The Disturbance Hypothesis of Light


My “disturbance hypothesis of light” is far from complete but it is being egged on with help from some very intelligent friends. The following comment from Mark has helped me flesh out some of the ideas in more coherent form.

Comment from MarkNR


My response:

Yes, there are transverse and longitudinal waves. When you flip a rope, the wave that travels over it is transverse. When you play with a slinky, the wave that travels through it is longitudinal.

The ripples on the surface of water in a pool are of transverse nature. But the sound waves that travel through water or air are of longitudinal nature. The electromagnetic waves are thought to be transverse.

You are right in that a transverse wave seems to be a “surface” phenomenon, whereas, longitudinal wave seems to be a “volume” phenomenon. I never looked at it that way before. But it makes sense.

If electromagnetic waves are transverse in nature then are they traveling at the interface of two very different media? Well, we have electrical and magnetic fields associated with this phenomenon. So, an electromagnetic wave may somehow travel in a medium that easily separates into an electric and a magnetic field.

I have been thinking that the electromagnetic waves are to some degree discrete in nature even at very low frequencies. Let’s call such a discrete wave packet of some arbitrarily number of wavelengths a photon.  In that case, a photon will be very long and snakelike at low frequencies, but it will get shorter and more compact as the wavelengths become shorter at higher frequencies.

At the level of electrons, the frequency within the “photon” is high enough to display mass properties due to its compactness. The electron appears like a particle. But it is still spread over some distance to display appreciable wavelike properties.

At the level of proton, however, the frequency within the “photon” is extremely high to make it appear more like a particle than a wave. Its “spread” is very small. At the level of neutron, I believe that the “photon” becomes still more compact such that the charge property gets converted to mass property completely.

This seems to indicate that there is some relationship between the charge and mass. I am trying to define that relationship in terms of “disturbance levels”. A neutron is a really compact “disturbance”. A proton is less so. And an electron displays still lesser compactness of disturbance. What is being disturbed is a primeval field, which appears as “electromagnetic” upon disturbance.

What you are talking about is the corpuscular theory of light that Newton favored. However, Maxwell’s research supported the wave theory of light. I believe that the truth is somewhere in between. I am trying to express my understanding in terms of “disturbance levels” of a primeval field. Such disturbances appear to be increasingly discrete as they gradually become more compact with increasing frequency.

I am simply postulating a primeval field whose inherent nature is yet to be discovered, but the disturbance of which is “electromagnetic” in nature. A disturbance may be looked in terms of having a frequency even when there is nothing vibrating but only a repeating pattern of disturbance.

The notion of “particle” seems to come from the notion of “spread of disturbance” as it becomes compact. The disturbance levels simply lay out a gradient of this “spread”, which becomes increasingly compact. The more compact this disturbance is the better defined its position is in space as a particle.

Your “puffs of smoke” analogy is very apt. It is a concrete rendition of the abstract patterns of “disturbances in vacuum”. Thank you.


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  • vinaire  On February 15, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Here is another revised postulate:

    KHTK Postulate #P4: The speed at which the electromagnetic disturbance propagates decreases with increasing disturbance levels of the harmonics.

    The constants of space are defined by permittivity and permeability.

    Permittivity is the measure of the resistance that is encountered when forming an electric field in a medium. The permittivity of classical vacuum, or free space, is about 8.85 × 10−12 Farads/meter.

    Permeability is the measure of the ability of a material to support the formation of a magnetic field within itself. The permeability of classical vacuum, or free space, is about 1.26 ×10−6 Henries per meter.

    Both permittivity and permeability seems to represent a measure of inertia (resistance to motion) characterizing the electromagnetic disturbance in space. This inertia is postulated to increase with increasing disturbance levels as wavelength and period shorten. This would reflect in the decreasing speed of propagation of the electromagnetic disturbance with doubling of frequency.

    The constant 3 x 108 meters per second for the speed of light applies to DL49, which is a narrow band in the electromagnetic spectrum. It is postulated that radio waves (DL27) shall propagate at a higher speed, and the gamma rays (DL65) shall propagate at a slower speed than that of visible light.


  • vinaire  On February 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    KHTK Postulate #P5: The electromagnetic disturbance propagates as discrete wave packets.

    The electromagnetic disturbance is to some degree discrete in nature. It propagates as a wave packet of a certain number of wavelengths.  These wave packets are very long and “snake like” at low disturbance levels, but they are highly compact and “golf ball like” at very high disturbance levels, where inertia is expressed in the form of mass.

    In between, such as, at the level of electrons, these wave packets are compact enough to display some mass properties, but they are still spread over a short distance to display wavelike properties. It seems that Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle about the position and momentum of an electron comes into play only when we assume the electron to be “golf ball like” rather than “snake like”.

    The charge of the electron is there because of the inherent electromagnetic nature of disturbance. However, as compactness increasing at higher disturbance levels, even the charge seems to disappear into mass. A neutron with no charge is a very compact “disturbance”. A proton with charge is somewhat less compact. And an electron with a much higher charge to mass ratio is much less compact. A relationship between charge and mass is worth exploring.


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