Category Archives: Physics

Light “Waves” or Energy Consistency?

Planck’s quantum of action ‘h’ shows that radiative energy is proportional to “frequency”. In case of a wave, which is a disturbance in a medium, the energy is proportional to the square of amplitude. Therefore, the electromagnetic energy cannot be a disturbance in a material medium. The frequency of energy is not a rate of disturbance; instead, it is the rate of transitions between electrical and magnetic fields. Since the speed of electromagnetic radiation is constant, its frequency is, probably, better interpreted as its consistency.

The “wave nature” of electromagnetic radiation is very different from that of a wave in water or air. An energy or light wave is neither transversal nor longitudinal.

Newton’s corpuscles and Planck-Einstein quanta are correct in the sense that light is not a disturbance in some medium, but it is something physical.

However, these corpuscles/quanta are not discrete “particles” in space; instead, they represent the consistency of energy.

Quantum doesn’t really break the sense of continuity of variables of the classical mechanics when frequency is interpreted as consistency. It does change the consideration of Maxwell’s theory, which assumes the consistency of electromagnetic energy to be constant.

Maxwell’s theory assumes the consistency of electromagnetic energy to be constant.

As consistency gets thicker there are sudden transitions possible from thinner to thicker consistency. This may give an illusion of discontinuity, but that is simply a sharp gradient.

The boundary between matter and void is not a discontinuity, but an extreme gradient in consistency of energy.

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The Quantum

I differ in my understanding of QUANTA. It applies to electromagnetic radiation. Einstein looked at quanta as corpuscles in space, and so does current science. But I look at quanta as the consistency (a degree of density, firmness, viscosity, etc.) of radiation. The idea of corpuscles comes from reactions that we see in experiments where radiation is involved.

For example, in a double-slit experiment with electrons we see flashes of light when the electrons hit the screen. We, therefore, think that the electrons are corpuscles. But then we see a light and dark pattern emerging on the screen, which means that the electron flow is actually a wave form that passed through both the slits. This is not possible when we think of electrons as corpuscles.

The best explanation is that electron flow is a flow of thick energy through the double-slit that reacts as points where its wave front impacts the screen. The whole wave seems to get concentrated at the point of impact.

This provides a different picture of the “particles” of Quantum Mechanics.

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Earlier I wrote in Final Comments to Einstein 1938: The Quanta of Light:

“In the photoelectric effect, an increase in the intensity of light only increased the number of electrons emitted and not their energy (velocity). This implies an increase in the same type of interactions between light and electrons. Hence, light must also be composed of particles like electrons.

When the wavelength of light was increased, it lowered the energy of the electrons emitted, and not their number. This implies that the energy was supplied by the composition of light particles and not by their kinetic energy. In other words, the inertia (innate force) of light particles converted into the velocity of the electrons. It is like a conversion from “mass” into “energy”.

A constant velocity is an outcome of balanced forces. Inertia is the innate force of the substance that balances the acceleration of the quantum particle. As this balance shifts, so does the velocity. Thus, underlying the exchange of energy there is a balance of forces in terms of momentum.

Einstein refers to these light and electricity particles as “energy quanta”, but, much earlier, Faraday referred to them as lines of force. These lines of force may be viewed as string-like “force quanta”. This view explains the wave properties of light and generates no conflict with its quantum properties.”

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The World of Atom (Part XV)

Reference: A Logical Approach to Theoretical Physics

THE WORLD OF ATOM by Boorse

PART XV –NUCLEAR REACTIONS AND NUCLEAR ENERGY

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Chapter 89: Nuclear Theory – Werner K. Heisenberg (1901 – 1976)

The Normal States of Atomic Nuclei. Many properties of the nucleus can be discussed and understood without making specific assumptions about nucleons. The binding energy per nucleon remains the same as we go to heavier nuclei; that means nucleons inside the nucleus interact only with their nearest neighbors. The volume of the nucleus is proportional to the number of nucleons; that means nucleons are spread out uniformly throughout the nucleus.

Chapter 90: Energy Production in Stars – Hans A. Bethe (1906 – 2005)

Energy Production in Stars. Bethe set forth the law: As long as the neutron and the proton are separated by more than a critical distance (of the order of 10-13 cm) they have no influence on each other; if they are closer, there is a constant but very large pull between them. His work led to the discovery of the nuclear reactions that generate the radiation of stars. Bethe’s pioneering work with the proton-proton chain and the carbon cycle laid the foundation for the great advances that have occurred in our knowledge of the structure and the evolution of stars.

Chapter 91: Fission – Lise Meitner (1878 – 1968), Otto R. Frisch (1904 – 1968), Niels Bohr (1885 – 1962)

Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons. The more neutrons we add to the nucleus, the more protons we must add. The bottom gets filled up with 2 protons and 2 neutrons. As more protons and neutrons are added they get stacked up getting closer to the “top of the crater.” Thus, a great deal more energy can be obtained from a fission process than is supplied to the nucleus to induce the fission. Lise Meitner and O. R. Frisch used the liquid-drop model of Bohr to point out how a splitting of uranium can occur under the appropriate conditions. They were among the first to analyze the experimental data correctly and originate the idea of nuclear fission in 1939. 

Chapter 92: Chain-Reacting Pile – Enrico Fermi (1901 – 1954)

Experimental Production of a Divergent Chain Reaction. The first chain reaction was obtained on December 2, 1942 with a “pile” constructed and successfully operated at the University of Chicago. Fermi and his co-workers achieved this by clever geometry and a proper distribution of the uranium atoms relative to carbon atoms. To produce a chain reaction or a self-sustaining pile a game of slowing down and catching neutrons must be played. Fermi showed that a chain reaction is possible only if at least 1.22 of the original 2 neutrons become thermal neutrons and give rise to fission.

Chapter 93: Power from Fusion – Ernest W. Titterton (1914 – 1990)

Power from Fusion? Long lasting radioactive byproducts from fission process make it an untenable power source. The possibility of producing power without such hazard exists through the use of nuclear fusion. This is the natural process of “thermonuclear” reactions occurring in our sun and all the stars. Unfortunately, to produce fusion artificially is a difficult task. An account of the way in which fusion comes about and how this process proceeds naturally in the stars is lucidly explained in E. W. Titterton’s book ‘Facing the Atomic Future’.

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The World of Atom (Part XIV)

Reference: A Logical Approach to Theoretical Physics

THE WORLD OF ATOM by Boorse

PART XIV – NEWER DEVELOPMENTS IN ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR THEORY

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Chapter 81: Mesons – Cecil Frank Powell (1905 – 1991)

Mesons. In 1947 Powell and Occhialini discovered pion tracks on special photographic plates exposed to cosmic rays. Powell received the Nobel Prize in 1950 for developing special photographic techniques for the study of cosmic rays and applying the techniques to the analysis of mesons found in such rays. This discovery confirmed Yukawa’s theory about the nature of nuclear force.

Chapter 82: The Antiproton – Emilio Segrè (1905 – 1989) and Owen Chamberlain (1920 – 2006)

Antiprotons. In 1955 Segrè and Chamberlain discovered the antiproton for which they received the Nobel prize in 1959. The antiproton was predicted by Dirac’s theory, but to produce it required vastly more energy, over a six-billion-volt proton as a bombarding particle. Collisions at this energy produced some 40,000 other particles. The recognition of antiproton required precise alignment of detectors and counters along with the demonstration that these particles annihilate protons and neutrons. The existence of the antinucleon greatly strengthens the belief of physicists that antimatter exists as the normal state of things in a different part of our universe.

Chapter 83: Nuclear Magnetic Moment – Isidor I. Rabi (1898 – 1988)

Quantization in a Gyrating Magnetic Field. I. I. Rabi developed the most precise and elegant method for measuring the size of the magnetic moment of a nucleus that was needed to construct a nuclear model. His starting point was the Stern and Gerlach experiment to which he added a longer path and auxiliary fields that could rotate and oscillate at adjustable frequencies. This finally led to the molecular beam resonance method that could precisely determine the magnetic moments of nuclei. His experiments won him a Nobel prize in physics in 1944.

Chapter 84: Hydrogen and the Elementary Particles – Willis E. Lamb, Jr. (1913 – 2008)

Fine Structure of the Hydrogen Atom. In 1947, Lamb designed a very ingenious and beautiful experiment, based on microwave techniques, to analyze the fine structure of the hydrogen lines for n = 2. The experiment showed that there is a 1000 megacycle-per-second separation between the 2S½ and 2P½ levels, in disagreement with the prediction of Dirac’s theory. This remarkable experiment led to the mass renormalization theories of Bethe, Schwinger, Feynman and Tomonaga, and indicated how the Dirac theory must be corrected to conform to the observed results. Lamb won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1955 “for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum.” 

Chapter 85: Magnetic Moment of the Electron – Polykarp Kusch (1911 – 1993)

Magnetic Moment of the Electron. Another discrepancy from Dirac’s theory detected experimentally was the value of the magnetic moment of the electron. It became clear that the intrinsic magnetic moment of the electron must differ from 1 Bohr magneton by about 1%. This suggested the need of a very precise determination for g-factor associated with spin of the electron. This was undertaken by Kusch. The agreement was about 1 part in a billion. This result is extremely important since it demonstrates the high degree of accuracy of the improved quantum electrodynamics in analyzing the interaction of an electron and an electromagnetic field.

Chapter 86: High Energy Physics – Hans Bethe (1906 – 2005), Julian Schwinger (1918 – 1994) and Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988)

The Electromagnetic Shift of Energy Levels. An error in the Dirac theory arises because it regards the electron as a point without a surrounding radiation field. There is therefore no limit as to how energetic the photons may be with which the electron could interact. This is equivalent to saying that the interaction of the electron with the radiation field surrounding it leads to an infinite correction to its mass. Bethe was the first to obtain a fairly accurate value by an approximate non-relativistic method. Schwinger and Feynman then independently came up with a precise relativistic procedure for mass and charge renormalization.

Chapter 87: The Nuclear Shell – Johannes D. Jensen (1907 – 1973)

The History of the theory of Structure of The Atomic Nucleus. There is a nuclear shell structure similar to the electronic shell structure. For electronic shells the numbers of electrons that completely fill the shells are: 2, 8, 18, 32, etc. For nucleon shells such numbers for neutrons or protons are: 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, 126, and so on. When these nucleon shells are completely filled, we get an extremely stable and abundant nucleus. It was for shell structure theory of the nucleus that Jensen shared the 1963 Nobel Prize.

Chapter 88: Radiocarbon Dating – Willard F. Libby (1908 – 1980)

Radiocarbon Dating. Libby discovered C14, with a half-life of 5,568 years, as the radioactive substance that could be used to date substances in the organic world. The method depends on the fact that all samples of atmospheric carbon dioxide are radioactive and consequently all plants, animals and humans are radioactive in a balanced way. When death occurs the balance immediately ceases, and the radiocarbon atoms become fewer and fewer as time goes on.  Libby was honored by the Nobel Prize in chemistry for 1960 for his development of the C14 dating techniques.

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The World of Atom (Part XIII)

Reference: A Logical Approach to Theoretical Physics

THE WORLD OF ATOM by Boorse

PART XIII – NEW PARTICLES AND ATOMIC ACCELERATORS

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SUMMARY:

The last aspect of investigation into the electron was the discovery of positron. The target of investigation then became the nucleus. This required the production of high energy particles that could penetrate the nucleus. This led to the invention of cyclotron. The discovery of neutron also provided an effective “missile” that could penetrate the nucleus. Investigation required the understanding the very substance and the force that held it was held together.

POSTULATES:

  1. The substance is palpable, and that palpability comes from force.
  2. The substance exists as a continuum, but it has a spectrum of thickness (viscosity).
  3. When this substance flows with uniform thickness it has wave characteristics.
  4. When that thickness varies with sudden and extreme gradients it acquires particle characteristics.
  5. An isolated particle may be visualized as a discrete solid center surrounded by a continuum of gradually thinning substance swirling around it. This would be the picture of the hydrogen atom.
  6. Any interaction with the surrounding continuum of substance shall produce sharp gradients and appearance of a particle. Such a particle is the electron with no solid center.
  7. Electron can have many energy levels and the change in energy levels is accompanied by the emission or absorption of a photon. Such energy level can be negative, a change from which is accompanied by a positron (an antiparticle).
  8. Different energy levels could be occupied by other electrons making the atomic structure more rigid. This simply means multiple continua of slightly different thicknesses surrounding the nucleus.
  9. Multiple electrons hold their relative configuration by continually exchanging photons among them.
  10. The center of a particle (the solid nucleus) may acquire greater complexity through accumulation as in the case of a Deuteron.
  11. Here too we have many energy levels in the nucleus and they may or may not be occupied by nucleons.
  12. Multiple nucleons in the nucleus hold their relative configuration by continually exchanging pions among them.

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Chapter 72: The positive Electron – The First Particle of Antimatter – Carl D. Anderson (1905 – 1991)

The Positive Electron. Dirac’s theory implies negative-energy states and the possibility of electrons emerging from these states along with anti-electrons (positrons). Dirac suggested that the chance of such pair being created would be small because it would require energy equivalent to at least twice the mass of electron. However enough energy is present in cosmic radiation to create such a pair as it passes through a sheet of matter. Carl Anderson’s discovery of such pair of particles in his cosmic ray photographs established the Dirac theory as one of the most reliable in physics. This has led to the concept of antimatter.

Chapter 73: The discovery of the Deuteron – Harold Clayton Urey (1893 – 1981)

A Hydrogen Isotope of Mass 2 and its concentration. Fractional distillation of hydrogen to obtain a concentration of deuteron was accomplished by Harold Urey in 1932. This allowed the experimental investigation which resulted in the discovery of neutron soon afterwards.

Chapter 74: Discovery of the Neutron – James Chadwick (1891 – 1974)

The Existence of a Neutron. Scientists faced great difficulty in accounting for the mass and charge of a nucleus in terms of the electron and proton only. Chadwick pictured the beryllium radiation as being not electromagnetic but rather as consisting of neutral particles with masses equal to the mass of the proton. He proved that these particles are highly penetrating because they have no charge and are thus not repelled by the electric fields surrounding nuclei. Neutron and proton are now considered as two different energy states of the same fundamental particle, the nucleon. 

Chapter 75: Fermi’s Contributions – Enrico Fermi (1901 – 1954)

Quanta of a Field as Particles. Fermi-Dirac statistics add the restriction that electrons influence one another in such a way as to pre-empt or exclude identical motion in the same volume element (Pauli’s exclusion principle). Fermi did this to account for degeneracy. This was soon used to explain the properties of metals and to solve all kinds of solid-state problems. Fermi showed how various atomic problems can be treated statistically, to give results that are fairly accurate. Fermi demonstrated the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation. He developed a complete theory of β-decay and β-emission from the nucleus. His neutron research finally culminated in the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on Dec 2, 1942.

Chapter 76: Artificial Nuclear Disintegration – John Cockcroft (1897 – 1967) and Ernest Walton (1903 – 1995)

Experiments with High Velocity Positive Ions. Cockcroft and Walton were the first to construct an ion accelerator of sufficient energy to produce nuclear disintegrations.Gamow showed that α-particles, because of their wave nature, do indeed penetrate the Coulomb potential barrier at relatively low energies. Cockcroft became convinced that the wave properties of protons would allow them to enter light nuclei at low energies. Ernest Walton was then developing one of the first linear accelerators. Their collaboration in 1932 resulted in the first proton-induced artificial nuclear disintegration. The results showed that nuclei could be disrupted by particles of lower energy than previously supposed.

Chapter 77: The Electrostatic Generator – Robert Jemison Van De Graaff (1901 – 1967) 

The Electrostatic Production of High Voltage for Nuclear Investigations. The Van de Graaff generator was developed as a particle accelerator for physics research; its high potential is used to accelerate subatomic particles to great speeds in an evacuated tube. It was the most powerful type of accelerator of the 1930s until the cyclotron was developed.

Chapter 78: The Cyclotron – Ernest O. Lawrence (1901 – 1958) and Milton S. Livingston (1905 – 1986)

Production of High-Speed Ions. Lawrence introduced a new procedure: to accelerate ions to very high speeds in a series of steps, each of which would involve only a relatively small voltage. In a cyclotron, one must first have a magnetic field at right angles to the plane of the path of the ion and then an alternating electric field that changes its direction periodically in phase with motion of the ion.

Chapter 79: The Discovery of Induced Radioactivity – Jean F. Joliot (1900 – 1958) and Irene Curie Joliot (1897 – 1956)

A New Type of Radioactivity. The Joliot-Curies showed in 1934 that when lighter elements, such as boron and aluminum, were bombarded with α-particles, the lighter elements continued to emit radiation even after the α−source was removed. They showed that this radiation consisted of positrons. The induced radioactivity appeared because an unstable nucleus had been created. This discovery set off similar research in physics laboratories around the world. 

Chapter 80: Prediction of the Meson – Hideki Yukawa (1907 – 1981)

On the Interaction of Elementary Particles. Hideki Yukawa developed a quantum field theory of the nuclear forces. He quantized the nuclear force field in complete analogy with the electromagnetic radiation field. The interaction between two charged particles is described as arising from the mutual emission and absorption of photons. Yukawa postulated that a much heavier particle is emitted by the neutron and then absorbed by the proton that generates strong interactions between them and thus account for nuclear forces. Later pi mesons (pions) were discovered that have the property predicted by Yukawa.

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