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Do Photons Exist?

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on October 23, 2004 14:52:01 UTC

Nobody knows if any particles exist, including photons. This is an ambiguity in quantum theory.

Quantum theory is incomplete in that there is know way of knowing if only waves exist, or only particles exist or both exist all the time. It is a matter of interpretation, or belief or faith.

Feymann did QED theory using particles only. But he also had to use positrons coming back from the future. Can you beoieve that. Yet he got a theory that is said to be the most accurate theory ever based on measurements.

But at face value, quantum mechanics is only about waves or eigenfunctions, which have no physical existence. It is presumed that the waves collapse into point particles when we try to measure the waves. But there is no theory of the collapse. The moment of collapse is the only moment that a particle even exists for it immediately becomes some other sort of wave, like the eigenfunctions of an electron, if the response to detecting the light is a current. In this interpretation only waves existmost of the time.

The state to which the waves collapse to is random for a single collapse. Only the sum of a great number of collapses is predited by the eigenfunctions. An alternative interpretation is that each individual collapse creates a seprpate universe and that every possibility is realized all the time. Can you believe that?

Bohm theory is the only theory where both waves and particles exist at the same time, and both are real. The waves then guide the particles as to where they go. I actually like this one the best, but it is perhaps the least popular among physicists. But some believe it in like it was a religion.

The point is that physicists tend to believe in one interpretation or another, as a matter of faith. There is no rational basis to choose one over the other. The mathematics is essentially the same and the predictions always the same no matter which interpretation you believe in.

Now you seem to believe that only particles exist and you seem to assign classical properties to these particles, like saying that a photon has a particular spin now and forever.

Well, photons are described by Maxwell's equations, a wave theory. In that theory you can propagate linearly polarized waves, which have at the same time two opposite spins, or in reality no spin at all. Or you can propagate circularly polarized waves, which have either right handed spin or left handed spin. However, if you measure a linearly polarized wave with circularly polarized you detect circular polarization.

That is all classical thinking. It seems to be the same as your explanation. But it does not include the randomness inherent in quantum mechanics. In quantum mechanics any individual photon is in all possible states at the same time until a measurement makes it collapse to a particular state, or choose a particular universe, or... You see, it is incoeerect to use classical thinking to describe quantum effects.

Worm Holes: They are never connections to every other piece of matter in the universe.

Although in string theory such connections could be the result of compactification of 16 of the 26 dimensions of boson string theory. But that is not the worm holes of GR theory. GR Worm holes exist in 4-d.

The 6-d thread that connects specific entangled particles are not worm holes and the entanglement can be broken resulting in the precipatation of the thread into 4-d space as axions.

So worm holes cannot extent thru black hole event horizons. mIf particle pairs happen to straddle the event horizon, their entanglement is broken as in Hawking's black hole radiation theory.

And photons never have mass. They only have momentum, if, of course, they even exist.

Any more questions?


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