What is Light ?

Did you ever wonder why light has a finite speed limit that it cannot exceed?  Why is this true? Einstein proved it to be true mathematically but this does not explain the physical reality. Light has been shown to behave both as a wave and as a particle. This has been proven by experiment but it has never been given a satisfactory explanation. The next section talks about a new theory that provides a common explanation for the red shift riddle, the speed limit of light, and the dual nature of light.

A New Theory

If the absolute speed limit of light propagation is accepted, then we must also accept that this speed limit is not relative to the position, speed, or direction of the observer or the source. This means that final velocity of the propagation of electromagnetic radiation is universal and constant throughout the universe.  This widely accepted physical Law does not tell us what it is that limits the final velocity of the propagation of light.  There is no logical way to explain how a photon of light could know how fast it was going unless there was something to reference itself to.  There is no detectable Entity in space that could account for this.

What if we assume that there is something in space that is undetectable to our instruments. It would have little or no mass and it distribution would be roughly equal throughout the entire universe. For the sake of our discussion we will call it “pure energy” or energy at rest. If such a thing existed it would be virtually transparent and invisible. If it existed it could explain why light has a speed limit.

Let’s say that a photon starts out by leaving the shell of the excited atom and as it accelerates it encounters this sea of pure energy. Since the photon is virtually a quantitized packet of pure energy itself,  it will absorb energy and grow until it starts to have mass. As soon as this happens it will slow down and dissipate enough energy to maintain an equilibrium and keep itself at near zero mass. Once it has slowed down and shed the mass it will pickup speed and the process repeats itself almost indefinitely.  This is a very plausible explanation of why light has a speed limit. This process would repeat itself but there would be a very slight loss in the total energy of the packet over the years as it travels through space. I propose that it is this loss of energy that is the reason that light from distant galaxies is red shifted and not because of some impossible speed, size and distance that is put forth by current theory.

The Split Personality of Light

 If we take the above concept a little further we can explain another mystery. Suppose that when the photon of light gains mass and then releases energy that this will cause ripples on the “pond” of pure energy. These ripples carry energy and would exibit  the physical attributes of a wave. It would have a frequency proportional to its’ energy and would  cause interference when passed through a diffraction grating and therefore behave like a wave. Since the photon is still intact it would act like a particle when it struck a phototube, exhibiting a distinct energy level. This would explain why light could act as both a wave and a particle. Someone might say that this has a similarity to the Ether theory, which was disproved and discarded a long time ago. It was reasoned that the ether would have some measurable effect on the speed of a  beam of light. In other words if one were traveling on a planet such as earth, the speed of a beam of light sent in the direction travel would be slowed when compared with the speed of a beam sent in the opposite direction. Since there was no detectable difference in the speeds of the two beams it was considered proof that the ether did not exist. According to our new theory the test was not valid because the “ether” or as we are calling it here ” energy at rest”, actually determines the final velocity of light. Not the relative speed of the source. Light would always reach the same velocity in either direction. “Ether” seems to imply a gas like substance, and gases have mass. This is not what I am describing. The term “energy at rest” describes an attribute or characteristic of all non-matter in the universe. It is very likely that what we have thought of, as a vast empty void is in fact the medium by which all energy is transmitted.

An interesting side effect of the new theory is that the actual frequency of an emitted photon would be directly proportional to the amount of energy in the packet. This is to say that the higher the quantity of energy emitted by an atom, the more fierce the interaction between it and the surrounding sea of rest energy and therefore the higher the frequency of the vibration and wave pattern emitted. The atom simply spits out different size energy packets depending upon its makeup and state of excitation. They all reach terminal velocity quickly but exibit a distinct frequency. Over an extended distance these frequencies would gradually weaken and the entire spectrum of a distant object would be shifted downward toward the red end of the spectrum of visible light. Eventually the level of energy and frequency would drop below the visible spectrum of light. This would explain Ober’s paradox. This is the  reason that there is considerable darkness in the night sky even though we know there are billions of stars out there. If our current theories were true about light energy going on forever without being effected by vast distances, then our night sky would be as bright as daytime. 

Giftt: The speed of light came as the part of the solution to the Maxwell’s equations of Electro-Magnetic Radiation. This speed was calculated to be constant at Vacuum with certain permitivity and permiability. Einstein theorized that this speed of light is independent of the relative speeds of the light source and the observer. A famous example is that if two trains are exactly moving in the opposite directions at the speed of light, the observer on one train measures the speed of light of the opposite locomotive to be the constant speed ”c” and not “ 2c”. This has been mathematically and experimentally proven. Now the Energy at rest that you attribute to the fabric of space-time is the same as saying it has equivalent mass since matter and energy are related (Again by Einstein). And there are theories about the energy of the vacuum floating around. As for the Light propagation slowing down and speeding up again, I could not visualize it. The thinking that a Photon of light starts from Zero speed and accelerates to “c” when it leaves an atom can not be comprehended for two reasons:

1)      Photon does not have a rest mass, no one has ever found a photon at rest and no one will. Photon exists only when a packet of energy is moving at the speed of light.

2)      If we assume a classical model that the Photon is absorbed and emitted by the electrons in the Atom, then that Electron is already moving at speeds close to the speed of light. So the photon does not accelerate from zero speed.

As for the Ether theory, I agree with you. The Michaelson – Morely experiment has to be done again. The relative motion of the planet Earth inside a hypothetical standing still Ether is bizarre. The Earth’s motion is such an Ether is not simple, Earth moves and spins and spirals with the Sun and the Andromeda Galaxy at tremendous speeds. My problem is with the theory of Relativity. If we expand the Special Relativity to say the speed of light is independent of the relative speeds of the observer and the source and the media in which it propagates, then Michelson-Morley experiment will not measure a shift in the speed of light.