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Is it? What is light?

Could light be something like sound only on an atomic level? Sound travels through a medium by creating a wave, essentially one molecule knocking the next molecule. Could light be atomic reactions of energy, say from the heat of the sun, just knocking the next particle? Upon reaching an atmosphere becoming a diffusion of atmospheric particles as they bump each other? You probably get the idea if I haven't expressed it well. The concept comes from Mark McCutcheon's Expansion theory which I find interesting.

Photons are both particle and wave; or more specifically a photon is a quanta of light. You're invoking an invalid analogy. That's not to say that photons cannot produce pressure, but it strikes me you're muddling together a number of different concepts here. The photons that you see coming from Andromeda were produced by Andromeda, and are not some nth generation of photons. A lot of the photons in certain regions may essentially be lost, in that the mediums through which they travel absorb light at certain frequencies, but those that make it through were the ones that started the journey from whatever radiation source gave birth to them.

At any rate, the fact remains that even if individual photons, because of the medium through which they travel, do not travel at c, the value of c itself is a constant, and more importantly a constant that is reflected in several other basic constants. If c is not a constant, then pretty much the entirety of the modern edifice of physics collapses, and I think we've confirmed enough of Relativity and QM to suggest that, while there are huge deficiencies in our knowledge, the speed of light being a constant is not among them.

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Photons are both particle and wave; or more specifically a photon is a quanta of light. You're invoking an invalid analogy. That's not to say that photons cannot produce pressure, but it strikes me you're muddling together a number of different concepts here. The photons that you see coming from Andromeda were produced by Andromeda, and are not some nth generation of photons. A lot of the photons in certain regions may essentially be lost, in that the mediums through which they travel absorb light at certain frequencies, but those that make it through were the ones that started the journey from whatever radiation source gave birth to them.

Fair enough.

We don't observe light until it reaches an atmosphere and light doesn't seem to get in the way of shadows.

At any rate, the fact remains that even if individual photons, because of the medium through which they travel, do not travel at c, the value of c itself is a constant, and more importantly a constant that is reflected in several other basic constants. If c is not a constant, then pretty much the entirety of the modern edifice of physics collapses, and I think we've confirmed enough of Relativity and QM to suggest that, while there are huge deficiencies in our knowledge, the speed of light being a constant is not among them.

Well, of course any different theory would collapse the modern edifice of physics.

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Actually, the argument is that light is a constant. Einstein's calculations are based upon light being a constant. His formulae will prove time dilation only if light is held as a constant. The doppler effect tells us it isn't a constant.

What?! "The Doppler effect tells us it isn't a constant"? What the hell are you talking about? I can't let that slide. Please expand on that idea.

I am constantly amazed at what I find in physics. They have reasoned that the physical universe collapses and expands continually and have even calculated the rate. It's all theory of course.

The collapse of the universe was a possibility, but it would only happen if there's sufficient mass to pull everything back to the center. But last I heard, they were only aware of a fraction of the mass required to "close" the universe, leaving the most likely outcome an eternal expansion and eventually entropy wins.

But what you are saying is that the theory of relativity is all we have right now. And it is, even with all it's anomalies, correct. All I am saying is that it's anomalies are an indication it is not correct.

What are these "all its anomalies" you keep talking about? By "anomalies" do you mean things that disagree with your "common sense"?

Yes it is desperation to claim general relativity a theory.

Gravity is "just a theory" too, but we know that if you drop a brick it'll land on the floor 100% of the time.

Relativity is "just a theory", but we know that time dilation is real just as surely as we know that bricks fall.

No. It was just scientists that didn't want to get locked up. They denied they knew anything. And for a few more decades or so they kept the truth a secret. Or did they keep on trying to explain it to the King? And what of scientists that were in the employ of the King and knew the truth? Would they deny it and save their own positions? Would they accept the truth?

You've got it wrong. Scientists of the day did explain it to the church, who were very interested in the theory because they were interested in accurate calendars. The church adopted the position that the heliocentric model was a useful predictive tool, but not theologically accurate.

Scientists weren't hiding stuff. They shared it with the church and with various nobles who were their patrons. It was only when Galileo shared it with the rubes on the street that the excrement hit the air circulator. You were allowed to study things... you just weren't allowed to let the people know that the church was wrong.

It had to be scientists themselves that perpetrated the Copernican theory beyond it's time. We can conclude they either knew and lied by denying they knew or they simply didn't know and preferred it. You choose to believe they lied. I think they just didn't care to look because they were comfortably sitting at the King's council and all was well.

"Perpetrated the Copernican theory beyond its time"? The Copernican theory was ahead of its time. The reluctance of some scientists was in some measure adherence to an idea they assumed to be correct (the earth must be the center of the universe because the Old Testament says so) and partly because of incomplete information.

Au contraire. you are more likely to attempt making the most of your few decades if you expect bigger things after. If you are just an animal or a body the prime and central theme of your life will be it's preservation. Not saying it isn't a part of everyone's life but it becomes one's only concern under that concept and we start worrying about things like politics and health instead of our potential.

If you sincerely believe this life is a prelude to a better one, why worry about your preservation at all? Why work? Why obtain money to pay for food or shelter? Why not just go starve to death so you can get to the main show?

While I do take great care to preserve my life and my health, that's hardly all-consuming. I take great pleasure in enjoying life as much as I can, because I believe in my heart that these few decades are all I have.

-k

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What?! "The Doppler effect tells us it isn't a constant"? What the hell are you talking about? I can't let that slide. Please expand on that idea.

Sorry - refraction. The Doppler shift doesn't seem to apply to light. Something about relativity?

The collapse of the universe was a possibility, but it would only happen if there's sufficient mass to pull everything back to the center. But last I heard, they were only aware of a fraction of the mass required to "close" the universe, leaving the most likely outcome an eternal expansion and eventually entropy wins.

It isn't a collapsing inward that I am talking about.

What are these "all its anomalies" you keep talking about? By "anomalies" do you mean things that disagree with your "common sense"?

You haven't heard of any anomalies?

Gravity is "just a theory" too, but we know that if you drop a brick it'll land on the floor 100% of the time.

It's a "theory" adopted to explain that phenomenon. There can only be two possibilities. Mass has an attractive force that causes objects to move towards it at 9m/sec^2 or the earth is expanding at a rate of 9m/sec^2. Any other theories you can think of that could make this happen?

Relativity is "just a theory", but we know that time dilation is real just as surely as we know that bricks fall.

Are bricks falling or is the Earth moving everything towards the brick? Time dilation is a nice thought experiment.

You've got it wrong. Scientists of the day did explain it to the church, who were very interested in the theory because they were interested in accurate calendars. The church adopted the position that the heliocentric model was a useful predictive tool, but not theologically accurate.

Scientists weren't hiding stuff. They shared it with the church and with various nobles who were their patrons. It was only when Galileo shared it with the rubes on the street that the excrement hit the air circulator. You were allowed to study things... you just weren't allowed to let the people know that the church was wrong.

Well, of course the church couldn't be wrong. So everyone "in the know" thought they would just lie to the rubes on the street is what you are saying. Galileo sort of let the cat out of the bag, kinda thing?

Is that it?

"Perpetrated the Copernican theory beyond its time"? The Copernican theory was ahead of its time. The reluctance of some scientists was in some measure adherence to an idea they assumed to be correct (the earth must be the center of the universe because the Old Testament says so) and partly because of incomplete information.

Boy! Caught me again. I meant the Ptolemaic system. Sorry about that.

If you sincerely believe this life is a prelude to a better one, why worry about your preservation at all? Why work? Why obtain money to pay for food or shelter? Why not just go starve to death so you can get to the main show?

It isn't a prelude to a better one. You have to earn it. There is no free lunch.

While I do take great care to preserve my life and my health, that's hardly all-consuming. I take great pleasure in enjoying life as much as I can, because I believe in my heart that these few decades are all I have.

Right! Ever consider climbing Mt. Everest? After all these few decades are all you have! Why risk that? There are better things to risk your life on like chocolate cheesecake. Pretty soon you have a public health care system and they start making laws that say you shouldn't be doing certain things that aren't healthy, like eating junk food. And you should weigh a certain amount

and you should exercise according to the exercise guide. These are all proper things you should be concerned about. If you are doing risky things with your life, like climbing mountains, or smoking or eating at MacDonald's, then public health will not cover any ill health or minimally there will be a premium to pay. You need to be concerned about your body and it can become all consuming. There is only so much your weak and frail self can take. Get out there and start working out with some non-competitive activities(competitive ones may not be good for your heart). And you could get cancer so get checked out for that, get your prostate checked, and that kinda stuff. Take what the good doc tells you and make sure you get those prescriptions filled! It's all common sense if you wish to live for a few decades.

If all you have is a body then that is what you will focus on. If you believe you have potential then that is what you will focus on. In your youth you might consider it romantic to flirt with death but a public health care system will do it's best to discourage you of that.

But we are talking about physics here.

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It's a "theory" adopted to explain that phenomenon. There can only be two possibilities. Mass has an attractive force that causes objects to move towards it at 9m/sec^2 or the earth is expanding at a rate of 9m/sec^2. Any other theories you can think of that could make this happen?

Why are you stuck on this "expansion" theory of gravity of yours? It absolutely does not explain commonly observed phenomena, such as the orbits of the planets around the Sun (or the orbit of anything around anything). Contrary to your earlier post, you can't turn a straight line into a circle/ellipse by this "expansion". Basic geometry.

Mass has an attractive force that causes objects to move towards it at 9m/sec^2

Though you are trying to describe the normal theory of gravity here, there are numerous errors just in this one sentence fragment. Given that you seem curious about physics, why not go pick up some actual legitimate books on the topic and learn something interesting, rather than confusing yourself with nonsense?

Edited by Bonam

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Sorry - refraction. The Doppler shift doesn't seem to apply to light. Something about relativity?

Of course the Doppler effect applies to light. In fact, the Doppler effect on light is one of our main tools for measuring the distances and velocities of distant galaxies.

Since you brought it up, do you know what the Doppler effect actually is? Without running to google/wikipedia to answer the question?

Edited by Bonam

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It's a "theory" adopted to explain that phenomenon.

General relativity is so widely accepted precisely because this is not at all the case. General relativity described phenomena that had never been observed. No one had ever thought of a black hole before, or seen one. But it popped right out of the equations of general relativity. And years later astronomers found black holes. Same with gravitational lensing and gravitational waves, among other examples.

When a theory can not only explain currently known phenomena, but predict entirely new, entirely unprecedented ones, that later turn out to really exist in reality, that lends great credence to that theory.

GR is quite possibly the most amazingly solid theory in all of physics.

Edited by Bonam

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Sorry - refraction. The Doppler shift doesn't seem to apply to light. Something about relativity?

Do yourself a favor and put down that Mark McCutcheon book for a while. Read about redshift.

You haven't heard of any anomalies?

I'm just curious as to why you're so non-specific about them. If these "anomalies" are the basis of your objection to relativity, you must be able to articulate them.

It's a "theory" adopted to explain that phenomenon. There can only be two possibilities. Mass has an attractive force that causes objects to move towards it at 9m/sec^2 or the earth is expanding at a rate of 9m/sec^2. Any other theories you can think of that could make this happen?

Are bricks falling or is the Earth moving everything towards the brick? Time dilation is a nice thought experiment.

Well, of course the church couldn't be wrong. So everyone "in the know" thought they would just lie to the rubes on the street is what you are saying. Galileo sort of let the cat out of the bag, kinda thing?

Is that it?

Copernicus and Kepler and Tycho didn't lie to the rubes on the street. They just didn't publish them in wildly popular books. The rubes on the street didn't really have access to the correspondence between the leading scientists of the day. They couldn't just go down to the magazine shop and buy an Astronomy Society Journal.

Right! Ever consider climbing Mt. Everest? After all these few decades are all you have! Why risk that?

I don't plan on climbing Mt Everest because it would be a highly inefficient use of my limited time and resources. What about you? As a liberated spirit-being with unlimited potential, you must be planning to climb Mt Everest any day now, right?

There are better things to risk your life on like chocolate cheesecake. Pretty soon you have a public health care system and blah blah blah blah

What a bizarre rant. The notion that disbelief in an afterlife inevitably argues for for some sort of restricted code of behavior state interventionism is inane and disjointed. It should be pointed out, however, that every formalized belief in an afterlife (that I'm aware of, at least) imposes restrictions on your behavior in this current life; if you don't follow the rules in this life you don't get the big present after you die (or, as you put it, "you've got to earn it.")

-k

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General relativity is so widely accepted precisely because this is not at all the case. General relativity described phenomena that had never been observed. No one had ever thought of a black hole before, or seen one. But it popped right out of the equations of general relativity. And years later astronomers found black holes. Same with gravitational lensing and gravitational waves, among other examples.

When a theory can not only explain currently known phenomena, but predict entirely new, entirely unprecedented ones, that later turn out to really exist in reality, that lends great credence to that theory.

GR is quite possibly the most amazingly solid theory in all of physics.

The theory of electricity harnessed it's energy for us and made many things predictable. It gave us practical application but the original theory of electrons moving along a wire wasn't what was happening on a molecular level at all.

GR has to ignore certain phenomena to remain intact. It states that energy can neither be created or destroyed but merely changes form one form to another. So gasoline gets burned and creates heat and a vehicle will move down the road. But there are obvious energy sources that do not get drained, there is a constant force and no seeming depletion of that force.

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The theory of electricity harnessed it's energy for us and made many things predictable. It gave us practical application but the original theory of electrons moving along a wire wasn't what was happening on a molecular level at all.

GR has to ignore certain phenomena to remain intact. It states that energy can neither be created or destroyed but merely changes form one form to another. So gasoline gets burned and creates heat and a vehicle will move down the road. But there are obvious energy sources that do not get drained, there is a constant force and no seeming depletion of that force.

Please do tell us where these infinite sources of energy are. I can tell you right now that Thermodynamics applies to everything, even the Universe, and perpetual motion machines are quite impossible. Entropy rules all.

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The theory of electricity harnessed it's energy for us and made many things predictable. It gave us practical application but the original theory of electrons moving along a wire wasn't what was happening on a molecular level at all.

The "theory of electricity" is encapsuled in Maxwell's equations. They describe in terms of electromagnetic fields. Like GR, it has been hugely predictive.

GR has to ignore certain phenomena to remain intact. It states that energy can neither be created or destroyed but merely changes form one form to another. So gasoline gets burned and creates heat and a vehicle will move down the road. But there are obvious energy sources that do not get drained, there is a constant force and no seeming depletion of that force.

Except of course this is entirely false. There are no sources of limitless energy.

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But there are obvious energy sources that do not get drained, there is a constant force and no seeming depletion of that force.

Energy and force are not synonyms, Isaac Newton Jr.

-k

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The theory of electricity harnessed it's energy for us and made many things predictable. It gave us practical application but the original theory of electrons moving along a wire wasn't what was happening on a molecular level at all.

GR has to ignore certain phenomena to remain intact. It states that energy can neither be created or destroyed but merely changes form one form to another. So gasoline gets burned and creates heat and a vehicle will move down the road. But there are obvious energy sources that do not get drained, there is a constant force and no seeming depletion of that force.

You don't seem to have a grasp on all this at all. Energy is constant, and cannot be created or destroyed, it can be converted from energy to matter and back. How would you create more energy out of nothing? Simple, you cannot. In a car, your fuel burns to create energy to move, however, some of that energy is converted into heat energy because we cannot put it all into motion, and then some energy is lost due to the creation of sound energy.

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Do yourself a favor and put down that Mark McCutcheon book for a while. Read about redshift.

Redshift is in the book. In the common physics understanding it's believed to be the Doppler Effect for light. But according to special relativity light travel is constant relative to the observer. It's one of those anomalies of relativity.

I'm just curious as to why you're so non-specific about them. If these "anomalies" are the basis of your objection to relativity, you must be able to articulate them.

Redshift is one. "Spooky" entanglement another.

Copernicus and Kepler and Tycho didn't lie to the rubes on the street. They just didn't publish them in wildly popular books. The rubes on the street didn't really have access to the correspondence between the leading scientists of the day. They couldn't just go down to the magazine shop and buy an Astronomy Society Journal.

True. How many could even read? But the way I see it is there were scientific advisers to the court and the incarceration of Galileo was not done out of an absence of advice and perhaps even refutation from them. After all, they had propagated the Ptolemic theory for most of their scientific lives. Perhaps they were lenient on Galileo and only sentenced him to house arrest for the rest of his life instead of having him drink the hemlock because they knew he was right. The fact is the Ptolemmic theory stood longer than it should have precisely because of...well...politics and the established hierarchy.

I don't plan on climbing Mt Everest because it would be a highly inefficient use of my limited time and resources. What about you? As a liberated spirit-being with unlimited potential, you must be planning to climb Mt Everest any day now, right?

Not on my agenda, either. At least not in this life. Some risk their lives in space, some on Mt. Everest but to claim there are not those that feel our money and efforts are best spent on starving kids in Africa than a trip to the moon and that we need to stop drilling for oil or driving our vehicles is rather disingenuous an argument. It is when someone else is concerned about and granted the responsibility to look after your welfare that you must become concerned. Your choices will become limited and you will be advised against climbing your mountain, whatever it may be for the good of all.

What a bizarre rant. The notion that disbelief in an afterlife inevitably argues for for some sort of restricted code of behavior state interventionism is inane and disjointed.

It is quite bizarre a thought but the simplicity is that attention fixes on problems. Once the problem of an afterlife has been done away with we can knock down the church spires and erect health spas in their place. Care of the spirit is no longer a concern thanks to people like yourself. Not only that but we can know concentrate our resources where they should be - studying the brain. Perhaps the right chemical balance is necessary. I know you will support that.

Bizarre? What do you think will occur in a society dedicated to the welfare of the body? And what bodies should our resources be expended upon? Are they all equally valuable or are there some that are more equal than others. After all we are only concerned about some electro/chemical reactions.

It should be pointed out, however, that every formalized belief in an afterlife (that I'm aware of, at least) imposes restrictions on your behavior in this current life; if you don't follow the rules in this life you don't get the big present after you die (or, as you put it, "you've got to earn it.")

Yours is not a formalized belief in anything, of course, it is fact. Many scientists agree. Now when things go bump in the night there is no reason to fear. It's a relief. There is no magic hand divining our future and everything has a scientific explanation. Only other men and only a balance of electro/chemicals in them is necessary to ensure such bizarre ideas as an afterlife are entirely forgotten.

A formalized belief is not what we are looking for. I prefer you maintain your integrity, not to any formalized belief or claim to truth, but to your own understanding. That way we can escape the imposition of restrictions on behavior that a formalized belief places upon us. There is no doubt they have been utilized as control methods. The problem is that some feel others need a formalized belief.

Like you need to be a vegetarian. If you are there is no problem. If you aren't, there is a problem.

You can't deny the move by some to argue the use of ranchlands is a waste. Is that a formalized belief or is it valid or perhaps it is an evolutionary step?

Your education empowers you but you must ask empowers you to do what - perhaps further a formalized belief? What is the purpose of education today? To prepare you to make your contribution to society?

Or, better worded, is it to allow you to reach your potential in society? Or is it to foster independent thought that benefits society but then you are in control of yourself - who knows what you will do to society then.

Due to certain experiences in my life, experiences not yet explained, however, theorized about from the scientific view but inadequately in my view, I have made different decsions than you.

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The "theory of electricity" is encapsuled in Maxwell's equations. They describe in terms of electromagnetic fields. Like GR, it has been hugely predictive.

Yes, they have.

Except of course this is entirely false. There are no sources of limitless energy.

When is my magnet going to fall off my fridge?

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You don't seem to have a grasp on all this at all. Energy is constant, and cannot be created or destroyed, it can be converted from energy to matter and back. How would you create more energy out of nothing? Simple, you cannot. In a car, your fuel burns to create energy to move, however, some of that energy is converted into heat energy because we cannot put it all into motion, and then some energy is lost due to the creation of sound energy.

I'll ask you the same question - when is my magnet going to fall off my fridge?

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I'll ask you the same question - when is my magnet going to fall off my fridge?

Magnetism is the alignment of the atomic structure of a substance, in the case of fridge magnets, it's ferromagnetism. It is permanent, or close enough to it, but in and of itself is not a force, it is the effect it has on other materials that produces the energy, and that energy still has to come from somewhere. Force must be applied for the magnetic field to actually do work. In other words, you're still using energy.

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Yes, they have.

When is my magnet going to fall off my fridge?

Really? That's what mystifies you? Hint: as long as the magnet isn't moving, no energy is being used.

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Really? That's what mystifies you? Hint: as long as the magnet isn't moving, no energy is being used.

I think what's happening here is a misunderstanding of what magnetism is, and it's this misunderstanding which is the source of claims of magnetic-type perpetual motion machines. But a magnet isn't doing work in and of itself, any more than an electron in and of itself is doing work. A magnetic field is intrinsic, it is due to the arrangement of matter.

In the case of a fridge magnet, it expends no energy sticking to the surface of a fridge, and apart from the fact that eventually such a magnet will demagnetize due to temperature fluctuations and mechanical alteration (ie. being dropped and moved), the "force", if you will, of the magnet either attracting or repulsion, comes about by moving the magnet. It's that movement is the input energy, and without that input energy, the magnet isn't actually doing anything.

Sorry to say perpetual motion machines are impossible. Thermodynamics is still supreme, and fridge magnets don't disprove it, but rather are a long and now mundane explanation for it.

Edited by ToadBrother

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Redshift is in the book. In the common physics understanding it's believed to be the Doppler Effect for light. But according to special relativity light travel is constant relative to the observer. It's one of those anomalies of relativity.

You still do not understand the Doppler effect here.

If an object in space is emitting light and moving towards you, it looks blue. As it is moving away, red. Simply because anything moving towards you and emitting light, will show blue, because it is kind of compressed. Meaning the light particles are closer together when emitted from the object because it is moving towards you. The opposite happens if the object is moving away from you, resulting in a red spectrum. The constant of light does not change with the doppler effect, the doppler effect explains how close together the particles are from each other when emitted. It's the same thing when a train with the horn blaring creeps up in tone when approaching you, and then fades in tone when moving away. The speed of sound from the object is the same, the speed at which the sound reaches you is the same. However since the object moving away from you will sound different because as it is moving away, and sound is emitted, it takes longer and longer for that sound to hit your ears.

This is how we are able to determine directions of storms, using the doppler effect. When you send out a radar signal (a constant) to a storm, and it bounces back in increasing intervals, the storm is moving away from you. When the intervals are decreased (but the speed of the signal is the same) the object is moving towards you.

If there was no constant speed of light, we simply would not be able to measure things as we do now.

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You still do not understand the Doppler effect here.

This is how we are able to determine directions of storms, using the doppler effect. When you send out a radar signal (a constant) to a storm, and it bounces back in increasing intervals, the storm is moving away from you. When the intervals are decreased (but the speed of the signal is the same) the object is moving towards you.

Ah, NO!

In your example we are simply timing the echo! We know the speed of the radar signal. We send it out and start our timer. If we have an echo come back we simply divide the time in two and that tells us how far to the point of origin of the echo.

At this point nothing can tell us the DIRECTION of the reflection! Steve McQueen is sitting in his POW camp cell, throwing a ball against the wall. If we know how many feet the ball travels in a second and we time how long from the initial throw till it returns to his catcher's mitt, we can divide in half and figure out how far away is the wall.

Steve knows the direction because he has EYES! We tell the direction of a radar echo quite differently. We measure it's amplitude, or signal strength. This is after we've used a BEAM antenna to send out the signal, that focuses it in one direction. If we rotate the beam antenna until we see the maximum signal strength we will then know the direction.

Where the hell does the Doppler Effect fit in?

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Wild Bill, I might be confusing two different concepts, and looks like you might be right on the weather thing. However, the doppler effect does tell us if something is moving away from us, or towards us. And in a sense, that is directional.

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It's that movement is the input energy, and without that input energy, the magnet isn't actually doing anything.

That's not really an entirely correct explanation. The reality is magnetic fields can be described by potentials, just like electrostatic and gravitational fields. A piece of ferromagnetic metal sitting at some position relative to a permanent magnet has a given value of magnetic potential. If it's floating in space with nothing stopping it, it will move due to the magnetic force it feels. As with any force that can be described by a potential function, energy is inherently conserved, and objects attempt to reach a configuration of the lowest potential energy (thereby converting it to kinetic energy).

The reason that magnetism is less intuitive than electrostatic forces and the everyday manifestations of gravity is that magnetic fields are a gradient of a vector potential, whereas electric and gravitational fields are each gradients of scalar potentials. That means that it is not only the distance from the magnet that is important but also the direction (for example, the orientation of the position vector relative to the dipole vector of the magnet).

Edited by Bonam

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