The Photon and Its Aether
Author: Joseph F. Cuny
Faraday's concept of force lines is used to find the elusive aether of the late 1800's. Force lines were then used to develop the structure of the photon and its means of propagation. Finally a few cases of photon activity are described. It is seen that the photon travels as a 'wave' and is detected as a particle. It is also seen that its speed is dependent on the state of local matter and is not the absolute limitation postulated by Einstein.
Keywords: photon, aether, speed of light, special relativity, Maxwell's
In the late 1800's, after Maxwell used Faradays concepts of field lines to develop his famous equations for electromagnetic waves (EMW), scientists searched for a postulated aether. It was believed that this aether "carried" the EMW in the same way that elastic solids and liquids "carried" sound waves. The EMW was a property of the elasticity of the aether. With this assumption it was logical to believe that mathematically defining all the necessary properties of the aether would lead to Maxwell's Equations.
For several decades theoreticians and mathematicians developed mathematical models of the aether, based on the mathematical approaches to strength of materials and hydraulics. The experimentalists then attempted to locate the defined properties for these models. The total failure of the experimentalists gradually led to a disbelief in the existence of an aether. This set the stage for Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity (SR), which was a mathematical theory based on the assumptions that there is no aether and the speed of light in "empty space" is always measured as "c". By definition the only measurable was the speed of light, thus experimentalists were essentially removed from the problem.
Some diehards, however, attempted to prove or disprove SR by aether drift experiments, etc. Unfortunately, the results of these various experiments were subject to interpretation. Thus, these results were either conclusive or inconclusive depending on the predilections of the scientists. Additionally, other "proofs" of SR, offered by Einstein and others, were also subject to different interpretations. Eventually, as no better alternative theory was presented, the scientific community accepted SR although there were (and still are) some dissidents. To minimize the potential antagonism between the two sides, a totally new theory is hereby introduced--one based on Faraday's lines of force. It develops a mechanistic, not a mathematical, model of the photon including its structure and means of propagation.
To validate SR Einstein used Maxwell's Equations, which were the leading application of mathematics to physics. To develop these equations, Maxwell used Faraday's concept of lines of force (both electric and magnetic), working with the strength of those lines. Working with the complete lines would have produced a physical or mechanistic model instead of a mathematical one. That physical one is the model presented here.
All force lines must close on something; none simply ends in space. Magnetic lines of force are relatively short lines that close on either magnetic poles or on themselves, such as the magnetic "sheath" around a current. Conversely, electric lines of force may be extremely long lines that normally close on electric charges of opposite polarity. Both electric and magnetic lines of force and their derivatives are the basis of modern field theory, and should be fully acceptable to modern science.
Since the entire universe, including intra-galactic space, is populated with atoms, ions, and electrons, the electric field lines connecting these "particles" form a dynamic web throughout the universe. This web is dynamic because the connections to various particles change as the particles move around. This web of electric force lines is the elusive aether.
It is particularly interesting that with objects like the sun and the planets, the exterior web connects with the outermost particles: the boundary surfaces. Even though the web permeates the entire universe, the boundary conditions at these surfaces act as "disconnects". The external field lines move from particle to particle along the boundary as the objects move through the aether. The internal web is independent of the external web, therefore aether drift experiments are meaningless. Additionally the movement of the external field lines along the boundary means that there are no wakes or eddies to be measured. The earlier search for the aether was doomed to failure partly because that mathematical work assumed the aether was essentially a homogeneous, elastic solid without boundary conditions.
Similarly, when a photon moves through space it interacts with the local web through its boundary, the magnetic field. The front magnetic field of the photon attempts to re-align the electric field lines of the web, thereby distorting and stretching them and transferring a slight amount of energy. This energy, similar to that of a plucked violin string, travels to the terminals (particle connections) and reflects back. The reflected energy is then re-absorbed by the rear magnetic field of the photon. The speed of the photon depends on its size and the length of time that the distortions travel along the field lines. The re-absorption may be anywhere along the rear magnetic field because of the photon cross-section (let's call it width) and the fact that the photon is not normally traveling at the mid-point of any given web line. This is another reason for the previous failure to find the aether: it was assumed that the wave (photon) was a property of the aether and not an independent entity that interacted with the aether.
Since a very limited amount of energy can be transferred to any line without breaking it, the photon must interact with many lines of the web. Where the lines are very concentrated and strong, such as in glass or water, the photon width is very small. Where the lines are very sparse, such as in a vacuum, the width must be very great. The "size" of the photon is established by the density and strength of the local field lines that, in turn, are established by the state of the local matter. When a photon is traveling through space it is not "localized", therefore it would appear to travel as a wave.
Faraday's concepts, based on experimental work by many others, can also be used to develop the structure of the photon. In space, a magnetic field line must close on itself and form a ring, or circle. A group of these rings forms a magnetic "sheath" that must contain some sort of current. In the case of a free photon, the current is a group of electric field lines--Faraday's displacement current. If any of these electric field lines were to close on a particle, the photon would be "tethered" and not free; the electric field lines of the photon must close on themselves. The initial form of the photon appears to be a ring of electric field lines enclosed by a sheath of magnetic field lines. Since the electric field lines can be extremely long, they are "extensible", thereby satisfying the changes in the photon size. The magnetic field lines forming the sheath would distribute themselves along the internal ring, therefore the energy density of the photon would vary with its size, and with the density of the local web.
This, however, is not the final form of the photon. To obtain this form it is necessary to evaluate the energy transfer to and from a field line of the web. To do this, assume the photon is in a horizontal plane with the magnetic sheath directed upward on the outside, and downward on the inside of the ring. The leading edge of the sheath attempts to align the web field line with the magnetic field lines of the sheath. This deforms the web field line by lifting it upward, similar to a finger instantaneously plucking a violin string. When this deformation (part of it traveling each direction along the field line) reaches a terminal particle, it is reflected back along the field line, but this reflection is reversed in direction; it is pointed downward.
When the reversed reflection reaches the back of the magnetic sheath, it finds that the outside magnetic lines are pointed upwards. Rather than returning the energy to the photon, it abstracts still more energy. To eliminate this problem, a second ring is added to the back of the photon. At the junction of the two rings, the electric field lines are joined and enclosed by the same sheath. This means the electric field lines in the second ring are in the opposite direction to those in the first ring, except at the junction. The magnetic sheath is also reversed, therefore, in the second ring the magnetic field lines are directed down on the outside and up on the inside. Now the trailing edge of the photon has its magnetic field pointed down, and is aligned with the reflected energy in the web field line. The web field line energy is returned to the photon, producing a conservative system.
The structure of a photon is a double ring similar to a highly deformable figure 8. The internal electric field lines form the figure, while the magnetic field lines form a sheath that contains the electric field lines. The sheath also transfers energy to and from the web, thereby allowing the photon to travel through space. Using the standard concept of equi-partition of energy, the energy of the photon is shared equally by the electric field line core, the magnetic sheath, and the web field lines. The web is the elusive aether that is undetectable, allows the photon to travel, does not interfere with the passage of planetary objects, does not have a "bow wave" or "eddy currents" around planetary objects, and has no external influence on measurements made interior to the boundary of an object. As stated above, there is one major difference between this aether and the historical one that science looked for. The mathematical descriptions of the aether assumed that all the properties of the wave were properties of the aether: there was no independent photon. Here it is seen that most of these properties belong to the wave (photon) as an independent entity.
When this photon approaches a solid object or particle, the web field lines to that particle are significantly shorter than those to the other terminal particles. As a result, the return time for the energy exchange is much shorter, and the photon turns toward the particle. If the magnetic sheath touches the particle, and that particle can receive energy, the sheath funnels energy to the particle. Because of the equi-partition of energy, as the magnetic sheath transfers energy the energy from the electric core and the web are funneled to the sheath. Ultimately, some or all of the photon energy is transferred to the particle. The only way that the photon can be observed is when its energy is transferred to a receptor, which means it is observed as if it is a particle. If a particle or object in the path of the photon cannot receive the energy, the photon may simply pass the object, or, depending on the mutual configuration, may be deflected. Similarly, it may pass through one or more slits, forming one or more photons and/or diffraction patterns.
The speed of the photon depends on the local web that, in turn, depends on the state of the local matter. If the terminals of the web are firmly fixed, then the reflection is immediate. If the terminals are fairly loose as in a dense gas, then the line energy may be absorbed by the terminal, which moves slightly, thereby redistributing that energy to other field lines. Eventually the energy is returned to the original terminal, which is pulled back into position by the web lines from other terminals. The energy is then "reflected" with a time delay before "reflection". In other words, there is a web "relaxation time" which affects the apparent speed of the photon.
If a plane monochromatic wave of photons travels through a suitably prepared substrate, then all of the "atoms" at the wave front are acting in unison. For the front of the wave there is zero relaxation time, and essentially no return time, until the energy leaves the substrate. In this case the speed of the wave through the substrate is close to the speed of the energy traveling along the web field lines. This speed is significantly greater than that of a photon in Einstein's "empty space".
When ions are ejected from a star, they form the local matter that establishes the local web. When observed locally, light will travel at a speed consistent with the local web. When observed from a distance the light may seem to be superluminal, or even subluminal, depending on the relative velocities of the local web and the observer. EMW energy emitted by the same star may be absorbed by the ejecta in space. This absorption, the so-called pressure of light, would increase the speed of the ejecta. At a great enough distance from the star the local material (the ejecta) and the web may travel faster than light, with respect to the emitting star.
Under normal conditions, neither the light nor the observer controls the state of the local web. The photon travels along the local web transferring energy back and forth with the web. This local web, embedded in the local particles, forms a unique reference system for measurements of the speed of the photon. Einstein's fundamental postulates are invalid, taking with them his mass/energy equation. Similarly, Maxwell's Equations do not describe a photon; they only describe one aspect of a photon or EMW. Mathematical equations are restricted to the use of the field strengths, not the fields themselves: a photon is a real physical entity, not a mathematical abstraction!
By concentrating on one aspect of a photon, a mathematical wave, Science found it necessary to resort to ever increasing mathematical abstractions. As an example, with the exception of mass, Einstein abstracted all physical properties of the sun, and this abstraction was accepted. He then calculated the deflection of light by this point mass in SR and in general relativity. The first calculation he called "the classical deflection", apparently because, to him, SR was by then classical physics. After the experiment was performed, resulting in both values, the experimenters found reasons to eliminate the "classical" result, proving relativity in all of its forms.
Unfortunately for SR, the sun is a very large body with intensive hot gasses, etc., extending far into space. These produce an extremely active field with a density varying roughly with the radius. This means the "sun" will deflect light that passes through that field. The amount of deflection will depend on the local conditions and cannot be calculated for any given passage. The average deflection, however, can be calculated from present knowledge of the variation of gas density and classical (non-relativistic) physics.
As for SR itself, Einstein applied Maxwell's Equations to an EMW as observed in a stationary frame. He then transformed these equations to apply to a moving frame. This frame was then allowed to move with the EMW. On this point he talked about what the wave would look like if one were "riding on the wave." He thus 'abstracted' the equations to the wave itself. This abstraction is invalid because the 'wave' in that frame is a standing wave while the equations describe a dynamic wave. Mathematically this abstraction may be allowed and was accepted, but it is not physically acceptable because the mathematics does not describe a standing wave.
Once the structure of the photon and its interaction with the aether web are recognized, SR and general relativity and all that are developed from them should be relegated to the trash bin. Additionally, if Science is to correlate with the physical universe, scientists must be extremely careful in applying mathematics and related abstractions.
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