What is a Photon

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What is a Photon

Postby Guy-G » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:15 pm

For those who attended the talk on Tuesday 9th April 2013. "What is a Photon?" (And for those who did not).

I have made up some notes to help you see the photon through 'Epola specs' and a copy of the spectrum chart that can be printed off.

These are available to LAS Members from the parent epola website at http://www.epola.co.uk/LAS

Please let me know if you need more explanations or more content to download and feel free to start a chat rolling in this forum.

Kind regards, Guy
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Re: What is a Photon

Postby Glyn » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:54 pm

Thanks Guy.
The talk was really interesting and I'm looking forward to studying the notes.
Well done!
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Re: What is a Photon

Postby Glyn » Fri May 17, 2013 11:44 pm

For those who didn't make it to Guy's talk here is a résumé of what you missed.

The Photon.(draft) rgg 14/5/13

The photon has acquired almost mythical status as a particle and its true nature is rarely considered by physicists
asserting spooky behaviour to a photon by generalising light and other wavelengths of electro-magnetic
radiation. The photon is a quasi or pseudo particle representing the mass-energy transferred by the quantum of
action of an electromagnetic wave. Action is a function of energy and time. We can listen to vibrations
transmitted through a solid iron bar (e.g. a railway line) and accept that vibrations of bound atoms and
molecules transmit energy initiated by physical actions of the source of the sounds without assuming that real
particles travel through the bar as phonons of acoustic energy. The speed of sound in a material body is
proportional to the square root of the ratio of the elastic energy density to mass density: v = k∙ (ρE/ρm) where
k is a proportionality constant dependent upon the binding structure.

Max Planck, in 1900, presented his postulate of the discontinuous ‘quantum’ nature of energy radiated by a hot
black body to resolve a dilemma when the presumed Rayleigh-Jeans law had failed by leading to a ‘UV
catastrophe’ when predicting infinite energy emission at high frequency. Planck suggested that the amount of
radiant energy was measured by integer numbers of finite quanta proportional to the frequency of the radiation.

Emitted energy = nhν

Where n is an integer, ν is the frequency of emitted radiation and h is Planck’s quantum of action (also known
as Planck’s constant) with value 4.135667516×10−15 eV∙s, Planck did not define a quantum of energy.

This perceptive postulate, without any explanation by logical reasoning, was adopted because of its success in
representing the experimentally determined facts.

Planck’s quantum of action, h, represents the effect of radiant EM wave energy on an electron or vice-versa.
Each quantum of action is transferred to (or from) one or more electron and/or other particle susceptible to
electrostatic charge or electromagnetic spin over a very wide range of energies.

The action function is related to energy during the time it takes for the excitation of the wave medium to rise
from the rest condition and return to the original condition, that is the duration of one full wavelength (two halfwaves).
This is the period of the wavelength and the inverse of frequency. The energy Ep of a single quantum of
the energy, a single representative photon, at any frequency is given by the relationship:

Ep∙period= h, where h = Planck’s quantum of action; Ep = h/period = h∙frequency = hν

The total energy carried by one wavelength of the radiation must be obtained by multiplying the energy of a
single photon by the number of photons carried by the single wavelength. The Compton wave of the electron, at
the gamma ray frequency carrying the momentum and mass energy of an electron (511keV), defines the wave
carrying the equivalent energy of an electron. All EM wavelengths less than this, that is all frequencies greater
than this that have been generated by the action of the pulsed action of a single electron or other particle with
EM characteristics and be absorbed by a single particle or wave. This quantum of energy is not subject to
attenuation but behaves as do particles, exhibiting absorption or scattering.

It is inconceivable that light and other EM waves can travel through empty vacuum space as the ballistic
photons required by quantum theory but must rely upon a dense medium of charged particles bound together by
EM forces as required and sought by Faraday, Maxwell, MacCullagh, Lodge, Larmor and other luminaries
(forgive the pun) of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Such a mechanism allows a medium to transmit energy by
effective ‘hand to hand’ contact as Huygen’s waves if adequately dense and sharing electro-magnetic attributes.
Maxwells’ equations still form the basis of modern physics and Huygen’s principle for wave motion.

The obvious candidate latterly elected were positive and negative electrons, known to us now as electrons and
positrons. A Huygens wave in such a medium offers the behaviours required for transmission of EM waves.
Supporting this argument in the case of a radio wave, the length of a metallic transmitter dipole antenna is
contrived in units of one quarter wavelength, or the radius of a half-wave cluster of the wave medium, for
effective operation by an alternating current of charges carried by conduction electrons at or near the surface of
the metal, demonstrated by the significance of the thickness of the antenna. There is a distinction between the
near attached field region around the surface of the antenna and the far field of radiant waves.

All wavelengths greater than the Compton wavelength of the electron, have been generated by in-phase pulses
(actions) of multiple electromagnetic particles, thus have the capability to carry more than one photon of energy.
The monochromatic visible light emitted by a light emitting diode (LED), for instance, can be varied in intensity
(number of light quanta) by altering the current and thus the energy in the wave but only operates at a fixed
voltage set by the quantum of action at the photon energy level for the wave of that specific frequency (colour)
determined by the chemistry of the device. Attenuation of a wave also indicates the numerousness of photons
carried in a single wave. Energy in multiple quanta defined by their action function can be extracted from EM
waves of greater than the Compton wave of the electron to be attenuated without collapse of the wave. EM
waves can cross paths without interference, unless of very similar frequency when they combine at one
frequency, and waves sustain their frequencies over great distances.

For example: Any single photon of the EM wave with a period of 1second, frequency of 1Hz or 1s-1 has energy equal to
Planck’s constant divided by one second = 4.135667516×10−15 eV.

Waves at frequencies equal to and greater than that of the Compton wave of the electron can carry only one
quantum of action, with an energy defined by the period of the wave. According to the Electron-Positron
Lattice (epola) model (1973) attributed to M. Simhony, those waves are limited to a high frequency cut-off at
the wavelength of one electron-positron pair with calculated energy 141MeV. This quantum of energy
corresponds to the mass-energy of the pi-meson family of sub-nuclear particles and suggests a link from
Relativistic to nuclear physics via the aggregation state of electrons and positrons offered by Simhony’s epola.
The single photon of the high frequency cut-off wave (of the epola) carries all the energy of the wave and
represents a quantum of energy that is as many times more energetic than the electron as its wavelength is less
(and its frequency greater) than the Compton wave of the electron: Ep = 275me = 275 x 511keV = ~141MeV’

Compton wavelength, λc = 2426fm; λcut-off = 2lo = λc / (2/α) = 2426/275 = ~8.8fm thus ν = 3.4∙1022 s-1
Because the Huygens’ wave at the Compton wavelength λc has 1/α epola lattice constants (lo) in the half-wave cluster radius,
where α is the fine structure constant (1/137.036) [ref: alpha paper for supporting evidence]

Simhony calculated for an electron positron lattice, by analogy with those most ionic of salts, the alkali halides,
including such as sodium chloride (common salt), that the speed of light is obtained from the same equation
with unitary constant of proportionality that yields the measured speed of sound in salt. The lattice constant
(cubic cell size) for that electron-positron lattice (epola) likewise was calculated to give a value of ~4.4fm. (A
femtometre (fm) is 1x10-15 m. This is 100,000 times smaller than the one or more angström units of measurement
typical of atoms and molecules).

There is much interest in quantum entanglement but proper understanding is lacking so that it is often associated
with the term ‘quantum spookiness’. A sensible explanation for ‘splitting’ a photon to generate two entangled
photons can be offered by acknowledging that the essential quantum is a unit of action and not of energy. The
photon is not split but regenerated as two lower energy actions from the initial action of single photon on atoms
in a birefringent crystal absorbing the parent photon then sharing the action to generate two similar lesser quanta
radiating as complementary waves in opposite directions. Those twin sibling waves were entangled at birth not
by splitting the parent but by its common endowment of energy to two new waves by courtesy of the crystal.
Two such photons would necessarily be entangled, not because they are spooky particles but because their
actions observed at separate detections as EM interaction arose from one common action. When it is claimed
that the attributes of the second electron to be observed were set by the prior observation of the other electron
then it would seem spooky. There is no doubt that the observer is a component within the same universe and
sharing EM forces with the experiment but time dependency is a step too far.
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