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Questions about light and matter...

Questions about light and matter... - Physics Forum

Questions about light and matter... - Physics Forum. Discuss and ask physics questions, kinematics and other physics problems.


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  #1  
Old 12-06-2007, 01:08 PM
SK
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Default Questions about light and matter...



I saw this link to NPR's "Trapping light and saving it for later"

Which got me thinking, is matter a type of 'light energy' a kind
of "light energy" in a diffferent 'form'? I just want to clear up my
own thinking on the matter, I'd much appreciate it. Link is below.

[Only registered users see links. ]
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2007, 03:23 PM
dlzc
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Default Questions about light and matter...

Dear SK:

On Dec 6, 6:08 am, SK <nospam@nospam> wrote:

That is a good starting hypothesis. Now how would you test it, to see
if you can falsify it?

Here is a (partial) list of properties light has:
- travels at c in a vacuum, or if the energy is high enough it travels
at c through anything.
- photons have spin.
- it has polarization.
- different inertial motions see light energy as different values
(asymptotically approaching either infinity or zero).
- photons have zero size, interacting only via its field.
- Maxwell would have propagating light have both a E and B field in
phase (but 90 deg out, of course).
- photons have no rest mass.
- collections of non-parallel photons have non-zero rest mass, in
their center-of-momentum frame.

Run with it.

David A. Smith
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2007, 03:23 PM
dlzc
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Default Questions about light and matter...

Dear SK:

On Dec 6, 6:08 am, SK <nospam@nospam> wrote:

That is a good starting hypothesis. Now how would you test it, to see
if you can falsify it?

Here is a (partial) list of properties light has:
- travels at c in a vacuum, or if the energy is high enough it travels
at c through anything.
- photons have spin.
- it has polarization.
- different inertial motions see light energy as different values
(asymptotically approaching either infinity or zero).
- photons have zero size, interacting only via its field.
- Maxwell would have propagating light have both a E and B field in
phase (but 90 deg out, of course).
- photons have no rest mass.
- collections of non-parallel photons have non-zero rest mass, in
their center-of-momentum frame.

Run with it.

David A. Smith
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2007, 04:56 PM
SK
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Default Questions about light and matter...

On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 07:23:30 -0800 (PST), dlzc <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:


This seems to be the only one we need (my intuition). Then if they
have non-zero rest mass, then it must be the case I would assume.
Correct me if I'm wrong, if it has mass in any sense it must be matter
in some sense, correct?
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2007, 04:56 PM
SK
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Default Questions about light and matter...

On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 07:23:30 -0800 (PST), dlzc <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:


This seems to be the only one we need (my intuition). Then if they
have non-zero rest mass, then it must be the case I would assume.
Correct me if I'm wrong, if it has mass in any sense it must be matter
in some sense, correct?
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2007, 05:25 PM
dlzc
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Default Questions about light and matter...

Dear SK:

On Dec 6, 9:56 am, SK <nospam@nospam> wrote:

It is NOT a matter of justifying a particular point of view. It is
actually attacking that point of view, yourself, to test its
"sturdiness".



You trimmed the list. How do you propose to confine collections of
photons into quarks, such that all observers see them as having the
same charge? Note that "field strength" of a photon is observer
dependent... but the charge on quarks (and hence protons, and
neutrons) are not.

I don't see a way to make it work, but I don't know a whole lot about
quantum mechanics.

David A. Smith
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2007, 05:25 PM
dlzc
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Default Questions about light and matter...

Dear SK:

On Dec 6, 9:56 am, SK <nospam@nospam> wrote:

It is NOT a matter of justifying a particular point of view. It is
actually attacking that point of view, yourself, to test its
"sturdiness".



You trimmed the list. How do you propose to confine collections of
photons into quarks, such that all observers see them as having the
same charge? Note that "field strength" of a photon is observer
dependent... but the charge on quarks (and hence protons, and
neutrons) are not.

I don't see a way to make it work, but I don't know a whole lot about
quantum mechanics.

David A. Smith
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2007, 07:12 PM
SK
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Default Questions about light and matter...

On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 09:25:30 -0800 (PST), dlzc <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:


I trimmed the list for a reason since the only thing that is relevant
is whether or not it has non-zero rest mass, the non-zero rest mass
*is the point of connection* to matter, if it has mass it must be
*matter* in some sense of the term, do you know of matter that does
not have mass? If you do that's a point of interest.

Whether we can test this or not right now is probably not practical
just yet but we can infer from lights interaction with matter
using the above NPR experimental results, right?

You don't have to do any experiments to infer it, if you already know
they are connected (through interaction). Doing experiments
would just confirm what you already inferred, but of course whether or
not the experiments are even feasible with today's technology and
understanding is a question that would need investigation.

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  #9  
Old 12-06-2007, 07:12 PM
SK
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Posts: n/a
Default Questions about light and matter...

On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 09:25:30 -0800 (PST), dlzc <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:


I trimmed the list for a reason since the only thing that is relevant
is whether or not it has non-zero rest mass, the non-zero rest mass
*is the point of connection* to matter, if it has mass it must be
*matter* in some sense of the term, do you know of matter that does
not have mass? If you do that's a point of interest.

Whether we can test this or not right now is probably not practical
just yet but we can infer from lights interaction with matter
using the above NPR experimental results, right?

You don't have to do any experiments to infer it, if you already know
they are connected (through interaction). Doing experiments
would just confirm what you already inferred, but of course whether or
not the experiments are even feasible with today's technology and
understanding is a question that would need investigation.

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  #10  
Old 12-06-2007, 07:50 PM
dlzc
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Default Questions about light and matter...

Dear SK:

On Dec 6, 12:12 pm, SK <nospam@nospam> wrote:

Unforntunately, in the list, is the note that light travels at c. And
the faster the "center-of-momentum" moves away from you, the smaller
the rest mass is.


Neutrinos are pretty close. But the point is, one point of
"convergence" is insufficient to make a full pattern.


No, I don't think so.


We know nothing, even if we *do* experiments. If we do experiments,
we have some level of certainty. If others repeat the experiment, and
get similar results, the certainty goes up. "Knowing" such as you
expect implies divine knowledge.


Yeah, well string theorists have lived in that house for a long time.
But sooner or later theory is useless if it does not make quantitative
predictions. And experiment is *required*.

David A. Smith
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