Archive for
September 2021

Comments for Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, thru Thurs., Sept. 30, 2021:

September 29, 2021 -  I got my Covid-19 Pfizer booster shot yesterday afternoon.  On TV they say there's a high demand for the shot, but that certainly doesn't seem to be the case where I've been.  When I was in WalMart on Sunday, they announced over the public address system that they were giving Covid shots.  I checked where they were doing it, and there was no one waiting.  I didn't get mine there because I'd just gotten a flu shot in my left arm and shingles shot in my right arm a few days before.  So, yesterday I got the booster shot at the city's main vaccination center, which is next door to my gym.  No waiting.  Except for the 8 nurses, I only saw six other people in the place while I was there, including during the 15 minute wait period after you get the shot.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to find the exact source for this Einstein quote:
Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.
As I stated a couple days ago, it is supposedly quoted in the book Albert Einstein, Philosopher-Scientist, by Paul A. Schilpp.  I've been going through my 800 page pdf copy of that book, page by page, looking for the quote.  I'm finding a lot of very interesting stuff that I'm going to have to go back and read more carefully, but I still haven't found that quote.  I see a lot of instances where Einstein is complaining that mathematicians make things much more complicated than they need to be.  If I can find that specific quote, I think I can supplement it with a lot of related quotes.    

September 27, 2021
Whew!  I just hauled 8 more bags of books to Goodwill. I wasn't sure if I should transport them into my car before going to the gym or afterward.  I ended up doing it afterward.  Counter-intuitively, exercising at the gym seems to pump me full of energy, maybe because it gets the heart to pump faster for awhile.  So, it was no real problem to haul the 8 bags - two at a time - from my 2nd floor apartment down to the back door of the building, then haul them from the back door out to my car.  And, when I got to Goodwill, the only guy tending the donations door was busy with someone else, so I also took them from my car and walked about 2 paces to put them in a wheeled bin.

I really wonder what they think about getting about a hundred books on writing and screenwriting.  I also have to wonder how I ended up with a hundred books on writing and screenwriting.  I guess I just hoped that one of them would have the "secret" that would allow me to sell something.

Meanwhile, I actually worked on my newest book a bit today.  I changed the title.  The title was "Logical Relativity."  Now it is more like the title of a science fiction thriller.  I don't want to mention the title here just yet, since I might change it again.  I didn't get very far in the book because I needed to find the exact source for this Einstein quote:
Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.
It is supposedly quoted in the 1949 book Albert Einstein, Philosopher-Scientist, by Paul A. Schilpp.  I have an 800-page pdf copy, and I just need to find the page number and verify it.  Unfortunately, the pdf is not "computer searchable," which means I have to go through it page by page to see if I can find the quote.  
September 26, 2021
-  Rachel Maddow talked about Dr. Steven Hatfill on her show the other day.  Someone sent me an email about it, and I located the transcript of the show.  I only remembered Dr. Hatfill as someone who was falsely accused of sending the anthrax letters in 2001.  When I checked page 141 of my own book about the mailings, however, I found that, in addition to being a virologist, Hatfill was also a Right Winger.  That is evidently how, in February 2020, he became an advisor to the Trump administration on how to handle the Covid crisis.  Here is part of the transcript:
This is an email from Dr. Stephen Hatfill to Peter Navarro dated May of last year, so right before Memorial Day. He writes, quote: I`ve been working on tracking down some Israeli data indicating that this coronavirus thing may have now essentially run its eight-week course in most of the United States. Genetic bottlenecking of the virus may be underway now.

Again, that`s May 2020, Dr. Hatfill advising the White House COVID response, even though nobody knows that he is, telling his White House supervisor, ah, this whole thing is almost over looks like we`re about to be done.

In another email that same month, Dr. Hatfill forwards Peter Navarro at the White House headlines from a yet to be released study on hydroxychloroquine, a study that had not come out yet, a study Dr. Hatfill said would prove once and for all that hydroxychloroquine will greatly improve survival for COVID patients.

Look how he ends his e-mail, quote, if Fauci and Steven Hahn, head of the FDA, had done their jobs, 30,000 less people would have died. They have blood on their hands. What he means there is 30,000 Americans died because Dr. Fauci and Dr. Hahn didn`t support the widespread of hydroxychloroquine, which is the solution to COVID crisis in America.
That makes me wonder if Right Wingers who refuse to get vaccinated for Covid and who refuse to wear masks would take hydroxychloroquine if it was available.  Fortunately, we'll probably never know.

Meanwhile, I received a response to an email I sent to the only used-book store within 30 miles of where I live.  (I remember when there was a used-book store just down the street to the east of where I live, and another to the north.)  I sent them an email about wanting to sell over 500 books from my library, including a set of 37 Time-Life books about WWII.  I included 3 pictures of books on my bookshelves.  Here's the Time-Life pic:

part of my library

Their response was:
I have most of those books and a few sets of the T-L WWII. So i think I will pass.
Groan.  It appears that the supply of used books far exceeds the demand.  So, I'm going to give most of my collection to Goodwill, and I may give some of it to my local public library - the Time-Life WWII series being one example.  I also have an 8½ pound copy of The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War that I'll give to the library.  And maybe my copy of the 1922 Montgomery Ward catalogue.  And The Times Atlas of China.   

I've started putting books into plastic bags to take to Goodwill, maybe 10 or 12 books per bag.  I began with my books about writing, particularly screenwriting.  Then I discovered that there were more books behind some of the books that you can see on the shelves.  Some of them were screenplays in book form, including the screenplay for the 1952 movie Macao, a movie I've probably seen a dozen times. Here are the back and front covers: 

Macao screenplay

I set that one aside.  I'm not ready to get rid of it just yet.

Yesterday afternoon, I took 6 bags of books to Goodwill.  I wonder what they'll think when the open the bags and find that nearly every book is about writing and screenwriting.

A new question:  I also have to remove the pieces of paper I used as bookmarks.  One book had an IBM card as a bookmark.  Is that a "collectors item?"  And how about a book of coupons from the Super-8 motel in Dubuque, Iowa?  There are no expiration dates on the coupons.  I think I stayed in that motel in September of 1992 when I visited a few riverboat casinos on the Mississippi.

Comments for Sunday, September 19, 2021, thru Sat., Sept. 25, 2021:

September 23, 2021 -  I'm still getting a lot of responses to the threads I started on the Science Fiction Facebook groupThe thread I started about the TV series "Lexx" now has 310 comments and 323 "likes" "loves" and "hahas."  Compare that to the thread I started about the sci-fi novel "FastForward" which has a total of 12 comments and 12 "likes" and "loves."   I must really have hit some kind of pocket of interest with the "Lexx" post.

But, at the same time, I've somewhat lost interest in posting there.  Maybe it's because I did the best ones I could think of to start, and I cannot think of any further posts that seem worthwhile.

I keep thinking I should get back to work on my book about "Logical Relativity," which I am thinking of re-titling to "Einstein vs Mathematicians."  That new title seems to hit the nail on the head.  Arguments with mathematicians is a factor in just about every science paper I've written, and it really makes me want to work on the book.  I think that new title would also create more interest, and it gives me a place to start.

But, at the same time I have some personal matters that I need to deal with.  I need to get rid of most of my library of hardcover and paperback books. They just take up too much space, space that I need for other things.  So, I'm going to try to sell about 500 books.  I could just give them to Goodwill, but first I need to find out how much they are worth.  Plus, there are no longer any used-book stores in my town, so I've sent an email to a store in Milwaukee to see what they might suggest.  Things are a bit more complicated because I live in a second floor apartment, with no elevator.  I'm not sure how much 500 books weigh, but it has to be at least half a ton.  And then there is all the decision making: Do I want to include my 25 Charlie Brown cartoon books in the sale?  And could some of my books be "collectors items"?  I see I have a copy of "Screening Space" by Vivian Sobchack.  I underlined passages in the first part of the book, and there's a bookmark which indicates I stopped reading it on page 88.

screening space

That looks like a book they'd want to discuss on the Science Fiction Facebook forum.   Maybe I'll start a thread about it.  And maybe I'll just sit down and start reading it again.

Maybe I have a case of "writer's block."  I seem to be hunting for things to do instead of sitting down and writing a book.

September 20, 2021
-  As I stated in previous comments, I need to promote my sci-fi novel Time Work if I want people to buy it. One way of doing that is to mention it on the Science Fiction Facebook group, which has 70,910 members.  But before they'll let you promote your own book on that forum, you first must start either 25 or 50 threads about other topics.  (I can't find the message which informed me of that, so I'm not sure what the exact number is.)

Anyway, yesterday I started a thread about the Canadian TV series from 1996 titled "Lexx," stating that I thought it was the worst TV series I ever paid good money to watch on DVD.  To my surprise, the thread really took off, getting about 120 posts in the first three hours, plus lots of "likes" and "hahas."  As of this moment, the thread contains 253 comments and 258 "likes" and "hahas."  (I think a "haha" might be the opposite of a "like," since there is no available emoji for "dislike," and the "angry" and "sad" emojis don't really imply "dislike.")  The comments are mostly from people who either agree with me or disagree.  About 15% are from people who never heard of the series.

This morning I tried starting another thread.  I used this image:


I'm still waiting to see if it gets approved.  The post about Lexx got approved in less than a minute.  It's been over an hour since I tried the new one.  

In a day or two I'll start another thread about the sci-fi novel FlashForward, which I wrote about here on July 30.  I hope I only have to do 25.  I don't know if I can do 50.  I need to find that message which informed me of the limit.  But I'm not sure how to do that, since it was probably via Facebook in some way.

September 19, 2021
-  The arguments on
the sci.physics.relativity forum finally faded away.  All it took was for me to stop responding to their attacks.  At the moment, I do not foresee any further arguments on that forum.  I don't have any more science papers in the works, and I'm not sure whether or not I can gather enough will-power together to convert my existing papers into a book.

I had been thinking about writing a paper where I convert Einstein's 1905 Special Relativity paper into plain English, but it would definitely be a lot of work, and I'm not sure it's worth the effort.  The same with a paper about using a pulsar to as a clock to measure time dilation.  I think that is a terrific idea, but when I discussed it on the sci.physics.relativity forum they just endlessly argued about how you cannot move at a right angle to a pulsar because there can be no such right angle, since the movement would either be a tiny part of a circle around the pulsar or a straight line away from that circle.  I did write a paper about it back in 2015, but it's now buried under revisions that turned into different papers.

So, if I'm not going to write a paper or a book, what should I do next - other than reading books and listening to podcasts?  I don't have any other major mysteries to analyze and solve.

I should probably try to promote my sci-fi novel Time Work.  But I have to do that without spending any money, otherwise I'd probably spend more than I'd earn in sales.  I can mention it on the Science Fiction Facebook group, but only after I start 25 (or is it 50?) discussion threads about other topics.  I think I've started only a half dozen or so in the past 7 months.  I've been too busy with my science papers.  But, a couple days ago I did start a new thread using this image: 

guest stars

A lot of people knew the answer, and a lot of people "liked" my post.  I can probably come up with a couple dozen more "discussion starters" like that if I put my mind to it.  Then I'd be able to discuss and promote my book.

I also need to get on Amazon and change the description for Time Work.  For some forgotten reason I just provided two sentences:
Time travel may not let you change the past, but it can be a handy tool if you want to change the future.

Time Work is a science-fiction novel about a unique form of time travel.
The book is about a lot more than that.  It's about a planned right wing attack on Washington, D.C. that three people have to stop without letting anyone know how they know so much about the planned attack.  The main character is the President's brother, and the other two are scientists who have built a very unique kind of time machine.  The time machine utilizes "anti-time" which allows you to travel back in time one second per second.  In other words, it takes you an hour of your time to go back in time one hour.  And, of course, it is impossible to change anything in the past.  You cannot even bend a blade of grass.  So, walking on grass while in anti-time is like walking on ice picks. 

I wrote the book in 2014, so it somewhat predicted the Right Wing "insurrection" on January 6, 2021.  When I self-published it in February of this year, I only had to add a few sentences to mention Trump and the January 6 events.  It was those events that prompted me to finally self-publish it. 

I'd been wondering whether or  not yesterday's Right Wing "rally" would be another conflict, but it evidently turned out to be nothing, just a small bunch of people standing around.  There were more police than attendees, which is a good thing, I suppose.  It means there's no need for me to revise Time Work once again.  So, I can focus on other things .... but what?

Comments for Sunday, September 12, 2021, thru Sat., Sept. 18, 2021:

September 16, 2021 -  The arguments on the sci.physics.relativity forum continue to rage.  But mostly they are now about Relativity once again, instead of the Double-Slit experiment.  One guy continues to try to argue about the Double-Slit experiment, but all he does is recite memorized dogma, so I'm just going to ignore him.  The Relativity arguments, however, are fascinating.

Mostly they are about whether or not photons oscillate.  They all claim that photons do NOT oscillate.  My argument is that they MUST oscillate, otherwise radar guns wouldn't work, and I've explained in detail how radar guns work. 

In one argument where the oscillation frequency was the key point, I cited a half dozen on-line sources which discussed the oscillation frequency of photons.  The counter-argument from "Odds Bodkin" was that on-line sources are worthless and just contain crap.

I then showed him that the on-line sources I had used belonged to the University of California - Davis, The University of Colorado in Bolder, The University of Calgary, Ontario, and the Institute of Physics, which is "a UK-based learned society and professional body that works to advance physics education, research and application. It was founded in 1874 and has a worldwide membership of over 20,000." 

Odds Bodkin's response began with this:

And again, I want to reiterate that just because it is an academic
institution hosting the website does NOT mean that the content is written by a professional physicist.
and he continued with more reasons why college web sites can contain what "Odds Bodkin" believes is total crap.

In another argument with Michael Moroney, I had stated:
Photons MUST oscillate BECAUSE they cannot have a "frequency" or a "wavelength" if they do not oscillate.
To which Moroney responded:
But the received frequency depends on the relative motion of the target (Doppler effect). Also, photons move at c, meaning their time dilation is infinite, they don't even experience time (zero time experienced from source to target) so they simply CAN'T oscillate!
Ah!  At last!!  Instead of just endlessly making claims, he finally explained the reasoning behind his claim.  He believes photons cannot oscillate because oscillation involves time, and photons do not experience time.  I quickly wrote this response:
Hmm. That's an interesting belief. Obviously it is not true, since radar guns demonstrate that photons DO oscillate.

The belief seems to be that photons cannot oscillate because time stops when traveling at the speed of light, therefore nothing can CHANGE while traveling at the speed of light. CHANGES INVOLVE TIME.

A photon's fields oscillate up and down while moving. They cannot oscillate forward and back, since going forward would mean going faster than the speed of light. Going up and down, however, has no effect on the speed of the photon or the speed of light.

A photon travels at the speed of light. It cannot travel slower or faster. It experiences no "time" and can travel forever. The up and down motion of its fields have no effect on its speed.

A photon does NOT EXPERIENCE TIME, therefore its oscillations DO NOT INVOLVE TIME. All photons travel at c regardless of their oscillation rates. ONLY photons can travel at c. Therefore, the rules that apply to ordinary matter do not apply to photons.

There might be some better way to explain it, but I'll have to see what the arguments are first.
I really enjoy arguing with these guys when they try to explain their beliefs.  I can be extremely tedious, however, when they just recite their dogma claims.  

September 15, 2021
Hmm.  The arguments on
the sci.physics.relativity forum are still raging, even though I've deleted my paper The Double-Slit Experiment Demystified from both and  But, I think the only reason the arguments continue is because I keep replying to their arguments.  The only way to stop the discussion is for me to drop out.  It certainly won't end by one side finally agreeing with the other side.  If I drop out, they'll argue with one another for a few days and then move on to argue in some other thread.

I'm still kicking myself for putting that paper on-line in the first place.  I guess I just became so sick and tired of revising it that I thought that putting it on-line might end the revising.  It did.  At the moment, I have absolutely no interest in revising the paper to include the key issue I omitted: the fact that the stripes on the screen appear even when photons are sent through the slits one at a time.

Meanwhile, as I was doing some grocery shopping this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #9 in the 9 CD audio book version of "Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter," by Tom Clavin.   

Wild Bill

It was a fairly interesting book.  What probably struck me the most was that the book isn't just about Wild Bill Hickok, it's about dozens of other personalities who lived during that same time and who encountered Wild Bill in one way or another, from Buffalo Bill Cody to Calamity Jane, from General Armstrong Custer to Agnes Lake (no relation) who ran a traveling circus.  The book really gives you the sense of what the wild west was like and what people are like when there is no law around to keep them from simply killing one another. 

September 14, 2021
Damn!!!!  I screwed up!  I shouldn't have put my latest paper The Double-Slit Experiment Demystified on-line. 
This morning I deleted it from  I'm not sure if I can delete it from or not.  Or maybe I should just leave it there until I can replace it with a paper maybe titled Demystifying the Double-Slit Experiment. The original title says the mystery has been solved, the new title just says there are ways to solve the mystery.

I neglected to include in the paper the experiments where one photon at a time was sent through the experiment, and the "interference pattern" still appears on the wall.  I don't have an answer for that.  All I have are questions:  What happens to the energy of the photons that do not make it through the slits?  If that energy is absorbed by the experiment equipment, can it still have an effect on the experiment?  Does light go around the divider between the slits, or does the divider absorb the photons that hit it?  I don't see answers anywhere.

But, I've also lost the energy I need to do another overhaul of the paper.  I may get some energy back by arguing with people on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  Time will tell.  The arguments this morning have been VERY invigorating.    

September 13, 2021
-  There was an email in my inbox this morning advising me that, as of about 9 pm last night, my newest science paper "The Double-Slit Experiment Demystified" is available for viewing on  When I checked it, I found that, as usual, even though there were no official reads for the paper so far, that person who calls himself "Mikko" had posted a lengthy comment about it.  His complaint is that I don't explain anything
As I see it, the paper is 13 pages of explanations about how light works.

Anyway, as soon as I confirmed that the paper was on, I also uploaded it to  And I just started a discussion thread about it on the sci.physics.relativity forum.

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon I finished reading a book titled "Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar ...: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes" by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. 

Plato and a platypus walk into a bar

It was a fairly short book, only 215 pages in paperback, but lots of those pages just contain a single cartoon or a single short paragraph.  And I have to admit that a lot of times I just skimmed though the text to get to  the next joke.  Some of them are hilarious.  Here are a couple short ones:

From Page 87:
A man wrote a letter to the IRS saying, “I have been unable to sleep knowing that I have cheated on my income tax. I have understated my taxable income and have enclosed a check for $150. If I still can’t sleep, I will send the rest.”
From Page 177:
Pat: Mike, I’m calling you from the freeway on my new cell phone.
Mike: Be careful, Pat. They just said on the radio that there’s a nut driving the wrong way on the freeway.
Pat: One nut? Hell, there are hundreds of them!
And here's a relatively long one from Page 179:
     The lookout on a battleship spies a light ahead off the starboard bow. The captain tells him to signal the other vessel, “Advise you change course twenty degrees immediately!”
     The answer comes back, “Advise you change course twenty degrees immediately!”
     The captain is furious. He signals, “I am a captain. We are on a collision course. Alter your course twenty degrees now!”
     The answer comes back, “I am a seaman second class, and I strongly urge you to alter your course twenty degrees.”
     Now the captain is beside himself with rage. He signals, “I am a battleship!”
     The answer comes back, “I am a lighthouse.”
There are a lot more that I'd like to quote, but I'll just end this comment with a bit of philosophy from page 27 that wasn't presented as a joke:
Without logic, reason is useless. With it, you can win arguments and alienate multitudes.
September 12, 2021 -  My new science paper "The Double-Slit Experiment Demystified" is ready for uploading to the Internet.  Later today I'll submit it to  It should be on-line there sometime tomorrow morning.  Then I'll also put it on  The date on the paper is September 13, 2021.

I've probably modified it forty or fifty times in the past few days, since every time I read it I find something that can be improved upon.  And, each morning when I awake, I also realize there is something else that needs to be corrected or improved upon.

I also came to realize the reason it took me over 4 years to finish the paper: It has nothing to do with Special Relativity.  My main focus for the past 6 years has been on Special Relativity, all as the result of a single question: Why does it seem that no two college physics textbooks contain the same version of Einstein's Second Postulate, and very few contain the correct version?

Now my biggest concern is that the fundamental idea behind my paper about the Double-Slit experiment is rarely mentioned in any college physics textbook I can find.  That idea is that the slits polarize the photons as they pass through.  However, in order to visualize that process correctly, you need to visualize light as photons, not as waves.  Very few textbooks view the experiment that way.
Picking a few textbooks at random, t
he 9th edition of College Physics by Serway and Vuille has this on page 762:
The first clear demonstration of the wave nature of light was provided in 1801 by Thomas Young (1773–1829), who showed that under appropriate conditions, light exhibits interference behavior. Light waves emitted by a single source and traveling along two different paths can arrive at some point and combine and cancel each other by destructive interference.
And on page 843 it has "A schematic diagram of a polarized electromagnetic wave propagating in the x-direction" that looks similar to this:


and on page 762 there is also this:
In 1905, Einstein published a paper that formulated the theory of light quanta (“particles”) and explained the photoelectric effect. He reached the conclusion that light was composed of corpuscles, or discontinuous quanta of energy. These corpuscles or quanta are now called photons to emphasize their particle-like nature.

So in the final analysis, is light a wave or a particle? The answer is neither and both: light has a number of physical properties, some associated with waves and others with particles.
The 10th edition of Fundamentals of Physics by Jearl Walker has this on page 1054:
In 1801, Thomas Young experimentally proved that light is a wave, contrary to what most other scientists then thought. He did so by demonstrating that light undergoes interference, as do water waves, sound waves, and waves of all other types.
And this on page 986:
The electromagnetic waves emitted by a television station all have the same polarization, but the electromagnetic waves emitted by any common source of light (such as the Sun or a bulb) are polarized randomly, or unpolarized (the two terms mean the same thing).
And this on page 1154:
          In 1905, Einstein proposed that electromagnetic radiation (or simply light) is quantized and exists in elementary amounts (quanta) that we now call photons.  This proposal should seem strange to you because we have just spent several chapters discussing the classical idea that light is a sinusoidal wave ...
          The concept of a light quantum, or a photon, turns out to be far more subtle and mysterious than Einstein imagined. Indeed, it is still very poorly understood.

The 3rd edition of College Physics – A Strategic Approach by Knight, Jones and Field, has this on page 540:
Such a double-slit experiment was first performed by Thomas Young in 1801, using sunlight instead of a laser beam. It provided the first definitive evidence that light is a wave.
and this on page 821:
Unpolarized light consists of waves polarized in all possible directions.
However, it uses the term "photon" hundreds of times and has this on page 915:
The idea that light is quantized is now widely understood and accepted. But at the time of Einstein's paper, it was a truly revolutionary idea. Though we have used the photon model before, it is worthwhile to look at the theoretical underpinnings in more detail. In his 1905 paper, Einstein framed three postulates about light quanta and their interaction with matter:

1. Light of frequency f consists of discrete quanta, each of energy E = hf.  Each photon travels at the speed of light c.

2. Light quanta are emitted or absorbed on an all-or-nothing basis. A substance can emit l or 2 or 3 quanta, but not 1.5. Similarly, an electron in a metal cannot absorb half a quantum but only an integer number.

3. A light quantum, when absorbed by a metal, delivers its entire energy to one electron.
Another textbook, The Fascination of Physics by Jacqueline D. Spears & Dean Zollman contains a quote on page 400 that seems to explain everything.  It says,
While controversy is a common occurrence, physicists expect to be able to design experiments that can differentiate one model from another - to decide whether light is a wave or a particle. Conflicts are resolved so that one model replaces another. For the first time, conflicting models could not be resolved. When physicists performed diffraction and interference experiments, light behaved like a wave. When they performed experiments on the photoelectric effect, light behaved like a particle. What was worse was that electrons behaved in much the same way.
So, the problem is mathematical "models."  No single mathematical model can explain both wave properties and particle properties of light. Therefore, mathematicians just live with the problem instead of looking at things logically.

Hmm.  I just found that quote yesterday afternoon.  So, I had to go back and modify my paper once again to mention it. 

When I mention my new paper on the sci.physics.relativity forum tomorrow, the people there will be able to cite plenty of textbooks which say I am wrong.  But solid facts and a few college textbooks state that light consists of photons, NOT waves.  As with Einstein's Second Postulate, it is just more common to find an incorrect version in a college textbook than a correct version.  And as my paper shows, when you view light as photons you get a totally different view of Thomas Young's Double-slit experiment that is incredibly simple and explains things which mathematicians inexplicably claim are "unsolved mysteries."

Comments for Sunday, September 5, 2021, thru Sat., Sept. 11, 2021:

September 9, 2021 -  Yesterday afternoon, I finished the first draft of my new science paper titled "The Double-Slit Experiment Demystified."  This morning I finished the second draft.  It's 13 pages long, including one page of references.  I've been working on it constantly for the past week.

The paper
seems very straight-forward to me.  Photons are polarized when they go through the first slit, and further polarized when going through the double slits.  When the two beams of polarized light are merged after going through the double-slits, they form "sheets" of photons, separated by their electric or magnetic fields.  And when those "sheets" hit a screen or wall, they will appear as stripes. 

The key seems to be that this also creates a way to turn off the stripes.  All you have to do is cause the light going through the two slits to be polarized in opposing directions, one vertically and the other horizontally.  Then the photons will not create stripes when merged.  Instead they will remain as disorganized as ordinary light.  This was observed by Augustin-Jean Fresnel and François Arago shortly after Thomas Young presented his papers in 1803 and 1807, but for some reason their findings are rarely mentioned in textbooks.  Instead, the "mystery" created by Thomas Young is perpetuated.

I'm going to go through the paper a few more times to see if there are more improvements I can make, and I plan to put it on-line on both and on Monday, September 13.  Once it is on-line, I'll start a discussion thread about it on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  I have no doubt that they will attack it and hurl insults at me, but I want to see how they attack it. What will their arguments be?  Many will undoubtedly just proclaim that it is "wrong" without explaining where and how it is wrong, but there might be some who will present their claims as to how it is wrong.  I just cannot imagine what those claims might be, since it all seems to simple and straightforward that there doesn't seem to be any cause for argument.

But some people will find cause for argument about anything and everything.

September 6, 2021
- Hmm.  Even though it is Labor Day, my gym is open, so I headed there after lunch.  When I opened the door to my apartment, I found some mail laying in front of my door.  Evidently the mailman had placed it in the wrong mailbox and whoever owned that box put it in front of my door.

I didn't look at the mail until I got back home, and then I was surprised to see a "Notice of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case" document in one of the letters.  The company that had filed for bankruptcy in Cheyenne, Wyoming, was Really Good Media LLC.  But they sometimes use another name: Newsguy.  And the address of the company is in Windham, Maine.

So, that's the explanation for why my junk email account is off-line.   It had nothing to do with the fact that the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed over Windham, Maine, at about the same time that my email account went off-line.

That means I'm going to have to replace the email address at the top of this web site with another address.  I just need to decide if I want to use the email address I use on my science papers, or if I should get a new email address just for my junk mail.  That seems like a better idea.

A lot of the junk mail I was getting was from newspapers that I dealt with when I was working on the anthrax case.  A lot more was from stores who asked for my email address for one reason or another.  When I start a new account it will be starting from scratch on junk mail.  None of those places will know my new email address.  That's good, except for the fact that some of the newspapers sometimes sent interesting emails about news stories.

September 5, 2021
-  I've been trying to work on a paper titled "The Double-Slit Experiment Demystified," b
ut I keep stumbling over new mysteries.  And I also keep encountering mind-boggling questions that people should have been able to answer two hundred years ago.  Here's a basic illustration of the experiment where light first goes through one slit, then through two slits, and then forms a striped "interference pattern" on a screen or wall:

double slit experiment

Question: How do we know that a striped pattern appears on the screen or wall? 

The obvious answer is: Because we can see it.  There must be some way to look into the experiment from some point on one side in order to see the pattern on the screen. But that should immediately pose another question: If we can see it, doesn't that mean that light "waves" also travel from the screen to our eyes, and those waves must have gone through the waves traveling from the double-slit barrier to the screen?  Why didn't the waves traveling from the screen to my eye interfere with the waves going from the double slits to the screen?

The obvious answer is: Because light consists of photons NOT waves.  There is no problem with photons passing between each other when going in different directions.  The best illustration of that is the pinhole lens or camera.
pinhole camera
In order to see what appears on the wall inside the box, there must be someone inside the box or some means to look though a second hole in the box to see what is visible on the inside wall.  And how would waves go through the pinhole and create an upside down and reversed image on the wall?  People have studied pinhole lenses for nearly 2,000 years.

Things get even more mysterious and confusing when my research indicated that Thomas Young may never have actually performed a "Double-Slit Experiment."  According to page 123 of Andrew Robinson's biography of Thomas Young, "The Last Man Who Knew Everything":
It appears definitive—and 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.
Additionally, the experiment that Young did describe in detail with numerical data is almost never mentioned by physicists.  It was a "pinhole" experiment that Young described in the paper he read before the Royal Society on November 24, 1803.  It involved sunlight reflected off of a mirror and directed toward a pinhole in a screen behind which was a darkened room.  Below is an illustration I created to show how that experiment worked.
Thomas Young's First light experiment

Thomas Young wrote:
"I brought into the sunbeam a slip of card, about one-thirtieth of an inch in breadth, and observed its shadow, either on the wall, or on other cards held at different distances. Besides the fringes of colours on each side of the shadow, the shadow itself was divided by similar parallel fringes, of smaller dimensions, differing in number, according to the distance at which the shadow was observed, but leaving the middle of the shadow always white."
This experiment does most (or all) of what the Double-Slit experiment does, only there are no "slits" in this experiment, there is just a beam of light moving past and around a thin card placed edgewise into light coming from a pinhole.  Plus, the light is sunlight, not laser light of a specific frequency, and the experiment is performed in air, not in a vacuum.  Nevertheless, the result is very similar to what is seen in the Double-Slit experiment.  There are multiple bright lines on the wall which indicate that light somehow goes around the card as visualized in the illustration below.
Thomas Young's card experiment

Since light consists of photons, not waves, the photons that do not actually hit the leading edge of the card somehow move around the card and enter what should be the solid shadow of the card.  And it appears that the photons that pass closest to the card change their trajectory the most when those photons pass the far end of the card.  The result is a series of white stripes on the wall with dark stripes in between.  In other words, the result is just like the Double-Slit experiment but without any slits.  And when Young blocked the light from going around one side of the card (similar to blocking light from one slit),
"all the fringes which had before been observed in the shadow on the wall immediately disappeared, although the light inflected on the other side was allowed to retain its course, and although this light must have undergone any modification that the proximity of the other edge of the slip of card might have been capable of occasioning."
Unfortunately, Young evidently didn't produce any illustrations to show what the patterns on the wall looked like when light could go around the card from both sides, versus what the pattern looked like when light going around one side was blocked.  But it is clearly described as being similar, if not identical, to the Double-Slit experiment.  And Young makes a point that anyone can perform this experiment. 

Logically, the photons must somehow interact with atoms in the card, not with each other.  There is no "interference," there is just "diffraction" like that created by a prism.  The closer the photon is to the surface of the card, the greater the degree of refraction (which is defined as "the change in direction of a wave passing from one medium to another caused by its change in speed").  What "medium" is there around the card?  At the moment, I'm not willing to speculate. 

What I've written above seems more than enough to create a science paper, even though it lacks "conclusions."  Why do photons move around the far edge of the card and into what should be a solid shadow?  Young explained it was similar to water or sound waves moving around an object, and he also believed that light waves traveled though an ether.  He was obviously wrong, and so are all the mathematicians who argue that a light "wave" must get divided by the card and then interfere with itself when the wave comes together again at the far end of the card.  Whatever the right answer is, it would not be believed by mathematicians who are totally certain that "a wave will interfere with itself."  And I am not absolutely certain about what causes the photons to change their direction of travel.   So, h
ow can I counter their arguments when their arguments will just be memorized dogma and mathematical equations?

Comments for Wednesday, September 1, 2021, thru Sat., Sept. 4, 2021:

September 4, 2021
- Hmm.  As of yesterday morning, the web site that handles most of my junk mail seems to have ceased to exist.  It's the email address that I show at the top of this web site - detect at newsguy dot com.  According to a source HERE, Newsguy is located in Windham, Maine.  That source shows a phone number.  I dialed that number and got a message that the number has either been disconnected or is out of service.  I also tried to send myself an email at that address and I was informed that the address does not exist.

I suppose it could have something to do with hurricane Ida.  A news report HERE from a couple days ago indicates the remains of Hurricane Ida were forecasted to go right over Windham, Maine.

And I suppose there are worse things that can happen than having the email account that receives 99% of my junk mail go down.

September 1, 2021
-  I've ended the latest round of discussions and arguments I was having on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  They were becoming totally non-productive.  But the main reason I ended the discussion was because I had located a paper I was working on in 2017 and 2018 that I never finished.  Version #1 of the paper is dated July 5, 2017 and is titled "The Double-Slit Experiment Demystified."  The latest version, which appears to be version #7, is dated December 17, 2018, and is titled "What is a Photon?"  I'd filed them and the dozens of illustrations in a folder titled "Wave-vs-Particle," which is what caused it to be hard to locate.

The paper contains the results of lots of research I had done, much of which I'll probably have to do over again.  Looking the paper over, there are some things in it that I now totally disagree with.  That may be why I abandoned the paper.  I was finding that too much of what I thought to be correct was actually wrong.  So, I would stop working on the Double-Slit paper and I would instead would work on a different paper that explained the specific scientific idea that I had learned to be correct.

The more I study that paper from 2018, the more it looks like I'm going to have to start the whole thing over from scratch.  Groan!  That could mean that I'll end up dropping the whole idea and just read a book or listen to some podcasts instead.

© 2021 by Ed Lake