Archive for ed-lake.com
December 2018

Comments for Sunday, December 30, 2018, thru Monday, Dec. 31, 2018:

December 31, 2018 - Yesterday afternoon, after spending all morning writing my Sunday comment about photons, I decided I needed to think about something else for awhile.  So, I sat down and finished reading a library book on my Kindle that I've been reading during breakfast and lunch for almost a month.  The book is "Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win" by Luke Harding.

Collusion

Needless to say, it is another book which shows Donald Trump to be a lying, cheating, moronic creep.  While it was an interesting book, it was also a difficult and tedious read for me, because it contains an endless stream of Russian names that I found very difficult to keep track of.  Yanukovych, Kovzhun, Tymoshenko, Zelnickova, Agalarov, Rybolovlev, Trutnev, Uralkali, Kryuchkov and many many more.

The book is largely based upon information from the "Steele Dossier," which Wikipedia describes this way:
The Steele dossier is a private intelligence report comprising memos written between June and December 2016 by Christopher Steele, a former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6), for the private investigative firm Fusion GPS. The resulting dossier contains allegations of misconduct and conspiracy between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Government of Russia during the 2016 election, with campaign members and Russian operatives allegedly colluding to interfere in the election to benefit Trump. It also alleged that Russia sought to damage Hillary Clinton's candidacy, including sharing negative information about Clinton with the Trump campaign. The dossier was published in full by BuzzFeed on January 10, 2017. 
The book is also an interesting look into money laundering and endless ways to bribe people.  If someone pays you $90 million for a property that is worth only $40 million, who is going to say that the $50 million was a bribe?  And if you borrowed the $40 million to buy the property you just sold for $90 million, you can pay back the loan and deposit the $50 million as profits from a legitimate business deal.  The book says,
For four decades Trump’s property empire effectively functioned as a laundromat for Moscow money. Funds from the former Soviet Union poured into condominiums and Trump apartments. Even as Trump was campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, his associates were chasing Kremlin permission—and cash—for the candidate’s elusive Moscow tower. A Reuters investigation found that at least sixty-three individuals with Russian passports or addresses bought $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded towers in Florida. The true figure was probably higher. Nearly one-third of all units were sold to limited liability companies, whose buyers were unidentified. Trump Tower even offered a refuge for Russian gangsters.
The book also says this about Trump's finances:
Trump was once so cash-desperate that this supposed billionaire marketed steaks, vodka, and a fraudulent university. He accepted fifty thousand dollars an episode to host a TV series, demanding one million dollars to renew his contract—and settled for sixty thousand dollars. Then, suddenly in 2006, Trump had access to so much liquidity that he could pay all cash for golf courses and other properties. Where did this money come from? Perhaps Robert Mueller will answer that question. Until then, the American people will be kept in the dark about the most salient of all Trump questions, “What does the president owe and to whom does he owe it?”
The book makes a good case for indicting Trump and or his son and son-in-law for collusion.  After all, Trump made no secret of the fact that he wanted Russia to find dirt on Hilary Clinton so that Trump would win the election:
First, there was Trump’s own curious behavior on the campaign trail. Faced with claims that Russia was hacking Democratic emails, and leaking them to damage his rival, Hillary Clinton, Trump publicly urged Moscow to keep going. At a July 2016 press conference in Florida, he said this: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the thirty thousand emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.” As a Clinton aide pointed out, this was a straightforward appeal to a foreign power to commit espionage against a political opponent.
Then, of course, there are all the people to whom Trump gave important roles in the U.S. government who previously had longtime dealings with Russia:
Trump’s pick for secretary of state? Rex Tillerson, a figure known and trusted in Moscow, and recipient of the Order of Friendship. National security adviser? Michael Flynn, Putin’s dinner companion and a beneficiary of undeclared Russian fees. Campaign manager? Paul Manafort, longtime confidant to ex-Soviet oligarchs. Foreign policy adviser? Carter Page, an alleged Moscow asset who gave documents to Putin’s spies. Commerce secretary? Wilbur Ross, an entrepreneur with Russia-connected investments. Personal lawyer? Michael Cohen, who sent emails to Putin’s press secretary. Business partner? Felix Sater, son of a Russian American mafia boss. And other personalities, too. It was almost as if Putin had played a role in naming Trump’s cabinet. 
I could go on and on.  I have 21 pages of notes (passages that I underlined in my Kindle) that make Trump look like a mob boss, and there is almost nothing that makes him look presidential.  Instead of helping people, Trump and his team are constantly blaming victims for being victimized.  And when he's not doing that, he is hate mongering in speeches to the people who still follow him and support him.  He took over a country that was running fairly smoothly, and he seems determined to trash almost everything.  The book says,
Donald Trump was dealt the easiest hand of any president since Calvin Coolidge in 1923. Barack Obama inherited the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression; Ronald Reagan, the second worst. Bill Clinton stepped into the job of rebuilding a new world after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Jimmy Carter faced an energy crisis; Gerald Ford, Watergate and Vietnam . . . I could go on. Even the presidents who inherited prosperous economies—Herbert Hoover, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush—were all smacked by global crises within months of entering office: the Crash of 1929, German unification, the 9/11 attacks. Only Trump inherited an already growing economy, a low pace of combat operations, and a world that stayed mostly quiet through his first year in office.
and
He never can and never will speak for the whole nation, as George W. Bush did after 9/11, as Barack Obama could do during the worst throes of the economic crisis of 2009. In any genuine emergency the nation may face in the next few years, it will be effectively leaderless. Donald Trump is at most the president of the largest faction within white America, and oftentimes not even that.
And, yet, it is not a good idea to impeach Trump, because, as I've said many times before, if Trump is impeached and removed from office for treason or because of his incompetence, he'll be replaced by Mike Pence, who is just plain evil.   

December 30, 2018
- While doing research to try to learn more about photons and how they work, I came across a quote from Albert Einstein in a collection of articles about "What is a Photon?"  Below is a quote from the introduction to that collection with Einstein's quote in red and bold:
Light is an obvious feature of everyday life, and yet light’s true nature has eluded us for centuries. Near the end of his life Albert Einstein wrote, “All the fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no closer to the answer to the question: What are light quanta? Of course today every rascal thinks he knows the answer, but he is deluding himself.” We are today in the same state of “learned ignorance” with respect to light as was Einstein.
It doesn't bother me that people still do not understand what light is, but it really bothers me that they do not seem to care.  They are evidently satisfied with the idea that it is a "mystery," and they are content to view light as waves when it suits their purposes, and to view light as particles when that suits their purposes.

That is crazy.  Obviously light is neither a wave nor a particle.   I've been arguing that light is a "photon."  That meant the only question then was: What is a photon?  The answer won't be found in looking at what we do not know, but it might be found by making a list of things we do know about photons.  For example:
1. We definitely know that light is not a wave like a sound wave.

2. We definitely know light is not a solid particle, like a grain of dust.

3. We know light only exists when moving at "the speed of light."

4. We definitely know light can be polarized at specific angles.

5. We definitely know light partly consists of electrical energy.

6. We definitely know light partly consists of magnetic energy.

7. We know light has a "wavelength" that is measured as it is absorbed.

8. We think light has a height that is the same as its wavelength.
There are probably more things we know about photons, but items #4 and #8 above are the ones that currently interest me the most.  And it seems that #8 does not belong on the list.  It is a belief, not something that is known.  And it seems to require photons to be disk shaped.

I can visualize light photons in the visible light range being disk shaped.  I can even imagine microwave photons being disk shaped, even though such "disks" would be about 4½ inches in diameter.  It seems they would need to be disk shaped if they are blocked by the screen over a microwave oven door.  If they were the size of the atoms that created them, the photons would pass through the screen.  If they were ray-shaped or wave shaped, they should also get through the screen. 
 
Last week I spent a lot of time trying to determine the size and shape of photons that would have to be even larger than microwaves - specifically TV signal photons.  TV signals caught my attention because TV transmitters appear to be vertical rods transmitting photons that are evidently polarized vertically:

TV transmission antenna #1 TV transmitter antenna #2
TV transmission antennas #3 TV transmitter antennas #4

And it seemed that TV receiver antennas are designed to catch the photons, not to let them pass.  That is why TV receiving antennas are oriented horizontally.

TV antenna #1 TV antenna #2
TV antenna #3 TV antenna #4


The problem is: a typical TV photon has a wavelength of 200 Megahertz (Mhz).  If the photon is disk-shaped, that means it also has a height equal to its wavelength.  And 200 Mhz equals 1.5 meters or just under 5 feet.  That means that if I want to visualize a TV photon hitting the antenna, I would visualize it looking something like this:

A TV
                        photon hitting a TV antenna

Nope.  I can create an illustration that depicts such a thing, but my brain cannot accept it.  Nor can it accept a version where the disk is polarized horizontally and hits a horizontal bar of the antenna. 

Another problem is that there appears to be no place else in the entire world where a TV photon hitting an antenna is described this way.   Below is the way radio and TV signals are typically illustrated:

TV and radio signals between antennas

While both the transmitting antenna and the receiving antenna in the illustration above are shown as straight poles, you evidently have to imagine that the receiving antenna is actually a "dipole" which is a T-shaped antenna, and you are viewing it from the side.  The web site where I found the above image also says this:

Dipoles are very directional: they pick up incoming radio waves traveling at right angles to them. That's why a TV antenna has to be properly mounted on your home, and facing the correct way, if you're going to get a clear picture. The telescopic antenna on an FM radio is less obviously directional, especially if the signal is strong: if you have it pointed straight upward, it will capture good signals from virtually any direction. The ferrite AM antenna inside a radio is much more directional. Listening to AM, you'll find you need to swivel your radio around until it picks up a really strong signal. (Once you've found the best signal, try turning your radio through exactly 90 degrees and notice how the signal often falls off almost to nothing.)
What the web site does not explain (but another does) is that the horizontal bar on a T-shaped "dipole" antenna actually consists of two unconnected bars, the left bar and the right bar.  And when you pump electricity into those two bars, the electricity has to to get from one bar to the other through the air via an electromagnetic field.  And it is that electromagnetic field that helps to capture the photons. 

The web page also says this about dipoles:

In the case of TVs, you get much more gain from a complex outdoor antenna (one with, say, 10–12 dipoles in a parallel "array") than from a simple dipole.
That is undoubtedly why all four of the illustrations I provided of TV receiving antennas show many dipoles.

One fact that really bothered me is that I remembered reading that there were radio antennas in northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan with a total length of 84 miles (134 kilometers) that transmitted in the extremely low radio frequencies of 76 Hertz or 45 Hertz.  76 Hertz means the wavelength is 2451 miles (3945 kilometers) and 45 Hertz means the wavelength is 4140 miles (6662 kilometers).  During the Cold War, the antennas were used by the US Navy to send one way messages to submerged submarines.   

Sorry, but I cannot visualize a disk shaped photon that is 4140 miles in diameter.

What I'm seeing is that visible light photons are atom to atom transmissions.  But when you get into microwave, radio and TV wavelengths, you are no longer talking about photons.  Whatever is going on at those wavelengths, I need a LOT more information before I could even begin to figure it out. 

So, I seem to have a choice of either giving up on figuring out how photons work and what they look like, or I can just focus on visible light photons, which seem to be atom to atom transmissions, and forget about radio and TV signals which definitely to NOT appear to be atom to atom transmissions.  So, while they all involve electromagnetic emissions and reception (or absorption), radio and TV signals (and probably microwaves) evidently have nothing to do with photons.

electromagnetic spectrum

Somewhere I remember reading that if the problem seems too big to solve, you need to break it down into smaller problems and find the small problems that you can solve.  Solving those small problems might provide the understanding to enable you to move on to the bigger problems.

I think I may have made some progress by just realizing that the big problem can be broken down into smaller problems.



Comments for Sunday, December 23, 2018, thru Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018:

December 27, 2018 - While driving home from the gym this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #14 of the 14-CD audio book set of "Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon" by Craig Nelson. 

Rocket Men by Craig Nelson

It was an excellent book, and easy to listen to in 10 and 15 minute chunks as I drove from place to place.  It isn't just about the first trip to the moon, it's also about all the struggles, problems and flights that came before Apollo 11.  And it also goes into some detail about what happened after Apollo 11 and after we stopped going to the moon.  Once we made it to the moon and beat the Russians, the public lost interest in the space program.  And the men who went to the moon found themselves out of work and largely unable to find new work. No one wanted to risk them them getting hurt or killed.  They were also government employees, which means they didn't make a lot of money by going to the moon.  It was like they were given a ticker tape parade down Broadway, and then dropped off on some street corner while everyone else when back to their normal routine.

There were lots of details I would have highlighted if I had read the book instead of listening to it.  Strangely enough, I have another book titled "Rocket Men."  It's about Apollo 8, and it's on my Kindle.  And I also have a book titled "Apollo 8" on my Kindle.  And I have "Failure is Not an Option," by Gene Kranz on my Kindle.  But none of those are high on the priority list.  When I removed CD #14 of "Rocket Men" from my CD player, I then inserted a CD for another comedian's autobiography.  Following that, if I follow my current priority list, I'll be listening to two science books, then a biography of Elon Musk, another science book, and then a book about writing science fiction.  52 CDs.  Months of listening time.      

December 26, 2018 (B)
- I'm still thinking about the shape of a photon, and I now see that part of my December 24 post was misleading.  I included an image of a CD-disk shaped photon being propelled between two soccer ball size atoms, which cause the photon to become vertically oriented.  That is somewhat misleading, since the facts indicate that I should have used a wall of atoms (or two walls of atoms) instead of just two atoms.  Here are the only images I can find on the Internet showing a "wall" of atoms:

wall of atoms

The photon doesn't pass between two atoms.  It passes between two walls of atoms which form a slit.  And the slit will be something like a trench with sloping sides formed by atomic forces.  When the disk-shaped photon approaches the slit, if it is parallel to the slit it will simply pass through the slit.  If, it is less than 45 degrees off of parallel, the photon will be deflected off the sides of the "trench," reoriented to be parallel, and will pass through the slit.  If the photon is more than 45 degrees off of parallel, it will collide with an atom in the wall and will be absorbed.  It will be turned to heat or re-emitted as a new photon in some random direction.  Here's an illustration I found that shows the idea:
deflected and polarized light photons
The deflection and reorientation of photons is what causes glare off of a lake or pond.  If you have polarized sun glasses, the glasses will only let the photons that are vertically oriented pass through to your eyes.  Glare photons are almost always horizontal or parallel to the surface that is causing the glare.  That is why polarized sunglasses eliminate horizontally oriented photons.  I demonstrated that the other day when I put on my sunglasses and viewed my computer screen.  The polarized lenses eliminated about 50% of all the light coming through the lenses, but when I turned my head sideways, the computer screen became darker and darker, until it went totally dark when my head was at a 90 degree angle to the screen.  It is an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) flat screen, which means it emits vertically polarized light.  The same with my flat screen Sony TV in my living room.  It, too, goes totally dark if I view it through polarized lenses and turn my head 90 degrees off of vertical.   There are plenty of Youtube videos which illustrate this.

Of course, if you have a 3D TV, half of its LCD crystals are oriented vertically and half are oriented horizontally, so you need 3D glasses to view the 3D images. 

I'm also finding sources that suggest that the height of a photon is the same as its wavelength, which is the same as saying the photon is as tall as it is long.  It certainly isn't square, which means it is coin or disk shaped.

And all that seems to mean that light becomes polarized (or somewhat polarized) when Thomas Young's card experiment is performed by putting a card edgewise into a beam of light:

Thomas Young's card experiment

And that suggests that polarization is a key part of the Double-Slit experiment.  But, I'm going to have to do more research to verify that.  Or to disprove it.

The problem is: Virtually all sources use waves instead of photons when talking about light, even though light definitely does NOT consist of waves.  And when light is polarized to be horizontal waves, the sources say nothing about whether it is the electric field that is polarized horizontally or is it the magnetic field?  Presumably, it is the electric field. Does that mean it is the magnetic field which does the deflecting? 

Groan.  I still seem to have more questions than answers.


December 26, 2018 (A)
- FWIW, I just finished reading "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Presents - The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library."
Trump Twitter Library
I borrowed it from my library to read on my Kindle, but I ended up reading the browser version on my computer when I noticed that it has a lot of color pictures, and my Kindle only shows them black and white.  Reading the book took less than two hours.  It is basically just a collection of President Trump's moronic tweets with some added comments to categorize them.  There are also a lot of full-page illustrations, most of which just occupy space - like chapter headings presented as plaques and framed single tweets.  Just imagine a copy of this Tweet placed in a fancy wooden frame as a photograph occupying an entire page:
Trump
                      Tweet about Obama
Somehow, the book is also a New York Times bestseller.  I wouldn't say the book was a waste of time, but it's definitely "a curiosity piece."

December 25, 2018 - I'm wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2018
- I awoke at 3 a.m. this morning, evidently because my subconscious had realized or discovered something.  It realized that I've been viewing polarization from the wrong angle (pun intended).  I've been arguing that this image of non-polarized light becoming polarized is essentially wrong because only light oscillating vertically is getting through.

polarized light

In previous comments here, I argued that, in reality, light at other angles is also getting through.  Light that is vertically aligned gets through, of course, but light that is up to 45 degrees off of vertical also gets through.  I used this image to show some of the angled light that gets through:
Angles
                      of light waves 
When I awoke at 3 a.m., my subconscious was telling me that only light that is roughly oriented on the zero to 180 axis exits the filter.  But that doesn't mean that all the other angles are eliminated.  It means that light that enters the filter at the 20 to 200 angle gets reoriented to 0 to 180.  So does light that is oriented at the 350 to 170 angle.  What happens is that the orientation angle of the light photon is changed if the light is no more than 45 degrees off of vertical.  That also seems to explain why approximately 50 percent of the non-polarized light gets through the filter.  Only light that is oriented more than 45 degrees off vertical gets destroyed or deflected.

Fortunately, I was able to fall back asleep after thinking about that for awhile.

Then at about 6 a.m., my subconscious again woke me up, this time to deliver an even more interesting idea.  It had decided that polarization isn't like passing light through a picket fence.  It is like throwing a phonograph record or CD between two soccer balls.

photon
                    passing between two atoms 
Maybe it was the image of an iodine molecule that I used in yesterday's comment that generated the idea, but it makes sense.  Light is passing between atoms and molecules, not between straight parallel lines or picket slats.  And atoms are roughly spherical in shape.

So, what happens is that the CD-photon slides nicely between the balls when the CD-photon is vertical.  But, if the CD-photon is slightly off-vertical, the spherical shape of the balls (and atomic forces) will push the CD-photon into a vertical orientation. 

I imagine that speed could also be an important factor.  If the CD-photon is more than 45 degrees off vertical, there isn't enough time to correct the angle, so the CD-photon bounces off the balls or shatters.   So, about 50 percent of the light gets through and it is all polarized vertically.

And if that vertically polarized light then hits a two balls filter that is oriented so that only horizontal light can pass, all the photons will be destroyed or absorbed re-emitted in some random direction. Virtually no light will pass the second filter.

This also explains another experiment that I read about.  If you place a filter that is angled at 45 degrees in front of the vertically polarized light, it becomes a flip of a coin as to whether a given photon will pass through or not.  In theory, half the photons will pass through and half will be destroyed or absorbed and re-emitted randomly.  So, 50% of the light from the source got through the vertical filter, and maybe half of that (25% of the original light) gets through the 45 degree angle filter.  That light is now polarized at 45 degrees, and when it hits a horizontal filter, it becomes another flip of the coin as to whether or not a given light photon will pass through.  In theory, 12.5% of the original light will make it through all three filters, even though zero percent will make it through 2 filters.

Here's an image from a web site that describes it as a mystery:

light through a 45 degree filter
And here is a video I just found which says pretty much exactly what I just wrote, except that it's all explained with mathematics.


 
The idea of ball shaped filters could be wrong, but, at the moment, it really looks right to me, and it seems to answer many questions I had about how photons work.  It doesn't tell me the height of a photon, and it doesn't tell me which field (electric or magnetic) is the CD shape, or why the other field doesn't seem to play any role, but it's something worth pondering until I find more information and the "two-ball polarization filter theory" can be confirmed or disproved. 

December 23, 2018
- I'm still trying to visualize what a photon looks like and how it works.  But I'm also constantly getting sidetracked into other problems and mysteries.  How come I'm suddenly no longer being notified when someone posts a comment to Facebook groups I created or the ones to which I am a member?  Which of the audio books I have downloaded from the library should I burn onto CDs?  I've only got about 1 CD left in the audio book I'm currently listening to while driving.  And the only other book I have already burned onto CDs consists of only 5 CDs.  And what should I do with all those radio shows I want to listen to?  When will I have time to listen to them?  And I also keep wondering if President Trump is being blackmailed by Putin.  Why else would Trump do exactly what Putin wants and pull out of Syria?  Why else would Trump undermine our friends and help Putin? 

And where can I find what I need to know about photons? 
Yesterday morning, I realized that the animated gifs I created last week to show what photons might look like when they are approaching head-on were almost certainly totally wrong.  Here is one of those animated gifs:
photons
                  impacting head on
It now seems a near certainty that photons do not oscillate.  Instead, photons might be coin shaped, coming at you edgewise.  When that happens, you will first encounter a point of light that is the leading edge of the coin.  As the photon enters your eye or a measuring device, the point will increase in height, reach a maximum, and then drop off to a point again before disappearing.  The photon is perceived as a wave changing sizes, but it doesn't actually change shape.  It is just how it is encountered

I could probably create an animated gif to show what I mean, but it would take a lot of time to do that.   Showing one photon begin as a dot, then increase in height and then drop down to nothing again can't be shown with an animated gif that repeats the same steps over and over.  I'd have to create one that had a photon appearing at one point and then when it is about half its full size another photon starts appearing somewhere else in the illustration, and then another, and another, with photons appearing, growing, and disappearing at different points all over the screen.  It would require maybe a hundred illustrations (or frames) before the gif starts to repeat.  I could do it, but it would take a LOT of time.  

Instead, I've been spending a LOT of time trying to understand how polarized lenses work.  I found this information about how polarized lenses are made:

How polarized lenses are created

But what is that explanation actually saying?  Polarized lenses
are typically illustrated as being like openings in a picket fence.

how polarized lenses work

And an iodine molecule is supposedly shaped like this:

Iodine molecule

So, is a polarized lens like a picket fence made from iodine molecules laid end to end?  Okay.  Could be.  But how wide is the space between the slats in the picket fence?  I need to know that information if I want to determine the height or width of a photon. 

Another puzzle: For some reason, the iodine molecule slats that constitute a polarized lens seem to cut out almost exactly 1/2 of the available light.  Why?

Polarized versus not-polarized lenses

You would think that if the light photons coming at you at every angle, and if the photons are polarized by going through the slats in a picket fence, you'd get different amounts of light passing through depending upon how wide the space is between the pickets.
polarized
                  light
But that is evidently not the case.  Your eyes will get 1/2 the available light if you orient the filter vertically, and you get 1/2 if you orient the filter horizontally.  It seems there isn't any way to make the openings between the slats narrower. 

There's an interesting video which has a guy explaining why 50% of the light is filtered away.  But, it seems to be a mathematical answer, not a logical answer.  I've watched it several times and I cannot decipher what he is saying.

As almost everyone knows, you can reduce the amount of light getting through the filter to your eyes by using a second filter.  If you overlay a vertical filter atop a horizontal filter, virtually zero light gets through.  

This Youtube video illustrates that phenomenon at about the 4-minute mark: 



If I can't make the filter openings narrower or wider, I cannot determine the size of a photon via that method.  Instead, I have another mystery:  Why can't I make a polarizing filter with narrower openings?    


A couple days ago, when I still believed that photons oscillate, I wondered how many times a photon of red light would theoretically oscillate while passing through a pinhole in a playing card.  So, I did some calculations.

The wavelength of red light is said to be 680 nanometers.  A typical playing card is 0.2921 millimeters thick (0.0115 inches), or 292100 nanometers. So, during the course of passing through a hole in a playing card, a red light photon would in theory fully oscillate about 430 times.

Now, as I see it, if I placed 430 red light photons end to end, they would cover the distance from one side of a playing card to the other.  That gives me the length of that kind of photon.  A photon is one wavelength in length.  Duh.

And we know a photon has a height, since it can only go through the polarizing filter if its height can fit through.  And, supposedly, it's height is the height of its electrical field, while it's width is the width of its magnetic field.

So, when viewed as passing through a vertical filter, the electrical field will pass through successfully if it is vertical or anywhere up to 45 degrees off of vertical.  Or is it the magnetic field that controls things?  Will the photon pass if the magnetic field is vertical or up to 45 degrees off of vertical?  Either way, it suggests that the polarizing filter has its electrical or magnetic field oriented in such a way that it will capture and absorb the photon if the photon is tilted more than 45 degrees.

That doesn't quite make sense.  Probably because I cannot illustrate the idea, and therefore I cannot visualize it.  I need to do more research.  Groan.   



Comments for Sunday, December 16, 2018, thru Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018:

December 20, 2018 - Yesterday afternoon, I decided I didn't want to take my MP3 player to the gym with me anymore.  Since I am once again involved in writing a scientific paper, my time on the treadmill and Exercycle is better spent by just thinking.  Plus, when I'm involved with writing a paper, I'm likely to just start thinking about the paper and not pay attention to what is being said on the MP3 player.  So, since I only had about an hour and a half left in the 13 hour 39 minute audio book, I just sat down in any easy chair in my living room and listened to the last part of "So, Anyway..." which is John Cleese's autobiography.

So, Anyway - by John Cleese

It was a very funny and enjoyable book, mostly, only occasionally going off into areas of no interest to me.  John Cleese reads the audio book, and his talking style is very much like the style he used in all of the Monty Python sketches and movies.  It's funny to listen to as he emphasizes words in unusual and very British ways.  Cleese (whose name was originally Cheese, before his father had it officially changed) is a graduate of Cambridge University and started his working life as a school teacher.  He got into performing more or less accidentally, and spent many years doing radio before getting into TV and movies.  The book more or less ends when the Monty Python troupe does their first comedy sketch. The book is - believe it or not - very much about psychology.  What makes people laugh?  How do you get people's attention.  How do you hold their attention?  How do you work with other comedians?  Etc. 

When Cleese was a school teacher he used psychology to control his students.  In his book he describes some of the practices he used, starting on page 85:
"Never tell a boy, 'Stop talking,' because he will always claim he wasn't.  You must say, 'Don't talk.'  Then, when he denies that he was talking, you can say, 'I didn't say you were, I said 'Don't!'  That leaves him with nowhere to go."
and another:
"When you ask a question, always formulate it in full before you give the name of the boy who is to answer it, because if you start with his name, everyone else will immediately stop paying attention."  
and another:
"If you catch a whiff of impending insurrection, use sarcasm.  They just can't handle it.  It's wonderful.  It's like shooting fish in a barrel, or making fun of Donald Trump.  It's so easy, it's embarrassing.   But don't overuse it: keep it for ... that special occasion."
That's the only mention of Trump in the book.  The book was published in September of 2015, about the time that Trump became the GOP candidate for President, but I was surprised to hear Trump mentioned at all. 

More interesting to me was how Cleese describes using the left brain to create audible jokes, which require logic to understand, and the right brain to create visual jokes, which are all about doing unexpected things.  And some comedians are left brain comedians and others are right brain comedians.  One member of the Python team was Terry Gilliam, who did the illustrations, and his sense of humor was almost entirely visual, while Cleese's sense of humor was almost entirely about language.  

In the book, John Cleese mentions a radio show he listened to, and which he thought was absolutely terrific.  It was called "The Goon Show," which featured Peter Sellers.  I wondered what it was like, so I searched for it on the Internet.  I found copies of episodes on sale for $20 or $30, which as a lot more than I was willing to pay to quench my curiosity.  Then I stumbled upon RadioEchoes.com.  Holy crap!!!  They have all 206 episodes of "The Goon Show" available for free, to listen to or to download as MP3 files!  And countless other radio shows!  They have 368 episodes of "Dragnet"!  And 118 episodes of "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe"!  673 episodes of "The Lux Radio Theater"! 786 episodes of "The Jack Benny Program"!  And 1,217 episodes of "Superman." And on and on and on.

Cleese also brought to my attention a 1983 book titled "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences" by Howard Gardner, which Cleese mentions on page 77 as being a great influence on his thinking.  I just downloaded a .mobi copy of it into my Kindle, so it is on my reading list - maybe next on the list.

Listening to "So, Anyway" was definitely time well spent.          


December 19, 2018
- Grumble grumble.  I spent all day yesterday working on a comment for this website, instead of working on my paper about photons.  I spent all morning writing a comment and creating a couple illustrations, and then while at the gym in the afternoon after lunch I realized I should have also created an animated gif file to illustrate how a symmetrical photon would oscillate.  When I returned home, I spent most of the afternoon creating the animated gif and then added it to that morning's comment. 

Then yesterday evening, while watching TV, I realized I should have also created an animated gif for the asymmetrical photon as it is commonly illustrated. i.e., for the photon that I frequently show on this web site as looking like this:

photon

When viewed head on, that photon would look like this as an animated gif:
Standard photon when viewed head-on
And, as I wrote yesterday, that is something that doesn't seem "natural," meaning it isn't something that is normally seen in Nature.  Nothing in Nature can travel in a straight line while parts of it swing off first to one side and then to the other side.

So, this morning I created the above animated gif and added it to yesterday's comment.


December 18, 2018
- I've been working on my scientific paper about photons and the Double Slit experiment, and it has become abundantly clear that I need to focus on what a photon looks like, and how it works, before I can even begin to look at how photons work within the Double Slit experiment.  Nearly all the available information about the Double Slit experiment is about waves.  But light is definitely not a wave.  So, I need to understand how a photon works before I can understand how photons work within the Double Slit experiment.

Yesterday I decided that this illustration of a photon is basically illogical, even though I've used it in comments here many times:

photon
 

It's off balance.  Plus, the photon essentially ceases to exist at the two ends and in the middle.  If viewed head on, the photon would be changing shape, beginning with just a dot, then forming a backward L, then becoming a dot again, and then forming an upside down L before becoming a dot again and repeating the whole process over again.  Like this:
Standard idea of a photon when viewed
                      head-on
As you can see, all of its energy would first be on one side of the center, then it would shift to the other side of the center.  Nothing else in Nature works that way.  Movements in Nature tend to be symmetrical.  For every action in one direction there is an equal action in the opposite direction.  

It then occurred to me that the photon would become symmetrical if the two fields didn't pulse at the same time.  If the electric field had its peak when the magnetic field had its trough, the photon should become symmetrical.  I used the above illustration to simply and quickly create a new version showing that idea:

Symmetrical photon

But it is still not symmetrical!  When viewed head-on, the fields would never shrink down to a dot, but you would still have a backward L turning into and upside down L.  It also suggests that the photon may actually consist of two photons, an electrical photon oscillating up and down (following the red line) while the magnetic photon oscillates from side to side (following the blue line).  But that would also throw it off balance.  To remain symmetrical, it must have a center that oscillates vertically and then horizontally. 

That illustration cannot be created so quickly.  It requires that the blue and yellow waves be on both sides of the center line at the same time.  I'd have to copy the second blue part over to join the first blue part and then I'd have to copy the first blue part over to become the other half of the second blue part.  The same with the yellow parts.  So, it becomes something like a section of chain.  Here's my first feeble attempt:

Re-revised photon

The problem is: Doesn't the image now show TWO wavelengths?  Or FOUR, two for the electrical field and two for the magnetic field?  It changes the whole idea of what an electromagnetic wave consists of.  In the first two images you had to go down and then up, or from one side to the other side, to complete one wave.  But if you go up while also going down, then the whole concept of a "wave" changes.  It is nothing like a sound wave or a water wave.  That doesn't mean it is wrong, it just means it requires a lot of explanation and convincing.

Here is what the photon it looks like when viewed head-on:
Symmetrical photon when viewed head-on
Another problem with creating such an image while writing a comment here is that I'm not working on my paper, and I'm not creating the black and white image I would need in the paper.  I've used up the whole morning writing this comment, instead of working on the paper.  But, I think the above image is good enough to show what the idea is.  It certainly gives me something to think about.

I'm just knocking around ideas.  There could be some basic flaw that I'm missing, but right now I need to figure out how to create a black and white image like the third image above, where the magnetic and electric fields alternately oscillate both ways from the center line.  It could take a lot of time.  And I want to make sure the idea is solid before I spend any more time on illustrating it. 


December 16, 2018
- I'm still trying to logically determine what a photon looks like and how it works.  As part of the process of doing that, I am also doing a lot of research.  For the past few days, I've been trying to clarify the issues scientists have with the Double Slit experiment.   I've been working on a scientific paper about that subject off and on for almost a year and a half.  The first version I have in my files is dated July 5, 2017.  I don't know if I will ever complete it, but organizing the paper should help me to organize my thoughts on the subject, particularly since every step seems to require a lot of research. 

Thomas Young is widely considered to be the first to perform the Double Slit experiment, but it seems there is no real evidence that he ever actually did such an experiment.  According to page 123 of Young's biography "The Last Man Who Knew Everything,"
there is no question that the double-slit experiment does demonstrate the interference of light, as countless others have subsequently shown. But did Young actually perform it? Or was it only a ‘thought’ experiment, like Einstein’s notion of trying to catch up with a light ray? At least one current historian of science, John Worrall, thinks the latter was the case: Young’s double-slit experiment was an intuition of the truth, not a real experiment.Worrall bases his view on the following undoubted facts: Young does not explicitly state that he did the experiment; Young provides no numerical data; Young says nothing about the light source he used and the other experimental conditions; and Young never again refers to the experiment.
So, of course, I had to research that.

Young describes the Double Slit experiment on page 464 and 465 of his book "A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts ..., Volume 1."  It is part of "Lecture XXXIX."  And he is clearly relating light to how waves of sound and water work.  The illustration he uses ("Plate XX. Fig. 267") is the same illustration he used earlier when talking about water waves in "Lecture XXIII," which is titled "On the Theory of Hydraulics." 
 
Thomas
                Young's illustration of his Double Slit Exp. 
It really bugs me that many many text books refer to the Double Slit experiment as being performed by Thomas Young, but there is absolutely no evidence that he ever actually did such an experiment.  His actual experiments involved
placing a thin card edgewise into a beam of light (from a hole in window shade, not a slit) and noting that the card did not produce a solid dark shadow on the wall, but instead produced multiple shadows in the form of dark lines separated by lines of color.  And there was always a white line in the center of the shadow where one would ordinarily expect the darkest part of the shadow to be. Young used those card experiments to develop his wave theory of light.

It also bugs me that in Richard Feynman's discussion of this topic in his book "Feynman Lectures on Physics - Volume 3" Prof. Feynman seems to accept that there is no way to determine exactly how light works.  He says at the very beginning of the book, in Section 1,
Because atomic behavior is so unlike ordinary experience, it is very difficult to get used to, and it appears peculiar and mysterious to everyone—both to the novice and to the experienced physicist. Even the experts do not understand it the way they would like to, and it is perfectly reasonable that they should not, because all of direct, human experience and of human intuition applies to large objects. We know how large objects will act, but things on a small scale just do not act that way. So we have to learn about them in a sort of abstract or imaginative fashion and not by connection with our direct experience.
Why not learn by experiment????  There is nothing "abstract" or "imaginative fashion" about scientific experiments. 

Prof. Feynman then goes on to say,
In this chapter we shall tackle immediately the basic element of the mysterious behavior in its most strange form. We choose to examine a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery. We cannot make the mystery go away by “explaining” how it works. We will just tell you how it works. In telling you how it works we will have told you about the basic peculiarities of all quantum mechanics.
Arrrgh!!!  Yes, we CAN make a mystery go away by "explaining" how it works.  However, his explanation is a quantum mechanics explanation.  And that leaves things unexplained, since it assumes that the quantum mechanical mathematics are correct.

As I see it, instead of simply switching over from science to quantum mechanics to get "answers" which work mathematically, we need to stick with science.  And that means we need to define exactly how a photon works.  Prof. Feynman then describes bullets as being like the particles we know as electrons and photons.  A photon is nothing like a bullet!  It seems that countless physicists cannot get past the notion that energy must consist either of particles or of waves.   And the definition of a "particle" is that it is a tiny object of a fixed shape and size, like a microscopic grain of sand.  It sometimes seems like that is a false assumption that physicists are required to accept as true.

To me, photons are nothing like particles, and they are nothing like waves.  They just exhibit some properties of both when an experiment is designed to test for such properties.

Instead of writing about all this here, I should be writing about it in a scientific paper.  And I could be mistaken about nearly everything.  But, when I visualize a photon, I do not visualize it as either a particle or as a wave.  It is something that exists ONLY when traveling at the speed of light.  When stationary, it is not called a "photon."  It is called "energy."  It causes an electron in an atom to jump to a higher energy state (or orbit), which the atom cannot sustain, so the electron drops back to its original energy state (or orbit) and the atom emits the energy as a "photon" traveling at the speed of light.

How
                  photons are created  

So, a "stationary photon" would be magnetic energy moving up and down from orbit to orbit while its electrical energy moves side to side.  It is essentially two dimensional.  And when the photon is ejected, it becomes three dimensional, with the third dimension being travel distance or time, i.e., the time it takes to oscillate once up and down and side to side while traveling at 266,792,458 meters per local second.  Like so:

photon

That is not a wave, nor is it a particle.  It appears like a wave when moving at the speed of light, and it has the properties of a particle in that it consists of a specific "quantum" of energy instead of a "stream" of energy.  It hits your eye as a particle of electrical energy oscillating at a specific frequency.  And, if you receive enough such particles in a short period of time, your eye and brain will interpret the photons to be a spot of colored light.

But, I'm just rambling.  What I really need to understand it what happens between the "Single slit" and the "Double slit" in the Double Slit experiment:

Double Slit Experiment
We have a good idea of what happens to the photons that travel directly from the Single slit to one or the other of the Double slits.  Thomas Young's actual card experiments show that the photons will have their trajectories altered, with the degree of alteration depending upon how the photon happens to be oscillating at the instant it passes through the slit (or past the edge of the card) and how close the photon gets to the edge of the slit (or card).  But what happens to the photons that hit the barrier between the slits?  Does the barrier material absorb the light and convert it to heat?  Or does the barrier consist of atoms that absorb the photons and then emit new photons.  If the latter, what happens to those new photons?

Groan.  I should be researching how people build the double slit experimental equipment.  What materials do they use?   Why isn't that an important piece of information provided in every demonstration of the Double Slit experiment?


Comments for Sunday, December 9, 2018, thru Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018:

December 13, 2018 - I awoke this morning realizing that my subconscious was pointing out some problems with my thinking about photons.  There were things about photons that suddenly didn't make sense, but those things had either never occurred to me before, or I hadn't considered all their implications.

First of all, this image of a photon that I've use several times in the past is definitely misleading:

photon

It's misleading because when such a photon is viewed head on, it would look something like this:
+
That shape is possible, but it is misleading.  When you think about polarized light, there is no + shape, there is only a | shape.  It seems polarized light just (or mostly) involves the electric fields.  In the image below, the polarizing filter is evidently only allowing photons which have electric fields that oscillate up and down to pass through.  All others are either absorbed or deflected away.

Polarized light

Using a filter to polarize light doesn't appear to involve the magnetic field at all.  Or the magnetic field is much much less affected by the polarizing filter than the electric field.  Or it is affected in a very different way.

Thinking about that, it makes a lot of sense.  When talking about things the size of an electron, electric fields tend to be stronger than magnetic or gravitational fields.  They do not seem to vary as significantly in intensity as you move away from source the way gravitational and magnetic energy does.  I'm way out of my areas of expertise on this, but that is the way things seem to me at the moment.

The thing that really stuck in my mind as I was waking up this morning was how this seems to relate to the Double Slit Experiment.  When you view the Double Slit experiment from above, the slits become holes and things look like this:
Double Slit Experiment
It appears that the slits must be polarizing the light.  And the magnetic fields on the photons must be passing close enough to the magnetic fields around the atoms that constitute the slit material to affect the trajectory of the photons.  There's a lot more to the idea, and I clearly need to start putting together some illustrations of my own, instead of borrowing them from other sites. 

I spent all morning working a scientific paper about it, but I'm a long long way from being done.  I need to break the Double Slit experiment down into steps.  What happens to the photons when they hit the single slit in the first barrier?   How are the photons affected by the fields surrounding the atoms in the barrier?  What happens when the photons exit the single slit?  What is their trajectory?  What happens when some of those somewhat-polarized photons pass through the two slits in the next barrier?  And what are the trajectories of the photons when they leave the slits and head for the viewing screen?  How would things change if the double slit barrier is moved a bit further away or a bit closer to the single slit barrier? 

Hopefully, I'll be able to illustrate the questions and the answers.  If I can't, then I should be able to find a flaw in this reasoning.  Until then, it's going to be what I'm mostly thinking about.       

December 11. 2018
- Last Friday, I've started taking my MP3 player to the gym again, so that I can listen to audio books while spending 30 minutes on a treadmill and 20 minutes on an Exercycle.  I gave up on doing that a couple years ago when listening to audio books while exercising became less productive than just thinking about scientific problems.  I'm still thinking about scientific problems, but it's a different kind of thinking.  It's more like pounding my head against a wall.  If I cannot figure out what a photon looks like and how it works, it seems I cannot go any further.  So, basically, I am waiting for an inspiration.  And "inspiration" usually comes from the subconscious.  So, while my subconscious mind is doing whatever it does, I can use my conscious mind to listen to audio books. 

Of course, that means I am concurrently absorbing the contents of three non-fiction books.  I am listening to a comedian's very funny audio book autobiography on my MP3 player while exercising at the gym (and sometimes while just laying on my couch), I am listening to a history audio book about the space program on my CD player while driving here and there around town, and I am reading a third Trump-related current affairs book on my Kindle during breakfast and lunch.  And when not doing all that, I am often at my computer trying to decide which book I should read or hear next.  Occasionally, I also ponder the idea of just sitting down and reading a paperback or hardcover novel that I have on my bookshelves.  It's been many months since I last read a novel. 

Once in a while, I also ponder the idea of reading one of my own science-fiction novels.  I finished writing the second one back on February 27, 2015, and I never really got started on the third.  So, the manuscripts are just sitting there on my desk.  The idea back then was that, in today's world, it is next to impossible to find a publisher for a novel if you haven't already had one published.  The market is flooded with popular authors who pump out a new book every year or even more often.  So, I thought it might be easier to find a publisher if I could offer them a 3-book series.  But I only have two books.  Sigh.   

I think I'm going to end this comment here and just listen to the book on my MP3 player until it is time to read the book on my Kindle during lunch, and then I'll listen to the book on my CD player while driving to the gym.

December 9, 2018
- I'm not sure if it's happening because it is getting close to Christmas, or if it is just a new trend, but I seem to be getting more scam emails and scam phone calls than I ever did in the past. 

I've been saving the scam phone call messages that they leave on my answering machine.  I've been thinking I might someday make MP3 versions of them and putting them on this web site to show people what the scams are like. (The one where the IRS threatens to send the police to arrest me in 24 hours if I don't immediately pay my tax bill is my favorite.)  The basic elements that tell me they are phone scams are that (1) they want money immediately, (2) they are threats, and (3) they are recorded messages that do not mention my name or the name of the person they are calling.  So, they are recorded threats to whoever answers the phone.  They usually also set payment deadlines a day or two in the future, which always pass without anything happening.  They may be targeting the elderly, since I read in the papers that such scams con thousands of people out of billions of dollars every year.

Last week I also received three interesting email scams.  I have about 100 filters to block such emails, but these somehow got through.  The first one was received on the 5th.  The entire content of the email is below (with my highlighting in red):


Hello,

I am a spyware software developer. Your account has been hacked by me in the summer of 2018.

I understand that it is hard to believe, but here is my evidence (I sent you this email from your account).

The hacking was carried out using a hardware vulnerability through which you went online (Cisco router, vulnerability CVE-2018-0296).

I went around the security system in the router, installed an exploit there. When you went online, my exploit downloaded my malicious code (rootkit) to your device. This is driver software, I constantly updated it, so your antivirus is silent all time.

Since then I have been following you (I can connect to your device via the VNC protocol). That is, I can see absolutely everything that you do, view and download your files and any data to yourself. I also have access to the camera on your device, and I periodically take photos and videos with you.

At the moment, I have harvested a solid dirt... on you... I saved all your email and chats from your messangers. I also saved the entire history of the sites you visit.

I note that it is useless to change the passwords. My malware update passwords from your accounts every times.

I know what you like hard funs (adult sites). Oh, yes .. I'm know your secret life, which you are hiding from everyone. Oh my God, what are your like... I saw THIS ... Oh, you dirty naughty person ... :)

I took photos and videos of your most passionate funs with adult content, and synchronized them in real time with the image of your camera. Believe it turned out very high quality!

So, to the business! I'm sure you don't want to show these files and visiting history to all your contacts.

Transfer $905 to my Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet: 1Lmk4eUXcmtVU6YQvaPJ4yihu4fEcKtkby Just copy and paste the wallet number when transferring. If you do not know how to do this - ask Google.

My system automatically recognizes the translation. As soon as the specified amount is received, all your data will be destroyed from my server, and the rootkit will be automatically removed from your system. Do not worry, I really will delete everything, since I am 'working' with many people who have fallen into your position. You will only have to inform your provider about the vulnerabilities in the router so that other hackers will not use it.

Since opening this letter you have 48 hours. If funds not will be received, after the specified time has elapsed, the disk of your device will be formatted, and from my server will automatically send email and sms to all your contacts with compromising material.

I advise you to remain prudent and not engage in nonsense (all files on my server).

Good luck!

Interestingly, last week someone who regularly reads this web site sent me a copy of a scam email he had received that involves this same type of blackmail scam.  It was a totally different message but it was about the same thing and included the same kind of threat, only his email was from a Yahoo email account in France.  Until then, I had never seen such a scam.  Now I have actually gotten one.

The email address used by the scammer who sent the above email is in the shaded box below.  Note, that he did indeed use my email address to send me the email threat. 

Email scam
                  #1

However, I have the capability of looking at the source code for the email, i.e., the email message content before it is formatted to look like an email on my computer screen.  Part of that source code is above.  (I didn't include the part that shows my email address as the "From" address because it is much further down and would involve showing all the stuff in between.)

Note that it is actually from someone with a yahoo.jp email address in Japan.  And the sender's IP address (underlined in red) belongs to a web site in Kemerovo, Russia.

Another scam email that I received two days later, on the 7th, is shown below. 

email scam
                  #1

The "from" address at boulanger.com is for a French web site.  It seems to be a legitimate web site, but I'm not certain what they sell.  The links in the text of the email go to guooogle.com web pages.  However, I cannot find such a web site by using Google.  I didn't try clicking on any of the links, of course.  

I don't have any "Google Ads" account, so it isn't much of a threat to me.

The third scam email I received last week is a real puzzle.  The body of the email definitely looks like a scam, but how did I receive it?  It isn't addressed to me!  The "To", "From" and "Cc" addresses all belong to the public school system in North Dakota.  Plus, why is it dated January 27, 2018?  Where has it been?

Email scam
                  #2
I looked at the source code for the email, and it seems to show it was sent from an IP address (104.47.40.80) that belongs to a Microsoft outlook.com location in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Here is that part of the source code:
Received-SPF: Pass (protection.outlook.com: domain of k12.nd.us designates 104.47.40.80 as permitted sender) receiver=protection.outlook.com;
 client-ip=104.47.40.80; helo=NAM03-CO1-obe.outbound.protection.outlook.com;
It's quite possible that I received it via my outlook.com email address, instead of via my newsguy.com email address.  But it's a mystery why I received it at all.  There is nothing anywhere in the email (including in the source code) that refers to any email account of mine.

If it wasn't for the bad English in the text (my "Full Names"? and why capitalize "Reply"?), I would assume it was some kind of glitch somewhere at Microsoft.  But, if it is a glitch, it is a glitch that makes me a bit worried about the whole idea of using the Internet for financial transactions.  A little research, moreover, shows that it is a well known scam.  Click HERE to read about it. 

If people can send me emails with phony return addresses and incorrect mailing dates, they could imitate the actual credit card companies I do business with. I always pay my credit card balances via the U.S. mails.  Maybe that makes me a bit "old fashioned" and "not part of today's on-line community," but so what?  It also means that it is a lot easier for me to detect and avoid a scam.


Comments for Saturday, December 1, 2018, thru Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018:

December 6, 2018 - Yesterday, after doing my morning chores, I basically just sat around reading for the rest of the day.  I read the last half and finished the Kindle book I borrowed from my local library, "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House," by Omarosa Manigault Newman. 

Unhinged

It was a very readable book, and fairly enjoyable.  It's like an adventure story, and once you get going it's hard to stop.  Omarosa Newman is a minister and was active in social causes before she became a contestant on Trump's reality TV show, The Apprentice in 2003  She remained as an assistant on the show for awhile.  Later, she became part of Trump's campaign to become President.  Then, after Trump was elected, she became an "AP," an Assistant to the President.  Early in the book she wrote, 
The Donald Trump of 2018 is not the same man he was in 2003. When I met him, many of our beliefs were aligned. He identified with Democrats and supported commonsense gun control, like banning assault weapons; legalizing marijuana; universal health care; and even a tax hike on the wealthy. He thought Hillary Clinton was a “great” senator and donated money to her campaigns and at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.   
I've never seen The Apprentice, but I have 17 pages of notes from Omarosa's  book, and this quote says something about how the show worked:
I had many famous lines to come out of the first season. For instance, I was the first person to say on a reality TV show the now-famous phrase “I’m not here to make friends.” My objective was to methodically eliminate each contestant, one by one, so why would I want an emotional attachment to any of them? How could you lobby Trump to fire your “friend” on national TV with millions of people watching?
The book is about how she slowly changed from being an admirer of Trump's, to distrusting him and everything he stands for.
Trumpworld is a cult of personality focused solely on Donald J. Trump. And Donald, like a cult leader, can spot susceptibility in people in an instant. They were fascinated by fame, power, Trump’s charisma, and would do anything to be close to Trump and win his favor. 
For years she was part of that cult and a believer.
The longer I stayed involved, the deeper my loyalty was to Donald Trump and the bigger my blind spot became. As I’ve said, he chooses people who are very loyal, who subscribe to the fame and charisma that is Donald Trump’s magnetism. And I was one of those people.
But, she also says,
In politics, your foe becomes your friend in the blink of an eye.
She explains Hilary Clinton's loss in the 2016 election in a way that I also see as the explanation for Clinton's loss:
In fact, I lay some of the blame for Hillary’s low turnout on those assurances from the media that her victory was a sure thing. Voter behavior indicates that if voters believe their candidate has it in the bag, they will not, for example, take off work to go vote and lose a day’s wages, believing their vote isn’t needed. The press actually demotivated her base. If they’d reported the truth, that the race was very close, there is no doubt in my mind that they would have turned out for her.
When Omarosa was working in the White House as Assistant to the President, she gives this description of Trump's use of Twitter:
We had an entire daily memo devoted to “Trump Tweets Alerts,” just to handle talkers on his favorite platform of all. FDR used the radio to reach the public. JFK used television. DJT uses Twitter. He’s addicted to it because he’s a narcissist, and he revels in his many million followers. The likes and retweets feed his ego. It’s the ultimate power tool for him because he controls his content. It’s not censored or even spellchecked. No one can tell him what to write or say. He can tweet about anything in the world, and does, with a rawness that is decidedly not presidential. He loved the idea that any tweet could set off a firestorm and that they allowed him to get his message directly to his base.
She also provides a lot of fascinating details about what it is like working in the White House, and she says a lot of things that agree with what I've been thinking for years, but never related them to Trump.  For example, she says,
The world has yet to learn about the extent of Donald Trump’s Diet Coke habit. He always had one in his hand, as far back as I’ve known him. He’s up to eight cans a day, at least. Eight cans a day, for the last fifteen years, is 43,800 cans of Diet Coke, poured into his system.
I've always wondered about Diet Coke addiction.  When I was running a small company, I had an employee who seemed to be a Diet Coke addict.  I definitely thought she was addicted to the caffeine in Diet Coke.  And I've seen others who seem to be in the same situation, but you cannot convince them that they are probably addicts.  Omarosa writes this about trying to warn Trump,
I researched it, and found a brand-new study by a team of neurologists from Boston University that linked Diet Coke consumption with dementia and increased risk of stroke. Dementia. Not being able to remember anything, confusion, loss of vocabulary and ability to process information. Stroke. Those awkward shaking hands, struggling to bring a bottle of water to his mouth . . . I printed out the study and put it in his stack. He never read it.
I could go on and on, but one particular comment really hit home.  It is something I have said on this website a few times, and it is something Omarosa said on the TV show "Celebrity Big Brother" after she left the White House:
“As bad as you think Trump is, you should be worried about Pence. So everyone wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider it. We would be begging for the days of Trump back if Pence became president.”
That same warning appears in the book "The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence."  I have it in my Kindle, but there are a lot of other books I think I want to read first.   

December 4, 2018
- I've been in a very interesting discussion with a guy who joined my Facebook group "Time and Time Dilation" a couple months ago.  His first name is Gary. He has some strange misunderstandings about time and time dilation, but unlike the folks on UseNet newsgroups, he seems to understand that there are things he doesn't understand.  So, it's a discussion, not an argument.

And it's a good example of why I love discussing science.  When I explain things to people, I learn things I never thought about before.  This morning there was such a situation.  Gary set up a situation where there was a mirror exactly one light year from Earth, and it somehow remains at that distance regardless of how the Earth moves.  So, if he emits a flash of light toward that mirror, it will take the light one light year to get to the mirror and one light year to get back.  So, he'll see the return flash after waiting exactly 2 light years.  So far so good.

The problem comes with sending me to that mirror at 99.995% of the speed of light, which would mean that one year for me as I travel would be 100 years for Gary back on Earth.  Gary posed this question:
Now, you board a spacecraft with the mission of collecting our mirror. You travel at 99.995% c magically collecting our mirror a little over a year later and begin the journey home arriving 2years and a month later. From my perspective. How is it that you and light are so different that I experience two years waiting for the light to return but 200 years waiting for you to return? That makes no sense. 
His misunderstanding seemed simple to clear up.  So, I tried to do so.  I responded:
You have a mirror that is one light year from Earth, which means that light emitted on Earth will take one year to get to the mirror and one year to get back. That part is okay.

However, you then have me traveling at 99.995% of the speed of light to that mirror, which means I would get there in about 3.65 DAYS, according to my clocks and my time. According to YOUR time, it would be 1 year PLUS 3.65 days. Then it would take me another 3.65 days of my time to get back, but again one year plus 3.65 days according to YOUR time. Contrary to your example, I would age just 7.3 days while making that round trip. (Every 100 days for you would be 1 day for me.) So, when I return I will be only 7.3 days older than when I left, and you would be 2 years and 7.3 days older.

I am the person traveling, so I am the one who experiences time dilation. Time slows down for me. My traveling has absolutely no effect on you.

You wrote: "How is it that you and light are so different that I experience two years waiting for the light to return but 200 years waiting for you to return? That makes no sense."

It makes "no sense" because it wouldn't happen that way. In reality, you would wait 2 years for the light to return and 2 years and 7. 3 days for me to return. I traveled just a tiny bit slower than light traveled.
I had to study that response for a long time before clocking on ENTER to post it.  I'm still not sure it is entirely correct.  If we ignore such things as acceleration to reach an extremely high speed and just assume that I can instantly begin traveling at 99.995% of the speed of light to reach the mirror and then instantly begin my return trip, does the amount of time I age equal the difference in travel time between me and light?  It took light 2 years (Earth time) to make the round trip, and it took me two years and 7.3 days (Earth time).  So, I aged only 7.3 days? 

The math works.  At the speed of light, time stops.  So light experienced no time making the round trip.  I went slower, so I experienced some passing of time.  And the amount of time I experienced is what you get when you use Einstein's equation via an on-line calculator HERE.  99.995% of the speed of light is 299777.47 kilometers per second.  When I plug 299777.47 into the calculator, it tells me that 1 second for me at that speed will be 100 seconds for a stationary observer.  And that means that 7.3 days for me at that speed will be 2 years and 7.3 days for a stationary observer.

Of course, no one on Earth is truly stationary, but the point is that the amount of time I experience is the difference between zero time experienced by light traveling at 299,792.458 kilometers per second me traveling at 299,777.47 kilometers per second.  Zero versus 7.3 days.   I've always looked at it from the view of what the stationary observers sees:  2 years (plus 7.3 days) for the twin who stays at home versus 7.3 days for the twin who does the traveling.  Seeing things from a different angle, by using the speed of light as zero, seems to make things much more clear.  It certainly says as Einstein said, it makes the imaginary aether "superfluous."  We do not need the aether to be zero in time dilation calculations, we have the speed of light as zero.

In addition, it seems to validate my rejection of spacetime.  If a photon of light leaves for that mirror in space a light year away at the same time and from the same spot where I leave, and if light travels at 299,792.458 kps while I travel at 299,777.47 kps, the light will obviously make the round trip slightly faster than I do.  So, where does "curved space" fit in the situation?  I traveled the same path that the light traveled, just a bit slower.  So, how could anyone argue that I traveled a shorter path through "curved" spacetime than someone who stayed at home on Earth?  I traveled the same path that the light photon traveled, and the person who stayed at home didn't go anywhere near where I went.  

December 3, 2018 - This morning, right on schedule, I received another order from a company that sells my books.  Since I cannot fill the order without joining a program that will cost me $99 a year, I simply filed the order away.  It's the 8th order I've received since October 15th.

Meanwhile, I did a little research about the fellow who emailed me yesterday to inform me of his article that is available on the Vida Institute web site.  It is a strange web site, evidently created by someone named John David Best.  It only contains 10 articles and 8 theories, most of them written by Mr. Best.

For some reason, I wondered if the guy who emailed me had put his papers on other, more popular web sites.  So, first I looked up his name on Google Scholar.  No hits.  Then I did a straight Google search for his name.  He has a Facebook page and is on some web sites, but the link that really caught my attention was the fact that he is mentioned on page 1133 of "The Worldwide List of Alternative Theories and Critics" By Jean de Climont.  I'd never heard of that book, and if it had over 1133 pages, I wondered if I was mentioned in it. 

I did a search for my name, and I am in it!!     I am mentioned on page 1225 of the 2419 page book.
My name
                      mentioned in a book
I'm not sure if I should be proud or offended.  Looking at the reviews for the book, I see most are from people who are proud to be mentioned in the book, but a couple are from people who feel insulted.  I did a search through the book looking for the names of a couple conspiracy theorists, and they were not mentioned.  

Evidently, I've been in the book since the 2016 edition, and "Origin: CLI" means that the author found my name mentioned somewhere, probably at the vixra.org link.  So, I guess I have no reason to be proud or offended.  I just feel it is strange to find myself mentioned in a book I never heard of.  

A little additional research finds the entire book is on-line HERE, and I'm unable to find any place that actually sells the book in paper or ebook form.

December 2, 2018
- There are just too many interesting things going on in the world!  It's difficult to focus!  It's a "problem," but it's a problem that I am glad I have.  It only bothers me when it conflicts with something I need to do.

For the past few days I kept wanting to write a comment for this web site, but I kept getting distracted.  And I couldn't write a comment about what was distracting me, since I didn't know how to make it interesting.

It wasn't particularly interesting to dig through patents for radar guns to see if any of the patents describe the physics of how a radar gun works.  None did.  The patents were just about new kinds of circuitry or added gadgets, and they described the guns as emitting "waves" which were "reflected" off of the target.  We know that light consists of "photons" that are absorbed by atoms in the target and then emitted as new "photons."  So, there are no "waves" and nothing gets "reflected."        


Then I started researching polarized light.  I decided to look at some videos that show how polarized lenses work.  They confirmed something I already knew: Light photons oscillate up and down or side to side, and they also oscillate in every direction in between.  So, when light passes through a polarized lens, the lens doesn't just allow though light that oscillates up and down at exactly 360 and 180 degrees as shown in the illustration below.

polarized light

Photons are very small compared to the size of the slits in the filter, so the filter also allows light photons through that oscillate at angles to either side of 360 and 180 degrees.  Such a range is shown by the red lines in the image below, but in reality it would also be all the angles in between the red lines and angles shown.
Angles for
                  oscillating polarized light
This means that when you line up two lenses that have vertical polarity, you can rotate one of the two lenses and the light getting through will get dimmer and dimmer, until no light gets through at all.  When I was in the Air Force I once had the opportunity to try on some glasses that did exactly that.  There was a little knob between the lenses and above the nose hole that you could turn to dim the amount of light that got through.  

So, what does this mean?  It means that if you were only able to see photons that move straight up and down, you wouldn't be able to watch 3D movies because the light would be too dim.  Not enough photons would be able to get through.  Plus, if you tilted your head to one side at the slightest angle, you wouldn't be able to see the movie at all.

While I was thinking about this, someone posted two comments to my Facebook page about Time and Time Dilation.  I saw the comments while doing my morning routine today.  It was the first time anyone had posted a comment to me on my forum in months.  And the subject was how photons work.  So, I was all set to write answers, which I did.  And then, later in the morning while I was writing this comment, someone else posted a question about all observers measuring light to travel at c, regardless of their motion toward or away from the source.  He asked where that theory came from.  Good question.  It certainly didn't come from Einstein.  I have a paper on that subject.  I'll respond as soon as I finish this comment.

Maybe something will be asked or said that will help me focus on some specific scientific issue instead of just blundering around looking to better understand how photons work and what they look like.  I created that forum to discuss science, but it's been years since I had an actual scientific discussion there.

Hmm.  When I finished writing and posting the above comment, I then checked my newsguy.com email in-box.  I found a message waiting there about a web site where scientific subjects are discussed - a site I had never heard of before.  It's called Vida Institute.  The guy who wrote the email has a paper there about "Timeflow Theory."  I'm not sure how I will respond, but it definitely makes me wonder what generated all this activity, first to my Facebook page and then via an email.  I can only guess that there has been some word of mouth going on about my scientific papers.  I'll try to find out.   









© 2018 by Ed Lake
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