slideshow" and viewing photos works.  When I double-click on a photo I have stored in the "saved-misc-images" folder in my computer, the screen now looks like this:

slideshow full screen

The option bar at the top is different.  Some options are missing, but it also has some new options in the upper right corner.  Clicking on the new "Edit & Create" option shows this in the upper right corner:

slideshow edit options

So, I now have the ability to use the photo viewing software to crop and edit the photos.  I've been using paint.net for that.  Experimenting for about 10 minutes shows that the edit features I tried are very easy to use.  ADDED NOTE: These features may have been available for a long time, but I never noticed.

One feature that was formerly in the options bar at the top was "Slideshow."  It wasn't removed as an option, but you now need to right-click on the mouse to get the list of options that includes the Slideshow option. 

slideshow options

That also means that now when I go through images one by one, clicking on the arrow to change images, there are no menus or option bars blocking some of the picture or taking some of the screen space.  That's a very nice improvement.  There also used to be a 30 image limit to the fully automated slideshow.  But, that went away about 6 months ago.  Now, when I click on slideshow, the program starts showing me every photo in the folder, beginning with the one I just viewed, even if the folder contains 366 photos, as my "saved-misc-images" folder does, or 1,272 photos as my "astronomy" folder does.  (It seems that with most new computers, all those pictures might have to be stored on a flash drive, instead of on the computer's much smaller hard drive.)  Times are a changing.

Meanwhile, readers of this web site might recall that in the past I've mentioned several times how I get a lot of thinking done while I'm on the treadmill at the gym.  I wrote this on May 9th:

Yesterday, while doing my regular routine on the treadmill at the gym, I suddenly wondered what reaction my papers would get on the various science groups to which I belong on Facebook.
And I wrote this on June 23, 2016:
I used to get a lot of intense thinking done while walking on the treadmill and peddling the Exercyle at the gym.
A few days ago, I found that the audio book I'm currently listening to while driving contains this:
Recently, researchers have begun to investigate scientifically the link between walking and creativity. In a recent study, Stanford University psychologists Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz divided participants into two groups: walkers and sitters. They then administered something called Guilford’s Alternative Uses test, in which participants come up with alternative uses for everyday objects. It’s designed to measure “divergent thinking,” an important component of creativity. Divergent thinking is when we come up with multiple, unexpected solutions to problems. Divergent thinking is spontaneous and free-flowing. Convergent thinking, by contrast, is more linear and entails a narrowing, rather than an expanding, of your options. Convergent thinkers are trying to find the one correct answer to a question. Divergent thinkers reframe the question.

The results, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, confirm that the ancient Greeks were onto something. Creativity levels were “consistently and significantly” higher for the walkers versus the sitters. Curiously, it didn’t matter whether participants walked outdoors in the fresh air or indoors on a treadmill staring at a blank wall. They still produced twice as many creative responses compared with the sedentary group. It didn’t take a lot of walking to boost creativity, either—anywhere from five to sixteen minutes.

And the book I'm currently reading on my Kindle says this;
An accumulation of life’s wisdoms prevents us from making the same mistake twice, or allows us the forethought to prevent that mistake from happening at all. Research has shown that this rational thought process can be assisted by aerobic exercise—running, long walks, cycling, paddling, and the like. These simple physical acts make changes to our body through the regulation of dopamine and serotonin, acting to reduce impulsivity and encourage wise decision-making.
Hmm.  I knew I was doing something right.  Now I just have to find some way to focus on revising my paper about the particles vs wave theories of light.  I was going to get to work on it first thing this morning, but then I started checking out the new slideshow features in Windows.  And then I wrote a comment about it.  And now it's time for lunch, after which it will be time to go to the gym.  Unfortunately, while walking on the treadmill and peddling the Excercyle might help me think, it doesn't help me to get done the actual work of writing.           


Comments for Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, thru Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017:

November 29, 2017 - While doing some research a couple days ago, I found an interesting quote from Albert Einstein about the particle-wave problem.  Of course, that meant I had to find the source of the quote, since I'd probably want to cite it in my paper.  And that led me to the book "Albert Einstein and the Frontiers of Physics" by Jeremy Bernstein.  It had the quote on page 83:
Einstein was fully aware of the dilemma of whether light consisted of waves or streams of quanta. It is probably correct to say that in 1905 he was the only person on earth who was fully aware of it. For the rest of his life he thought endlessly about it, and in one of his last letters to Michele Besso, in 1951, Einstein wrote, “All these fifty years of pondering have not brought me any closer to answering the question, What are light quanta?
So, if I want to figure it out, I have to remember that Einstein couldn't.  But, a lot of new information is available today that wasn't available to Einstein back in 1951.  So, maybe there is some way to logically figure out how light works.  It is certainly interesting - even fascinating - to research the subject. 

While looking for a copy of the book mentioned above, I found another book by Jeremy Bernstein: "Secrets of the Old One: Einstein 1905."  It's generally about how Einstein figured things out.  (The "old one" in the title is God, not Einstein.)  It has some absolutely fascinating information about Thomas Young's Double-Slit experiment and what it meant to Einstein.  The book seemed so readable that I found myself starting to read it from the beginning.  It said this about Einstein's school days:
He also decided the teaching of physics was inadequate, so he spent most of his time teaching himself.
And the author also says,
I think it is also true that he did not much care and did not want to waste his time reading about physics that he was quite sure was wrong.  
While I don't want to compare myself to Einstein, that certainly reminded me of the many arguments I had about college textbooks which are clearly wrong, particularly about Einstein's Second Postulate.  Moreover, I was arguing with people who could only mindlessly cite from those textbooks and couldn't explain anything, because they didn't seem to understand anything.  All they knew was what they had memorized in order to complete exams. Their response to virtually every argument was that I needed to take the courses they took and read the books that they had read so that I would believe as they believe.

Somewhere along the line, I did more research and found a very interesting lesson on YouTube about the Double-Slit experiment being taught by Richard Feynman:



And, of course, I then had to find a print version of it, so that I could highlight the most interesting parts while also studying the words carefully to make certain I understood all that he was saying.  Example:
Things on a very small scale behave like nothing that you have any direct experience about. They do not behave like waves, they do not behave like particles, they do not behave like clouds, or billiard balls, or weights on springs, or like anything that you have ever seen. 
That's a quote I'll probably want to use in my paper.  Here's another interesting quote that describes the current situation nicely:
Newton thought that light was made up of particles, but then it was discovered that it behaves like a wave. Later, however (in the beginning of the twentieth century), it was found that light did indeed sometimes behave like a particle. Historically, the electron, for example, was thought to behave like a particle, and then it was found that in many respects it behaved like a wave. So it really behaves like neither. Now we have given up. We say: “It is like neither.”
Comparing the video version to the print version also shows you all the ad libbing Feynman does during this lectures.  The ad libbing, which are the funny parts of his lectures, are not part of the print version, of course.

So, in addition to reading and re-reading the print version, I'll be viewing the video again, while also trying to find time to read more about how Einstein figured things out.  And, somewhere along the line, I'll be trying to write a paper about how light works.     

November 27, 2017 - Another major problem with the way light is defined and explained in college textbooks is the problem with wave frequency.  If you do a Google image search for light frequency, you get an endless supply of images that basically show a direct relationship between wave frequency and wave length.

wave frequency
high frequency vs low frequency

The direct relationship implies that the waves are all connected in one endless series of waves.  The idea suggests that when you are outside at night looking at a star, there are waves of light running continuously from the North Star to your eye, with no breaks between waves unless a cloud gets in the way.  It also implies that if you know the wave length of the light you are viewing, you also know the wave frequency.  There's a direct relationship.

However, if light is a photon or particle, then there can be no direct relationship between wave length and wave frequency.  Higher frequency just means that the individual particles are arriving more often.   That would be illustrated this way:

particle or photon frequency
 

A Google search for such images finds absolutely nothing.  But, now the above image is on-line on my web site, so maybe a search next week will find it.  I created the above image for one of the earlier versions of the scientific paper I'm trying to write about particles versus waves.  As you can see, the implications are extremely interesting.  I dropped that illustration (and others) from newer versions of the paper which just focused on "destructive interference," but now it looks like I'll be adding them back again.

Meanwhile, this morning someone sent me an email mentioning a science fiction short story by Arthur C. Clarke titled "Silence Please.

Of course, I immediately looked for a copy of the story on-line.  I found a pdf copy HERE.  I read it and enjoyed it. 
The story is about a guy who invents a device to block out sound waves, supposedly by emitting destructive interference sound waves that create total silence.  The problem is the same problem that I mentioned about destructive interference with light waves: Where does the energy go?

And then I wrote this comment mentioning it, along with some other thoughts I have about light photons.  And that's how I avoided working on my particle-vs-wave paper all morning. 

November 26, 2017 - The controversy over whether light consists of particles or waves has been raging for centuries.  I became interested while I was studying college physics textbooks looking for information about Time and Time Dilation.  Virtually every physics textbook includes illustrations and a description of the so-called "Double Slit Experiment," which argues in favor of "wave theory."  And, too, the waves-vs-particle controversy came up in the books I read by Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman.  Einstein generally favored particle theory, and  Richard Feynman argued very strongly in favor of particle theory in his book "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter".

Typical textbook illustrations for the Double-Slit Experiment initially performed by Thomas Young between 1801 and 1804 look similar to the one below. 

The double-slit experiment

Light supposedly arrives in the form of "plane waves" from some source off to the left; the light then goes through a single slit (S
0) into a small, closed, darkened chamber, spreading out like waves on a pond.  Then the light goes through two slits (S1 & S2) into another darkened chamber and again spread out like waves on a pond.  However, this time the two sets of waves supposedly "interfere" with one another as they move from the two slits to the wall. That produces an "interference" pattern that can be seen on the wall opposite the two slits.

My first question was: Where is the experimenter/viewer in this experiment?  The answer is that he is either inside the darkened room or he peers through a hole from the outside and sees what is on the wall.

Of course, that poses another question: If he can see the interference pattern, where are the waves of light going from the wall to his eye?   And another question: Why don't those waves from the wall interfere with the waves that are shown?

As far as my research to-date has determined, no one ever asks that question.  Maybe questions are not allowed, since, if you start to ask questions, it quickly becomes clear that many of the textbook explanations for the "Double Slit Experiment" makes no sense whatsoever. 

Below is what the pattern on the wall looks like if you are in the darkened room.

double slit interference pattern     

The bright lines are, of course, where matching light waves are hitting the wall.  Supposedly, the dark lines between the bright lines are areas where two waves "interfered" with each other and thus produced no light.  Textbooks use an illustration like the one below to show how light waves hitting at conflicting angles result in "destructive interference" and produce no light on the wall.

interfering light waves

But how is that possible?  Doesn't it require that the energy of the light be destroyed when the waves hit each other in the wrong way?  But, we know from other tests that energy cannot be destroyed.  It can only be transformed. 

I wondered for awhile if the "conflicting" waves somehow transform or combine into light waves that are outside of the visible spectrum.  At first I thought the waves would combine to become Ultraviolet light.  Then I realized the light might possibly break down into more waves with less energy and become Infrared light.  And, as I researched the idea, I wrote a comment to that effect for this web site.


But, last week, after spending some time studying the "airplane on a conveyor belt" question, I returned to the questions about light.  And as I started doing more research, I came across a lot of information about "single photon double-slit experiments" where light is sent one photon at a time from the source to the wall.  Bizarrely, when that happens, the interference pattern still appears.  That says even more emphatically that the photons (or waves) cannot possibly conflict to create the interference pattern.  So, that makes the textbook illustration even more nonsensical.  But, it also shoots down my working theory that the dark areas represented photons combining into light that is outside of the visible spectrum.  That cannot possibly be true, either.  If photons are traveling from source to wall one at a time, there is nothing to combine (or conflict) with.

That tells me that whatever is happening must be happening at the two slits and/or in the area between the single slit and the double slits.  It is definitely NOT happening in the area between the two slits and the wall, as the textbooks say. 

But what is happening?  I dunno.  I still need to put all the pieces together.  And I have other questions that, as far as I can tell, no one has ever asked.  Example: What happens to all the light that does not go through the two slits?

One "single photon double-slit experiment" which is presented as a YouTube video explains things much more clearly than you would get in a scientific paper.  However, there is a really interesting web page titled "Two Slit Interference, One Photon at a Time" containing an even more interesting YouTube video of a "single photon double-slit experiment" which involves listening to the photons hitting the wall (actually a detector).  The impacts can be heard as clicks (starting at about the 8:10 minute mark).  But things really get interesting at about the 9 minute mark when the experimenter covers over one of the two slits.  You would think that would cause half the number of photons to hit the detector.  Or, you might think that somehow you would still get the same number of photons hitting the detector.  But, instead, you get about twice the number of photons hitting the detector.  You get about twice as many photons going through one slit as you get going through two slits.  How is that possible?  What's going on?

Just after the experimenter in the second video turns a knob which causes the device to block light from passing through one of the two slits, he says:
I've covered the slit, but now there are MORE photons striking than there were before.  Instead of about 9 or 10 photons, I have 20 or 30 photons every second.  More clicks. Somehow by blocking one of the paths the photons can travel, I increased the probability that the photon will land at the detector.  I can understand this if the light travels in the form of waves.  But it seems incomprehensible to understand this if you think of light composed of photons.
You can clearly hear the increase in the number of photons hitting the detector as he turns the knob to block one of the slits.  However, the video doesn't explain or illustrate how it is more understandable to him for this to happen if light travels as waves.  He also doesn't explain why he thinks it is "incomprehensible to understand" "if you think of light composed of photons."  He just creates more unanswered questions.  The key word he uses might be "probability."

Whatever is going on, it isn't anything like what the textbooks say is going on. 

I haven't figured it out myself yet.  But, I'm working on it.  I was encouraged this morning to read an article titled "Lone researchers with radical ideas may hold the keys to science’s unanswered questions."  The article ends with these thoughts:

Clearly it’s neither rational nor possible to take every maverick idea seriously. Yet at the same time, it makes no sense to reject ideas simply because they come from outsiders.

The real litmus tests of theories worth taking seriously is whether they make testable predictions. And there are plenty that do.

It’s hard to imagine much harm would be done by spending some of the vast sums lavished on today’s faltering theories on testing promising alternatives. The chances of success may be low, but the payoff could literally be cosmic.

It's nice to see that there are others who think as I do.
 

Comments for Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, thru Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017:

November 25, 2017 - While driving home from doing some shopping this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #11 in the 11-CD set for the audio book version of "The Laugh Makers" by Robert L. Mills, who was one of Bob Hope's comedy writers for about 17 years (some of the last years of Hope's life).

The Laugh Makers

I chose the book from the "Humor" selection they had at my library's web site, and it was certainly loaded with Bob Hope jokes.  Some of them are still funny, but a lot are also "corny" by today's standards.  And, of course, some of the humor is also "politically incorrect" in today's world.  But, it was still a good listen, and I enjoyed it.  One thing I didn't think about when I downloaded it as an audio book is that the print version (and probably the Kindle version) is loaded with pictures.  So, the audio book just has verbal descriptions of the pictures.

November 23, 2017 - I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!  Mine has been made happier by the fact that I'm no longer thinking about the airplane on a conveyor belt questionThe blog page I wrote about it says all I have to say on the subject.  Unfortunately, when I went back to thinking about and researching the particles versus waves theory of light, I came upon some recent experiments which caused me to throw all my previous ideas into the trash.  The only good thing about it is that the concept of "destructive interference" remains nonsense.  I'll write more about it in my Sunday comment.

November 21, 2017 - Dammit!!!!  I awoke at about 5 a.m. this morning thinking about the plane on a conveyor belt "thought experiment" I mentioned in yesterday's comment.  And I couldn't really fall asleep after that, mostly just tossing and turning and thinking until 7:25 a.m., when it was time to get up.

Then, after breakfast and after doing my morning "chores," I spent about three hours doing research and writing a page about the experiment for my interactive blog.  It's HERE

It appears that there are people who will agree with me, but there will probably be a lot more who will disagree, and, if experience is any judge, those who disagree are the ones who will post comments to the blog entry.  Time will tell. 

The question has evidently been around for over a decade. But, I don't think anyone has answered it quite the way I answered it.  So, we'll see what happens.

November 20, 2017 - Yesterday, while going through my daily routine of checking statistics, emails and various web sites, I found an interesting question posted to the Science, Philosophy, and Psychology Discussion group.  It's a "closed group," so clicking on the link may not show anything if you are not a member, but I am a member.  Here's the question:
plane on conveyor belt
After writing my Sunday comment, I returned to that Facebook page and read through some of the nearly 100 comments.  Then, contrary to my own common sense, I posted a comment. 

People kept arguing that the plane's wheels "do not move."  One said, "
for the wheel to move the plane must move, the wheels are not driven."  So, I posted this:
You need to stop saying the wheels do not "move." The wheels certainly ROTATE due to the moving conveyor belt, but they AND THE PLANE stay in the same position relative to the ground. So, the PLANE does not move forward. Thus it can generate no lift from the air moving across the wings. And it cannot take off.

It's a very interesting theoretical problem, though. 
And off we went into various arguments that lasted the rest of the day.  I couldn't convince the guy that the plane needed to move in order to get lift, and the conveyor belt prevented the plane from moving.  He kept arguing that thrust was enough to get the plane to fly.  He kept claiming that I was arguing that the wheels make the plane move, so I started talking about a seaplane trying to take off while heading against the current in a rapidly moving river.  He evidently couldn't visualize that, even though he found a web page describing he problem, and he just returned to arguing that the wheels do not make the plane move.  We finally gave up on trying to change each others minds. 

This morning, I was still thinking about the problem.  I decided to write this comment about it, and I needed a copy of the illustration.  So, I did a Google image search for "airplane on a conveyor belt" and found two dozen different images depicting the problem, including a half dozen versions of the one I used above.  So, obviously it is an often-discussed problem, even though I didn't recall ever seeing it before.
 
I also found a web site page titled "Plane on a conveyor belt – explained / debunked" that exactly matched the argument I was getting yesterday, although I didn't quite view it that way yesterday.  The site argues
"The wording of this quiz is wrong and makes it physically impossible."
So, if we had a different question, then the nay-sayers would get the answer they want.  And they cannot accept the answer to the question that was asked.  

Wow.  Another web site HERE also criticizes the question.  And the one HERE, too.  Checking web site after web site, they nearly all criticize the question and say the question is invalid.  A lot of them mention a Mythbusters show which performed an experiment to demonstrate the problem.  So, I watched the Mythbusters show, which is in two parts (possibly because the original was interrupted by a commercial).



 

So, Mythbusters says the plane would take off.  But the Mythbusters show doesn't follow the rule that the conveyor belt must exactly match the spinning of the wheels.  It doesn't even mention that rule. One of the comments following the first video says,

The mythbusters test is a false one, a moving cloth is NOT a conveyor belt, while the runway under the cloth stays stationary its NOT a conveyor belt. The power omitted by the the plane goes to its wheels THROUGH the cloth onto the STATIONARY ground. When they do this and the entire weight of the plane is taken by the conveyor belt, then its a real test. The question I was asked involved a 747 which has a power to weight ratio much more in tune with reality. A model plane can just pull itself up, No lift is needed, but a 747 cannot do that.
So, the entire debate boils down to the fact that the question is a "hypothetical" and requires a conveyor belt that can hold a 747 and move at 200 to 500 miles per hour.  That may not be possible to build in real life using today's technology.  Plus the tires would probably shred if you tried it, and the plane's engines might overheat. 

But what it really means is the question is about lift, while the people who argue against it ignore the main point of the question and argue about wheels and power.   So, if you answer the question correctly, you will be considered wrong by people who ignore the question that was asked and instead create and answer their own questions. 

Groan!  It also looks like the question has been around for years, and still just generates arguments, instead of people sitting down and agreeing that the question is about a purely hypothetical situation. 

But it was very educational anyway.

November 19, 2017 - I awoke yesterday morning realizing that I probably should not use the title "Photon Fusion" on my new scientific paper.  While it seems very logical that, in the Double-Slit experiment, two visible light photons are (in effect) "fused" into one ultraviolet light photon when they hit an atom in the wall at opposite (or very different) angles, there is another possible explanation.   The standard explanation taught in schools still does not seem logical or possible, but it does seem "possible" that the dark lines between the bright lines in the "interference pattern" shown below are the result of the photons somehow losing energy and turning to infrared light, which is not visible to the eye, just as ultraviolet is not visible light.  

double slit interference pattern     

I don't know exactly how that would be "possible," but if the wall was painted black instead of white, there wouldn't be any pattern on the wall at all because the black paint would supposedly absorb all the light in the photons and convert it to infrared heat.  If that can happen with black paint, then it might happen with white paint if the photons hit at opposite angles.

So, unless I can eliminate that "possibility" of "fission," I cannot assume that the photons are being fused in the dark lines.  And my paper now has "Analyzing the Double Slit Experiment" as its title once again. 

While I was laying in bed yesterday morning waiting for it to be time to get up, I also began thinking about the Flat Earther conference that I mentioned in last Wednesday's comment.  And I kept wondering,

Who organized that conference?

I would think that Flat Earthers would be like virtually all conspiracy theorists: Each one of them would have his own unique theory, which he developed all by himself.  And he'd argue his personal theory against any other Flat Earth theory.  The only thing all parties would fully agree upon is that the government is lying.

That's what I saw while analyzing the anthrax attacks of 2001 for eleven years.   I eventually created this cartoon to illustrate the situation:  

anthrax truthers
Years later, when I started arguing about science on Facebook, I found a group of people who all thought the "official explanations" about science were part of some conspiracy to hide the truth from the public.  On May 15, 2015, I created a blog thread about "Science Truthers."  At the top of the thread, I used the same drawing, but with different words, to create the following cartoon:
science truthers
The Science Truthers consider themselves to be believers in "Rational Physics," and they have annual conferences.  The 4th annual Rational Physics Conference is scheduled to take place in Acapulco, Mexico, in February of 2018.  They also have a Facebook page set up.

It seems to me that Flat Earthers must think in a similar way.  Since each of them developed his own unique theory all by himself, and no two of them would have the exact same theory.

Doing a little research, I found that someone created a very nice web page for the Flat Earth conference, showing photos of all the speakers.  But that just indicates that someone figured a way to make money off the conference.  That wasn't enough to show it was organized by one of the Flat Earthers.

A little additional research, however, showed that the Flat Earth Conference had 14 speakers lined up.  Each one of the speakers seems to have his or her own little enterprise.  The first one calls himself an “ancient Nephilim theorist.” The second one evidently calls herself a "coincidence theorist" and appears to make money selling "apps" for watching her shows.  The third one seems to be a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.  The fourth one seems to be a Flat Earth theorist, but I doubt his theory fully matches any other Flat Earth theory.  The fifth one preaches something called "jeranism" (his first name is Jeran).  The sixth one is another Flat Earther who creates a lot of YouTube videos about his beliefs.  The seventh one is a motorcyclist who evidently had an epiphany after an accident.  The eighth one is the organizer.  He makes money from creating documentaries and appears to be pro-Christian and anti-science.  The ninth one is a pastor and also has religious arguments and a fascinating web siteThe tenth one doesn't seem to understand optics, makes no sense whatsoever, and calls everyone "stupid" who does not believe as he believes. The others are more of the same, except for the twelfth one, who just seems to be a follower of number six and seems to like the "fame" of being a Flat Earther.

So, there is an organizer.  The web page about him says,

Robbie Davidson is the founder of Celebrate Truth which has produced groundbreaking documentary films such as The Global Lie & the latest Scientism Exposed (2016) reaching millions of people across the world.

He is also the organizer of the Flat Earth International Conference (FEIC). With a passion for media & film making his desire is to help expose the world’s lies while pointing people to the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He was not always a man of faith. Much of his early education and worldview was held by the “so called truth” of what science had taught him.

The world's lies?  So, he's fighting against "the world" and is looking for people to follow him.  I wonder how many Flat Earthers will follow, and how many will stick to their own theories and look for their own followers.

A little more research turned up news stories about the Flat Earth Conference.  Examples: "Inside the first ever 'Flat Earth conference' where conspiracy theorists promise to 'reveal Nasa space lies' and prove our planet isn't spherical," "Fanatics descend on sell out 'Flat Earth' conference promising to 'reveal NASA space lies'," "GLOBE NOTTERS: These oddballs are convinced the Earth is FLAT … and they’re out to ‘prove’ their theories are true," "Sellout flat-earth conference discusses NASA lies, fictional 9/11 and government mind control."

Some of it is really fascinating, and it leads to articles like "Nazis and pyramids: What's really going on in Antarctica?" which says that some of the Flat Earthers believe that Antarctica covers the entire edge of the disk-shaped Flat Earth, and that's why no one can fall off.  

I have to wonder if having Donald Trump as President hasn't unintentionally given these Truthers some encouragement.  Trump seems to be a conspiracy theorist, starting with his belief that President Obama's birth certificate was a fake.  Today he believes that all the news outlets are creating "fake news" to discredit him.  Trump has made it acceptable for nut cases everywhere to preach their screwball beliefs. 

Youtube seems to be a factor, too.  The Flat Earthers have created dozens - maybe even hundreds - of videos expressing their beliefs.  Yesterday, I spent about 3 hours researching it, but I probably didn't examine 1% of what is available.

This morning I found a map of the flat earth, surrounded by Antarctica:

map of the flat earth

It's from a web page HERE, which is not run by any of the speakers at the Flat Earth conference.  And the map says it was created by someone else who was not a speaker at the conference.  I wonder what the people who believe the flat earth is in the shape of a circular disk say about the theory that the flat earth is square.

It's fascinating to research, and the ways to show it is all nonsense seem endless, but I don't want to get into another debate with True Believers.  It can be interesting, and you can learn something from the arguments you create, but it always eventually turns into a waste of time.  Their minds are closed to all arguments which show they are wrong.

I've got my own theories to argue.  I'm not looking for followers.  But, I do need to find people who will discuss the theories with me.  If I'm wrong, I want someone to explain to me where I'm wrong.  If I'm right, I want to understand why no one cares if nonsense is being taught in colleges around the globe.      


Comments for Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, thru Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017:

November 15, 2017 - Every morning, when I first turn on my computer, I go through a routine of checking my email accounts, collecting visitor data about my web sites and blogs, checking on my book sales, and then I check various forums and news outlets to see what is going on in the world.  One of the places I check is the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook page.  For some reason, very little ever gets posted there.  I have a post about one of my papers that has been awaiting approval from the moderators for probably close to a year.  While there, I look at the "Notifications" informing me about people's birthdays and new posts in other Facebook groups to which I belong.  This morning, there was a notification of a new post to the Science, Technology and Society Discussion Corner Facebook page.  The post was about a recent meeting of Flat Earthers

The post linked to an article titled "Flat Earthers from around the world descend upon NC for convention."  It's about a 2-day convention of "hundreds" of Flat Earthers that took place last week in Cary, NC.  Every single one of the attendees appears to be a conspiracy theorist, somehow totally convinced that the government and scientists are lying to them about the earth being a globe.  But far more interesting to me was a YouTube video mentioned in the Facebook thread.  It was made by a guy who explains why he doesn't believe the Earth is round.  He uses GPS satellites as part of his explanation.  It's really interesting, since the guy happily demonstrates all of his bizarre misunderstandings.



And there are 1,864 comments about the video which, as of this moment, has had 85,568 views.  A lot of the comments seem to be from other Flat Earthers.  Unfortunately, a lot are also from people who are not Flat Earthers, but who also have very little understanding of science.  In some ways, it is the ignorant arguing with the ignorant.

While watching that video, I noticed there were a bunch of other videos made by other Flat Earthers explaining the reasons they do not believe the Earth is round.  The next video I checked was by a guy who claims to be a satellite engineer, who disguises his voice, and who claims to be afraid that he'll be killed for blowing the whistle on all the people who are lying about the Earth being round and about where the satellites are located.


    

He inexplicably believes that the flat Earth is covered by some kind of dome which reflects all radio and light signals back to Earth.  So, there is really no need for the satellites he helped build.

Perhaps the most interesting video I watched is titled "Satellites Are Fake - Just Another NASA Hoax":



It has had 249,238 views and is followed by 7,175 comments.  It's a conspiracy theory video, sometimes claiming that the Masons are behind everything, and it's all a massive conspiracy to get money from you via taxes to pay for things that do not exist and which are totally impossible.

I glimpsed at a bunch of other videos arguing similar things.  Many of them are really bizarre.

Then, after about two hours of watching such videos while writing the above comment, I remembered that I was supposed to be working on my paper about "Photon Fusion."  And I remembered that I awoke this morning planning to write another comment about "Photon Fusion" and how my analysis suggests that it is a natural process that probably goes on all the time, not just during "Double Slit" experiments.  There also doesn't appear to be any evidence of "Photon Fission," where a photon would be divided into two less energetic photons by some equally simple natural process.  That poses a very interesting question of whether photons can combine and combine until they become Gamma rays.  Then what?  It's all interesting to think about, but I really need to focus on the paper and try to keep it limited to what appears to actually happen during Double-Slit experiments instead of what college teachers and their text books claim happens. 

I suppose I should also mention that I don't think there is any kind of conspiracy.  I'm trying to figure out how so many intelligent people can believe things that make no scientific sense.  And, if I'm wrong, I want people to explain to me where I'm wrong.   But, it seems no one can explain anything.  Instead, what I get is people telling me I need to take the college courses they take, read the books they read, and then I'll believe as they believe.            


November 14, 2017 - After writing Sunday's comment, I continued to think about the nonsensical beliefs many physicists have about light wave "interference."  So, I researched the term "interference" in a bunch of college text books.  I didn't find anything helpful, but I did find a few things that were very interesting.  One text book provided the "confirmed" finding that when an atom emits a photon, the atom recoils, just the way a gun recoils when firing off a bullet.  I found the following information on page 52 of the 4th edition of a college textbook called "Optics" by Eugene Hecht:  
A number of experiments have directly confirmed the quantal nature of the emission process. For example, imagine a very dim source surrounded, at equal distances, by identical photodetectors each capable of measuring a minute amount of light. If the emission, no matter how faint, is a continuous wave, as is maintained classically, all the detectors should register each emitted pulse in coincidence. That does not happen; instead, counts are registered by detectors independently, one at a time, in clear agreement with the idea that atoms emit localized light quanta in random directions.

Furthermore, it has been confirmed that when an atom emits light (i.e., a photon), it recoils in the opposite direction, just as a pistol recoils when it fires a bullet.

The first paragraph provides more evidence that light is a photon (i.e., a unit or quanta of light) and not a wave.  The second paragraph describes how an atom recoils when it emits a photon.  The second paragraph also indicates that light is a photon, not a wave, since if an atom emitted a wave like a ball dropped into a pond (or in three dimensions like a bomb exploding in the air), the wave would spread out equally in all directions and there could be no recoil.

That brought back to mind the image of an atom emitting a photon (from a web page about how light bulbs work):

how atoms emit light 

And, as I was laying in bed this morning waiting for it to be time to get up, I started thinking about what I wrote on Sunday. 

If two photons hit an atom from different directions, I stated that the energy could not be destroyed (as "destructive interference" suggests), since energy can only be converted into another form, it cannot be destroyed.  I suggested that the energy from the two photons would be converted into a single photon with twice the energy.  This morning it occurred to me that that process could be called "photon fusion."  It's a term I have never heard.

This morning I did a Google search for "photon fusion".  I found a web page where someone else asked if anyone had ever heard of the term.  One person had, and he provided a link to an article from 2006 titled "Photon 'fusion' boosts solar cell performance."  The article says (with my highlighting in red),

Using a combination of two light-active materials, the scientists have for the first time manipulated normal light, such as sunlight, to combine the energy in photons with particular wavelengths (Physical Review Letters, October 4, 2006).
Hmm.  What I wrote on Sunday says that the same thing happens when light photons coming from different directions hit an atom on a wall, as has been done in virtually all of the countless "double slit" light wave experiments performed since Thomas Young first did it in 1801.

(Added note:  Hours after writing the first version of this comment, I began to wonder if the term "photon fusion" appears in any papers on arXiv.org.  So, I did a search.  I found 88 papers that contain the term.  A scan through about twenty of them picked at random found that they all pertained to complex results from experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, which is near Geneva, Switzerland.  Plus, all 88 papers were in the "High Energy Physics" category, which suggests that all the papers were written by people working with colliders, mainly or exclusively at CERN.) 

So, at least I know that "photon fusion" is possible.  It seems everyone else is just looking at it from a wrong angle (no play on words intended).

And I made a mistake, too.  On Sunday, I wrote:

Logically, the atom could emit a single photon of higher energy, which would put it into a range that is not visible to the naked eye, such as heat energy.
I was somehow thinking that if you combined two photons of light that have at a 500nm "wavelength," you'd get a photon with a 1,000nm "wavelength."  That would put it in the infrared (heat energy) range.

wavelengths of light

But, of course, that is wrong.  Such combined wave lengths would have HALF the energy of the individual photons that fused, not TWICE the energy.  So, instead, when two 500nm photons fuse, the atom would emit one photon in the 250nm range, the ultraviolet range.  It's still not "visible" light, so the theory still holds true.   But it is just not "heat energy," which is infrared energy. 

That means that the so-called "light wave interference pattern," shown below as produced in a double-slit experiment, is very misleading.  It only shows the visible light being emitted by the atoms in the wall.

interference pattern  

If you have some kind of ultraviolet light detector, the dark lines between the bright lines on the wall should show atoms there are emitting UV light. 

It should be easy to prove - for someone who has the necessary equipment.  I don't.  I wonder if anyone has ever done it.

When I do research to see if anyone has done it, all I find is information about "superposition," which is the belief that two light waves that meet between the double-slits and the wall that shows the "interference pattern," will somehow combine into a merged wave.

Sigh.  It seems like there's enough here to put into a scientific paper.  I'll start working on it this afternoon.  But, of course, no journal would ever publish such a paper.  They would need the paper to have experimental evidence (probably with all the mathematics) showing that the dark lines are indeed areas where the atoms are emitting UV light.

What I have, instead, is an example of theoretical physics.  It could be right, it could be wrong.  All it needs is to have someone with the right equipment to prove it one way or the other.

November 12, 2017 - I'm still trying to write a scientific paper about the Wave Theory of Light versus the Particle Theory of Light.  However, there are so many angles to the topic that it is difficult to find the right place to start.

On Wednesday, I thought that I might break the topic down into smaller topics, and then address each smaller topic separately.  I still think it's a good idea, but it's not as easy as I thought it might be.  For example, one reason some people believe that the universe is filled with some kind of "ether" (or "aether") is because they believe that you cannot have "waves" unless some "disturbance" is traveling through some kind of "medium."  They know that sound travels as "disturbance" waves through air (a "medium") and through water (a different "medium').  With light waves, that "medium" is thought to be the "ether," some kind of invisible and undetectable substance that fills space.  They believe the "ether" must be there if light consist of waves. 

Another reason they believe in the "ether" seems to be because they need it to be "stationary" in order to have something they can measure all other movements against.  They need a stationary "preferred" frame of reference.

To me, that stationary, "preferred" frame of reference is the point where the Big Bang occurred.  Everything moved outward from that stationary point, and all matter is presumably evenly distributed in all directions from that point, so the pull of gravity is equal in all directions from that point.

I see no reason to believe that the "ether" exists.  All the facts seem to indicate it does not exist.

For me, the most annoying belief about light waves is that they "interfere" with one another when light comes from multiple directions.  Those who believe this always use water waves to illustrate such "interference."

interferening waves     
But clearly this does not happen with light waves.  There's no evidence that if you have light from two (or a hundred) different sources crossing paths that the waves will somehow interfere with one another.  If you have a hundred lights on a Christmas tree, do the light waves from the various bulbs somehow interfere with each other in some way as they meet each other in the air of the room.  No.  Light "waves" (or photons) of different colors can pass through each other or travel together without causing any kind of "interference" pattern.  When we put light from the sun through a prism, we find that such light consists of many different colors, each with a different wave length, all traveling together.  If light consists of waves like waves in water, how can you have waves of light with dozens of different wavelengths all travel together and arrive at the prism at the same time, with each still having its original wavelength?

The only "proof" of light-wave "interference" is what is seen in "double slit" experiments where light of a specific wave length is emitted through two different slits in a barrier to produce an "interference pattern" on a wall. 

double slit experiment

Note that the illustration above indicates that the "Destructive Interference" and the "Constructive Interference" occur between the barrier and the screen.  It says that the light waves interfere with one another as they travel from the two slits in the barrier to the screen.  But we know that isn't true.  If it were, we should see the "interference" in some form happening all around us. 

In reality, all the "interference" must happen when the "waves" (or photons) hit atoms in the wall.  You get different results depending upon the angle at which the "waves" (or photons) hit the atoms in the wall.  The illustration below shows light "waves" hitting a wall at two slightly different angles, one angle producing a dark spot ("destructive interference") and the other angle producing a bright spot ("constructive interference").

interfering light waves 

What the illustration above does not show is that, in order to see the pattern, the wall must emit light back to your eye.  We know that when a photon hits an atom in the wall, the photon is momentarily absorbed.  The atom then immediately finds it cannot hold the extra energy and instantly emits a totally new photon in some random direction. 

If we assume that your eye is at the location marked by (a) or (b) in the above illustration, the light must be emitted by atoms in the wall in order to reach your eye.  And the light emitted by the wall must travel through other light "waves" or photons moving toward the wall in order for you to see it.  And there clearly is no interference when this happens. 

The point is: Light waves and/or photons from two or more different sources do NOT interfere with one another as they travel from point to point.  They only  "interfere" when they hit an atom in the wall virtually simultaneously.

How can a spreading water-like wave hit an individual atom?  It can't.  It seems totally illogical to believe that a single water-like wave can hit a single atom.  But a photon certainly can.

As I envision it, what happens when two photons (or waves) hit a single atom at the same time depends upon the angle of arrival.  In order for two photons from a common source to hit an atom at different angles, the photons cannot move in a straight line but must move in a wave-like pattern, like so:

photon wave pattern 
This allows two photons from the same source to hit a single atom from different angles.  Like so:

two identical photons hitting an
                              atom

What happens next seems to depend upon the type of photon and the type of atom.  The so-called "destructive interference" cannot destroy the photons, since energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed into a different kind of energy.  Logically, the atom could emit a single photon of higher energy, which would put it into a range that is not visible to the naked eye, such as heat energy.  So, it would show a dark pattern on the wall, but the wall would feel warm.  That seems to explain the dark lines on the wall.

If the photons hit the atom at the same angle, the atom will evidently emit two identical photons and it will show "constructive interference" as a bright pattern on the wall.

If two photons hit at slightly different angles, you should get what is seen in the first illustration above: a different intensity of light depending upon how many photons are being re-emitted that are identical to what was absorbed and how many photons are being converted to higher-level energy such as heat.  The illustration below shows the same kind of "interference pattern."  There are bright lines and dark lines, and the edges of the lines are fuzzy, not clear, since they are a blend of light and dark.

interference pattern

Hmm. Instead of working on my paper, I've worked on this comment as if I was working on my paper.  One difference is that this comment is going to get "published" on this web site, whereas if it was written for a scientific paper, it would probably just end up as version #47 in a folder containing many versions.  Another difference is that I probably won't rewrite this version.  I'll just leave it as representing my thinking as of this moment.  I could very easily change my thinking five minutes from now.  If I do, then I'll have to decide if I want to revise this comment or not.



Comments for Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, thru Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017:

November 9, 2017 - The last time I heard from that group that is or was putting together a TV documentary series about the anthrax attacks of 2001, they said they expected to pay me a visit in early November.  They also said they'd give me two week's notice before showing up at my door.  They haven't given any such notice, and we're well into early November.  So, I'm just going to assume that they aren't going to be paying me any visit until next spring, if at all.  I could contact them and ask them about the status of their project, but I think it is easier to just wait to see what happens.  I don't want to put them on the spot of having to tell me that I won't be in their "pilot" episode.  Or maybe the whole idea just didn't pan out.  That's show biz.

I'm still trying to write a scientific paper about the wave theory of light versus the particle theory of light, but I'm having a really hard time getting organized.  I've got one 26-page paper of pieces and starts, and another 30-page paper of pieces and starts, but there's no real organization to either of them.  The problem is that there are so many different ways to view the issue.  Plus, every time I start writing, I end up doing some research which uncovers another angle that I feel I need to examine. 

Yesterday, when I got hung up on how to organize the paper, I finished winterizing my apartment (putting plastic over the windows, air-conditioner and balcony door), and I laid down on my couch once again to finish listening to another audio book on my MP3 player.  It was "The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America" by Bill Bryson.

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson

It's an abridged BBC radio version of the 384 page original, although I didn't know that when I "borrowed" it from the library. It was just 2 hours and 19 minutes long.

It's probably a good thing that I didn't pick the unabridged audio version that is available elsewhere.  While Bill Bryson is becoming one of my favorite authors, The Lost Continent was very mean-spirited in parts.  America-born, Bryson lived in England for ten years before deciding to return for a visit to his home down of Des Moines, Iowa, and take a long drive around America to see how things had changed while he was gone.  According to the Amazon description:

his hopes of finding the American dream end in a nightmare of greed, ignorance and pollution.
It is not as bad as all that, and it is very funny in parts.  However, when he describes trying to understand Southern accents, it is more ridicule than humor.  And he clearly prefers the English and European practice of restoring old buildings instead of tearing everything down and constructing new buildings as we tend to do in America.  When he talks about "ignorance," he talked about how he found the typical American didn't know who Thomas Hardy was.  That hit home, since I recalled the name and believed Hardy was a writer, but I didn't recall any more than that.  Researching Hardy this morning, I find that I don't really want to know any more than that.  Hardy wrote some famous books that I never read (Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd) and have no interest in reading.  So, if Bill Bryson looks down on me because I haven't read those books, that's not something that's going to keep me up at night.  The humor in Bryson's books is the reason I read them.  I have several more audio books by him in my listening queue.  I still look forward to listening to them, even if I didn't particularly like Bryson's superior attitude in The Lost Continent. 

November 7, 2017 - During breakfast and lunch, I've been reading a book on my Kindle about explorers, a book that makes a very interesting point about explorers of every type, geographical, cultural and scientific: They are all driven by curiosity.

It strikes home because I'm constantly driven by curiosity.  I've wandered alone around Tokyo, Bangkok, Nakhon Phenom, Hong Kong, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Paris, Málaga, Torremolinos, Rome, Naples, Florence, Venice, Madrid, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and cities and towns in 44 of the 50 United States.  A web page I found this morning lists 4 types of "explorers."  Type 4 is a "wanderer" who is just curious.  That's me.

I spent about 11 years studying every aspect of the anthrax attacks of 2001 simply because I was fascinated by it and curious.  There were many scientific aspects to the case that aroused my curiosity.  And the crazy theories people had about the case were endlessly fascinating.  I've always been interested and curious about science.  And now I'm curious about physics.  How can colleges and universities teach total nonsense like the mathematicians' All Observers Theory?  And why haven't scientists and physicists figured out whether light is a wave, a particle or something else?  Why is it still "a mystery" after 200 years of arguing about it?

This morning I awoke thinking I should focus my paper on why light is NOT a particle nor a wave, instead of whether it IS a particle or a wave.  Light is NOT a wave, like waves on a pond or sea, because the waves can pass through each other undisturbed.  Waves on a pond cannot pass through each other.  They interact.  Light is NOT a particle, like a grain of sand or dust, because the particles do not collide when traveling in opposite directions.  Light supposedly consists of "photons," but photons cannot be particles like other particles.  You can crash particles into each other in a particle accelerator, but apparently you cannot crash photons into each other.  It doesn't seem logical that photons can pass through each other since they do collide with walls and solid objects.  So, they apparently have the ability to avoid some collisions by deflection.

And that suggests that photons pass through glass by deflection, not the way electrons pass through wires, by being absorbed and recreated.

Of course, I could be wrong.  I'm curious to find out if I am or not.   

November 6, 2017 - I'm trying to get back to work on my paper about whether light consists of particles or waves.  This morning, while doing some research, I found a YouTube video that explains the situation nicely:



The video makes no attempt to resolve the question.  And it seems that that is the way the problem is viewed: It's an unresolved question.  And no one seems interested in resolving it.

Of particular interest to me in the video was the explanation at about the 2:00 minute mark where they stated that light "cannot be made up of tiny atom-like particles" because they would crash into one another when they crossed paths.  But isn't that something that waves always do?  Don't waves always crash into each other when they cross paths?  How can that be an argument against light consisting of particles?

And, too, light particles aren't "atom-like."  They are incredibly tiny compared to atoms.  In theory, kazillions could cross paths in a room without any collisions at all.  Light can supposedly travel through water and glass without colliding with anything.  Dozens of sources describe it as being like a person entering a crowded room from one door, moving through the crowd by weaving back and forth to avoid collisions, and exiting via another door.  The weaving back and forth "slows down" the light while it is crossing the room (i.e., it takes longer to travel a specified distance), but it returns to full speed when it exits and moves in a straight line again.  Why wouldn't two beams of particles of light avoid collisions the same way?

Researching further, I found a video in which scientist Michio Kaku says that light doesn't weave around things as it moves through glass or water, it crashes into one atom which creates a new photon which crashes into the next atom which creates a new photon which crashes into the next photon, and on and on until the light exits the glass.  Who is right?  I dunno.  I need to do further research. 

When trying to find answers, sometimes you just find more questions.

November 5, 2017 - I'm still doing research and bouncing around ideas on how to change or rewrite my paper about "Time Dilated Light," and how to organize my new paper about the Wave Theory of Light versus the Particle Theory of Light in order to make the points I want to make.  So, being unable to decide on what changes to make or which paper to work on, yesterday I laid down on the couch once again and finished listening to another audio book on my MP3 player.

The book consisted of just 3 MP3 files, totaling only 2 hours and 34 minutes of listening time.  It was "City of The Soul" by William Murray.

City of the Soul
 
Of the many places I've visited in my life, Rome was definitely one of the cities I liked best.  I visited it twice, as I recall, back in the 1970s or 1980s.  The first time was on a TWA tour of 3 capitals: London, Paris and Rome.  The second time was on a TWA tour labeled "Italy by Train," which began in Rome, then via trains to Naples and Pompeii, then to Florence, to Venice (probably my favorite city to visit), and the tour ended in Milan.  (Instead of returning to the U.S. with the others on the tour, I rented a car and spent a few days visiting Nice, Cannes and Monaco, before returning to Milan to get a later flight.)  All together, I spent maybe a week in Rome. 

I had a problem right away while listening to the audio book.  I needed a map to see where things were located.  I dug through a box of maps I had collected during my visits to other countries, but for some inexplicable reason, I didn't seem to have a map of Rome.  I have maps of probably two dozen other cities, but not Rome.  (I may just have misplaced it.)  So, I opened my small laptop on the coffee table next to the couch and used it to find the places mentioned by the author.  Then, a few times, I "toured" the area using Google Maps' "street view" option.  When the author talked about the "baboon" statue after which the Via del Babuino ("Street of the Baboon") was named,
I found a lot of pictures of the statue (It's not a really statue of a baboon, it's a statue of a mythical creature that is half man and half goat), but I couldn't visualize it as a "Roman Statue" you would come upon while walking down Via del Babuino.

Statue on Rome's Via del Babuino

I'd never visited that particular area.  The statue's location didn't seem to be identified on any map.  So, I used Google Maps' "Street View" option to go hunt for the statue.   It was like looking through my computer to see the street as I "walked" from Piazza del Spagna (where the "Spanish Steps" are located) toward Piazza del Popolo, checking both sides of the street.  And then I found it.  It is definitely not like any other "Roman Statue" I had ever seen.  And it's difficult to understand why a major Roman street would be named after it.
 
Via de Babuino statue

You could easily walk right past the statue without noticing it.  It's up against the wall of a restaurant, maybe fifteen feet from where the Google camera passed by.  It's certainly nothing "special" in appearance.  But, it was very interesting to look for it that way.

I wouldn't recommend "City of the Soul" to people who have never been to Rome.  There are probably hundreds of better books about the city.  But, if you already like Rome and have a few hours you need to kill in some way, it's an available option.  I enjoyed listening to it, even though there were parts that had only to do with the author's life there (including family problems and the death of his mother) and nothing to do with touring the city.  The author is an Italian-American journalist who lived in various parts of the city for around 50 years.

I awoke this morning once again thinking about the scientific papers I want to revise and write.  There are a lot of things I still need to visualize and get clear in my mind, particularly gravitational redshifting.  Wikipedia says,

In astrophysics, gravitational redshift or Einstein shift is the process by which electromagnetic radiation originating from a source that is in a gravitational field is reduced in frequency, or redshifted, when observed in a region at a higher gravitational potential. This is a direct result of gravitational time dilation—if one is outside of an isolated gravitational source, the rate at which time passes increases as one moves away from that source.
I can't make any sense of that.  If you view light as particles instead of waves, then "reduced in frequency, or red shifted" simply means the particles are farther apart.  And then it doesn't matter where you are located when you observe it.  The particles will always be farther apart.  As I visualize it, redshifting is not the "result of gravitational time dilation."  The reverse might be true: Redshifting might somehow be the result of Time Dilation.  However, it seems more likely that redshifting and gravitational Time Dilation are separate phenomena both caused by the same thing: gravity.

I just need to focus and think it through.










Other interests:

fake picture of snow on
                    the pyramids
 Click HERE for an analysis of this fake photo.

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