The Last Stoic

Posted in Uncategorized by munty13 on June 14, 2009

“As the cathode rays carry a charge of negative electricity, are deflected by an electrostatic force as if they were negatively electrified, and are acted on by a magnetic force in just the way in which this force would act on a negatively electrified body moving along the path of these rays, I can see no escape from the conclusion that they are charges of negative electricity carried by particles of matter. (Thomson 1897, p. 302)”

Electrons are affected by magnets. Electrons are a fundamental source of magnetism and each electron has a magnetic moment, ie, they each behave like a little magnet. A beam of electrons, cathode rays, had been shown by Thomson to be bent by magnets. Electrons were shown to have a negative charge. X-rays though, remain unaffected by an applied magnetic field. Light, like all forms of EMR, is supposedly carried by photons, which are elementary particles that have no electric charge. Since they have no electric charge, they are not affected by electric or magnetic fields. In the case of an X-ray discharge tube, it appears the electrons have a negative charge – which they lose as they pass through the glass of the tube, and become photons.

Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics not for his work on relativity, but for explaining the photoelectric effect. He proposed that light is made up of packets of energy called photons. Photons have no mass, but they have momentum and they have energy. This makes for a little bit of confusion because energy is equivalent to mass.

The photoelectric effect works like this. If you shine light of high enough energy on to a metal, electrons will be emitted from the metal. Light below a certain threshold frequency, no matter how intense, will not cause any electrons to be emitted. Light above the threshold frequency, even if it’s not very intense, will always cause electrons to be emitted.

Some have wondered how is it that the massless photon is thus affected by gravity. For example, light from distant stars behind the Sun have been shown to have been bent by the very fabric of space being stretched by the Sun’s mass.

The very fabric of space though is the aether. Light is carried by photons. Light is emitted by matter. The aether is induced to flow through matter, and is then emitted as EMR. Matter chews up electrons and spits out photons. Previously we’ve discussed the idea that EMR does not in itself carry energy, but rather it is something which is able to incite energy from matter. EMR may well be compared to lines of force in the aether. Are photons then something like these lines of force?

I quite often find myself reading old discussions on physics forums. You can get some pretty interesting stuff. I found this one worthy of a mention:

From the discussion, I thought the following observation rather cute:

“The propagation of waves involves the transport of energy from one vibrating particle to another. If one drops a pebble into a pool of water , the molecules of water merely move up and down in the same place , while the energy is transported to the next molecule of water and so on. Thus in general all waves need some kind of medium to be transported.”

I’m going to make what is probably a bad analogy, and I’m unsure it even belongs here, but what the hay, here goes:

Imagine we have a pebble, a nice smooth, flat pebble that is ideal for skimming over the surface of the water of a cool, calm lake. To this pebble we tie a length of ribbon which is 300,000 kms long. And we throw it. Let’s say the pebble bounces 400 trillion times in the space of one second – this just so happens to be in the frequency of the visible spectrum of light. I picture the ribbon frozen in space after that one second, and floating above the surface of the water – it reveals the rabid bobbing of the pebble, and it also gives us the size of one wavelength – 620nm (a nanometer being one-billionth of a meter).

Okay, let’s throw another one. This time it bounces 300 thousand times in one second (300 kHz). The ribbon shows a wavelength of 1km. This happens to be around the medium frequency of radiowaves, and AM (medium wave) broadcasts.

I’m going to throw the pebble again. This time it bounces only once off the surface of the water, halfway on its journey across the lake. This wavelength will be around 300,000 kms – giving us the frequency of 1Hz. Spacetime dictates that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. The maximum limit of EMR is 300,000 km/s – the pebble has to bounce at least once. We simply don’t have big enough arms to throw the pebble all the way across the lake.

By skimming the surface of the water the pebble is able to gain energy to travel a further distance. More energy has been used to throw a pebble that bounces only once, compared to one that bounces 400 trillion times. The speed of light is a measurement of speed, which is distance over time. The pebbles have travelled the distance of 300,000 km in one second, but I don’t think this means it would have crossed a lake 300,000 km wide in one second. It simply means the ribbon is 300,000 km long – the bouncing would shorten the distance the pebble actually travelled. If the lake was 300,000 km wide – then surely it would take longer for the shorter wavelengths to cross the lake, than it would for the longer wavelengths?

Is there a way of getting the pebble across the lake with one clean throw, and without having to make it skim? Well, imagine if we could sit the pebble on the surface of the water, and then make the water roll-up as a standing wave. We could send the pebble across the lake, sitting on top of the wave. Just like our waterlily leaf beetle larva as it strains in the water to generate its own wave to combat the meniscus, then we too shall generate a boat made out of the water itself!

These are only a few thoughts. Nothing to be taken too seriously. But if EMR are tranverse waves, this standing wave would be a longitudinal wave. The pebble could cross the lake faster than the speed of light. It could cross the lake without having to skim the water. It would basically have no frequency whatsoever. Interestingly, DC electricity, as produced by batteries, etc, is percieved as having zero frequency (0 Hz).


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