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Economics, politics, science, archaeology. Page uploaded 27 November 2004

 



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The Nature of Light

 

A Unified Theory of Rotating Electromagnetic Dipoles

 

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by A. C. Sturt

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

1. Introduction

2. Current Views on the Nature of Light

3. A Theory of Rotating Electromagnetic Dipoles

4. A Deflection Mechanism

5. The Bending of Light around Corners

6. Phasing of Interacting Dipoles

7. Angles of Deflection

8. Diffraction Gratings

9. The Inverse Square Law

10. Tests of the Theory of Rotating Electromagnetic Dipoles

References

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

1. Introduction

2. Current Views on the Nature of Light

3. A Theory of Rotating Electromagnetic Dipoles

4. A Deflection Mechanism

5. The Bending of Light around Corners

6. Phasing of Interacting Dipoles

7. Angles of Deflection

8. Diffraction Gratings

9. The Inverse Square Law

10. Tests of the Theory of Rotating Electromagnetic Dipoles

References

 

 

 

Summary

 

A new theory is proposed which encompasses both the particle and the wave behaviour of light. The basis of the theory is that light consists of rotating electromagnetic dipoles which are ejected by the bonds between particles. The dipoles are generated in the medium of space by the known process of induction as a result of the movement of the electrons in the bonds. This eventually causes them to reach an unsustainable energy level, at which a dipole is ejected. This is the electromagnetic activation energy for the bond,

 

The energy of the dipole is contained in its rotation, which is specific to the type of bond which gave rise to it. Dipole energies are therefore quantised. Rotation of the dipole also provides it with a frequency. The rotation of dipoles in three dimensions provides an explanation of plane polarisation.

 

Dipoles travel in straight lines at the speed of light until they are absorbed by particulate structures, and turned back into bond vibrations by the reverse of the above process.

 

A dipole behaves like a particle, because it is a discrete entity. The separation of charges provides a mechanism of deflection, apparently round corners, which simulates wave action when like charges come into positions of coincidence. These deflections are produced by orbital interactions, not a mechanical collision mechanism. These properties are shown to account for the observed diffraction by pinholes and gratings in an analysis which is parallel to that of the wave theory.

 

Tests are proposed to validate the orbital deflection theory. If such a mechanism occurs, the inverse square law may be less applicable than generally believed, especially at long distances.

 

1.       Introduction

 

A previous paper on The Origin of Quanta (1) put forward the theory that all electromagnetic radiation consists of point disturbances of determinate energy travelling through a medium, which is the medium of space. The disturbances are ejected into the medium of space by the vibration of bonds between particles, when the bonds acquire more energy than they can sustain. The theory is elaborated further in a second paper, The Definitions of Physics (2).

 

The hypothesis, therefore, was that there exists a medium which permeates all space including that between particles right down to the most fundamental, and which can accept electrical and magnetic vectors i.e. electromagnetic phenomena. This is simply an extension of the known properties of materials, which are in effect particles both pushed apart and pulled together in a balance of forces to form spatial structures. It is certainly established that materials can support electrical and magnetic vectors.

 

In this model, therefore, the physical world is considered to be decomposed into two categories: either particles, which can be neither created nor destroyed but only rearranged, or electromagnetic radiation which the particle structures throw off into the medium of space when they become overexcited. Defined particle structures would give rise to determinate disturbances travelling through the medium of space, and these eventually meet other particle structures and cause oscillations, which we interpret as light of different shades and colours.

 

These light disturbances are neither particles nor waves. They are in effect quanta of energy being transported from one particle structure to another through the medium of space. They do not have the dimensions associated with the concepts of waves, nor even photons, whence their description as point disturbances.

 

However, the present paper suggests that they have dimensions associated with rotation. It proposes that they be considered as progressive, rotating, electromagnetic dipoles, which provides sufficient scope to encompass both the types of observed phenomena that point towards a dual nature of light.

 

The analysis begins by examining the wave and particle theories of light.

 

2.       Current Views on the Nature of Light

 

The wave theory of light seems to explain the phenomenon of diffraction. Waves can be made to overlap geometrically to produce the same sort of effect as can be seen on the surface of water. Peaks coincide to produce an even higher peak, troughs coincide to produce an even lower trough, and where peaks and troughs coincide, they simply cancel each other. The same sort of pattern can be observed with coherent light.

 

There are, however, some questions to be asked about such an analogy. In water each wave is connected to the wave immediately following it. In addition, the existence of a wave front means that each point on a wave crest, for example, is connected with the point adjacent to it. If you were riding on a point on a wave crest, you would be able to see all this for yourself.

 

Light is said to be a progressive transverse wave, because the electromagnetic oscillations are in a plane perpendicular to the direction of travel. However, we are talking not about interacting particles but about electrical and magnetic vectors. If you were riding with a light wave, what you would know would be the magnitude of, say, the electrical vector at a particular instant. Since you have memory and perhaps a notepad and a watch, you would be able to ascertain that this magnitude varied sinusoidally with time. But it would be no use looking back to compare magnitudes of waves, because there is nothing behind; the point on which you are riding is the only one of which you can be aware. The same is true of the wavefront; it does not exist. It may be convenient to regard the light as a long string, where everything is attached to everything else, but it is not in fact connected, either longitudinally or latitudinally.

 

Light represents electromagnetic energy, but energy does not turn itself on and off like the electric vector; it must be present throughout the journey until it is dissipated, simply on the grounds of conservation.  Assuming the energy of the light is a function of the magnitude of the electric vector, when points of equal electric vectors coincide, the energy at the point of coincidence must double. What happens if they are not equal? Fractional increases in energy would contravene current theories.

 

Furthermore, when points of equal and opposite electric vectors coincide, they cancel each other out, and the result is darkness. What happens to energy then? Does it disappear, and if so, by what mechanism? It cannot be transferred along the wave front, because as pointed out above, there is no connection.

 

There is similar set of questions if light is considered to be a stream of photons. The energy of a photon is proportional to its frequency, the constant of proportionality being h, Planck’s constant. Planck concluded from his study of black body radiation that light energy is emitted from particulate structures at discrete levels, which he called quanta, and that the energy of a quantum is proportional to the frequency of light emitted. Hence his constant of proportionality.

 

Einstein extended the concept of Planck’s quanta of energy to their progress through space. His hypothesis was that a quantum was a particle of light, because particles were necessary to explain the photoelectric effects which occurred at receptors of the light. The sequence of the logic was: Planck had shown that light energy was emitted as quanta; light energy had effects on receptors which required that light should be acting as particles; therefore quanta of light must take the form of particles when it travels through space. He coined the term photon for a particle of light travelling through space. Each photon was a defined quantum of energy, and had to have a defined wavelength or frequency in accordance with Planck and photoelectric measurements.

 

The photon hypothesis is quite different from the interpretation of light as waves, and translation of ideas from one model to the other produces some difficult questions. For instance, what happens if two photons coincide? Do they add together to form a particle with twice the energy, and so twice the frequency at half the wavelength? Do they annihilate each other if they are out of phase? In which case, what happens to the energy, because it must be conserved?

 

Whereas a wave theory of light can provide an explanation for polarity and the phenomenon of polarisation, how can this be reconciled with the characteristics of a photon, which carries no distribution of charges or structure which would provide a possible explanation?

 

There is, however, a further problem in the form of the inverse square law. It can be appreciated instinctively that waves would diminish in intensity with the square of the distance travelled; the wavefront is just spread out geometrically. But what happens to a photon when it travels through space? By definition there is no characteristic in the concept of a photon which can diminish progressively, let alone with distance travelled. There is nothing in a photon which represents light intensity, as opposed to frequency or energy, which in any case are considered to be given.

 

The result is that the two theories are treated as different models for different purposes; any reconciliation is mathematical. However, there must be some underlying physical commonality, which allows light to behave either as waves or as particles at a receptor, because there is no reason to believe that light knows it has the choice.

 

Part of the difference lies in the scale of light under consideration in a particular measurement. The observer is interested in either the isolated ‘particle’ of light or in the bulk phenomenon, and the models have been framed with this in mind.

 

It all bears a striking resemblance to the difference between a whole system and its parts, and the following model continues this line of thought. It suggests that the reason for the apparently dual behaviour lies in the most fundamental characteristic of systems: the interaction of its parts.

 


 

 




 

 



 



 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

electromagnetic radiation


 
disturbances in

 


medium of space



 
new model

everything either particles or radiation

 

 

encompasses both wave and particle behaviour

progressive rotating electromagnetic
dipoles
 




wave theory




 
problems


 




 




 


 
light energy?

 

but can be switched on and off


and interfere

 

 

 

light particles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photons?

 

 

 

 

but polarity?

 

polarisation?

 

inverse square law?

 

 

 

 

 

 

in practice agree to differ

 

 

 

scale

 

 

 

whole/parts problem?

 

 

 

Copyright A. C. Sturt 27 September 2001

continued on Page 2

 

 

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