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The Famous Experimemt

According to standard science, matter can be regarded either as particles or as waves, according to circumstances. Light is also given this treatment. Single photons interact with single molecules or atoms, but light waves interact with lenses. This situation could be much improved by assuming that light is composed of photons which can behave in concert in a way that has the appearance of waves. Thus the detailed behavior of light waves can be analyzed in terms of the behavior of photons. This is analogous to water and water waves. Water consists of H2O molecules. Multitudes of water molecules can move in concert as waves. The waves are only the form. Molecules are the substance. If the pattern of ripples on the surface of water can be attributed to water molecules, so can the interference pattern of light on a screen be ascribed to photons.

In the famous two slit experiment, light from a point source passes through two adjacent narrow slits. A pattern of alternating bright and dark areas appears on a screen behind the slits.

A lit candle is the light source. Light passes through a narrow slit in an enclosure that surrounds the candle. The light falls on a shield that has two narrow slits. The image that falls on a screen beyond the shield is an interference pattern, with a bright area in the center, and alternating dark and light lines on both sides.

The purpose of the experiment is to shed light on the question of the nature of light. If light is a wave, it can produce an interference pattern. If it is a particle, it may conceivably experience interference when two photons meet at the screen. If the experiment is managed in a way that assures that only one photon at a time arrives at the screen; and if the result is the same as when many are permitted to arrive, there needs to be a new theory. The quantum people have volunteered for that service. I have no confidence in their offerings.

An experiment to investigate the behavior of single photons uses a thick filter in the way of the light path. For a screen, there is a photographic film. An automatic device controls the position of the candle, keeping it in front of the slit. Provision is made to replace used candles in the dark, and to ensure that the position of the flame does not shift. The experiment runs for three months before the film is developed and printed. Three months is estimated to be enough time to ensure that each photon which passes through the filter is flying solo, and enough photons arrive at the photographic film to form an image. Some experimenters take the precaution of testing the filter before the experiment is set up. The light that passes through the filter is allowed to fall on the face of a photon detector. The instruments show intervals of a hundredth of a second between photon arrivals. The instruments are capable of discerning much shorter intervals where they exist. After three months, when the experiment is over, the printed picture is examined, and it displays the same interference pattern for the filtered experiment as for the unfiltered experiment.

One interpretation is that waves have nothing to do with this phenomenon, since single photons can produce results. Another interpretation is that photons are really wavelets that can pass through two holes simultaneously. Some people prefer to think of a conscious photon which knows about the other slit.

According to neg-pos theory, there are at least two photons arriving simultaneously, even though there are long intervals between batches of photons. A photon detector is incapable of distinguishing between a burst of a thousand photons and a single photon.

The candle flame is a mixture of photons from vibrating electrons. The electrons belong to atoms of carbon, hydrogen, or oxygen; or they belong to molecules of water or carbon dioxide. Electrons in a particular species, produce photons of a particular frequency. For example, consider the electron in a carbon atom.The carbon atom is in the middle of the hot gas of the candle flame. The electron emits a photon. The photon consists of pairs of bits of neg and pos. If there is a carbon atom in the path of the photon, its electron is probably oscillating at the frequency of the photon. If the electron is not in step with the photon, or the electron is vibrating in the horizontal plane when the photon has its polarity in the vertical plane, the photon passes the molecule without interacting. There are about a thousand carbon atoms in the path of this one photon before it escapes from the flame. At least one, and possibly one hundred, of these atoms has its electron vibrating in the same direction as the photon's polarity, and in step. As a few pairs of bits of the photon pass the oscillating electron, the electron is stimulated to emit a photon aligned exactly like the first photon, and exactly in step.

The first photon continues to stimulate the proper electrons that it encounters, and the second photon does likewise. This is a chain reaction. The burst of photons grows. It is limited only by the fact that the molecules that emit photons require a time interval in which to have a collision and begin new oscillations. Light in which the photons are aligned is polarized light. Light with neg and pos bits in phase is coherent light. The only kind of light that can be used successfully in the two slit experiment is coherent polarized light. It is not necessary that all of the light used in the experiment be of the same frequency or polarization. It is only essential that each photon belong to a burst of coherent polarized light at the outset. Each burst has its own orientation and its own frequency, and acts independently of all the other bursts. Even if hundreds of different bursts comingle, they do not interfere with each other.

One of the incidental observations in slit experiments is that light paths bend as the light goes through a slit. It is miniaturization of the observed bending of starlight as it passes the rim of the sun during a solar eclipse. The cause of the bending of light rays is gravitation.

There are a few variations in this experiment. One method is to use two holes instead of two slits. Run the experiment with one hole covered. The pattern on the screen is one bright spot surrounded by less brightness. Run the experiment with two holes open, and the pattern on the screen is of one bright spot equally spaced from the two holes, and surrounded by rings of alternating darkness and semi-darkness.

The dark rings are due to the interference at points where the light from one hole is half a wavelength out of phase with the light from the other hole.

Since only one photon arrives at a time, it must go through only one hole. You can't get interference that way.

There is no way to explain the result by classical physics. It is "solved" by quantum mechanics, which deals in probabilities. Since we can't be certain which hole was entered, we cannot resort to stating the probability that a photon will enter one of the two holes.

In that way, we don't have to decide whether a photon is a particle or a wave.

When we determine which hole is used, we treat the photon as a particle. When we examine the interference pattern, we measure wavelength and treat the photon as a wave.

The funniest part of the story is that, instead of setting up the experiment for photons, we can set it up for electrons. Then we ask where the electrons, sent one at a time, will strike the screen. We get results very similar to the results we get using photons.

Therefore the quantum people say that electrons have properties of waves as well as particles. Whereas they can't determine both, the location and the motion of the electron simultaneously, they can solve for probabilities.

It really is a sad state of affairs for theoretical physics.

How much simpler it is to use the neg-pos theory!

There is a site that contains a very nearly supportive theory for photon as matter and neg-pos photon structure at PHOTONS


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