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A model of atomic structure and function based on the idea that matter is made of light.  

Part 1: Why is the idea that matter is made of light worth considering?

The notion of matter made of light probably seems preposterous to you. But it isn't. Not if you take even a little time to think about it. So before you dismiss the idea out of hand, let me try to convince you to give it some thought.

Just at first glance, the idea that light and matter are made of the same type of stuff can be easily seen in our 2 most important and successful physical theories.  The standard model and relativity.  Under the standard model of quantum mechanics, 2 aspects of matter and light behavior are barely distinguishable. Both matter and light behave like both particles and waves. I read the fact that matter behaves like light at the quantum level as a clue that matter and light have something fundamental in common, and that they could be different manifestations of the same type of energy.

Now consider relativity. Arguably the most successful description of nature ever developed. Let's consider a few of the equations of relativity -- the most important ones Einstein published in 1905.  The equation describing the amount of energy contained in matter, and the 2 equations describing how space, time and mass are altered as matter moves through what Einstein called the space time fabric.  When we look at those equations, what do we see?  What these 3 revolutionary equations have in common is the figure C(2). Why is that?  Why is it necessary to describe matter in terms of light behavior?  If we think of matter as constituted from something different than light, we're hard pressed to say why the mathematics of our most successful physical theory of matter is littered with light. But if we consider the possibility that matter is made of light, there is no difficulty in reconciling the necessity of C(2) in a description of matter. It is the most natural idea that could be imagined.  

Let's look at another example of standard model proposed and verified experimental evidence. The fact that 2 particles of matter, an electron and a positron (a positron is considered "antimatter", but it a has mass and an equivalent energy content, just like "regular" matter, so I'm treating them both as matter here), come into conact, anihilate, and turn into...light.  How does that happen?  If matter can become light, then is it really preposterous to consider that it might be made of light?  

There are lots of other reasons the idea of light matter seems very natural to me. And I'll explain some of those below. I mean to try to convince you the idea of light matter is much more sound than it appears at first glance.

But I'll admit that I've tried before and failed to get other people to consider this idea. And most of them quickly start wondering if I've fallen off my rocker.  Maybe their instincts are right. Maybe this notion is a pipe dream. Maybe science is already heading in the right direction to  develop what Einstein dreamed of. "A complete worldview [including the quantum world] that is in accord with the principle of relativity". But anyone who understands our physical science today, even at a basic level, knows that we're nowhere near realizing that goal yet.

I propose that a model of matter based on the idea that it is made of light is obvious and simple, and that it fits with what we've learned through experiment about how matter behaves.  In particular, I'll try to show how the light model explains how and why elements arrange themselves geometrically as they do in in a sample set of molecules. And how the same effects apply generally to all molecules. Also, how this model leads to explanations for a few organic and inorganic processes that are different, and I would argue more realistic, than the explanations our current science offers. Those are the main goals of this series of diaries on the nature of matter.  

My goal here is simply to set the stage for you to consider the possibility that the C(2) in E=MC(2) is not just an arbitrary coincidence.  But rather, that it stands as a direct signpost, pointing out to us that the energy contained in matter is light energy.

Here are Part2 and Part 3

My aim is to convince you of a few things.  First, that there is a solid basis for the light matter hypothesis that emerges from an objective consideration of scientific theory and evidence.  Second, that there are highly accomplished physicists who do not (or did not while they lived) believe that our modern theories are nearly complete. That is, some scientists believe(d) that there are still big holes in our theories, such as an understanding of how all light moves uniformly at C, how light exchanges energy with matter in emission and radiation, how gravity works, and our inability to reconcile the operations of the (relativistic) macro world with the quantum world.  Third, and mainly, that a model of light matter might fill in some of the holes in our theories in a natural way.

To begin, let's consider our intuitive conception of matter. We think of matter as solid, liquid and gaseous stuff. Like rocks and water and air. And science tells us that all of that familiar stuff behaves according to Newton's Laws.  Newton described mathematically the situation of our natural world almost perfectly.  Then Einstein came along and threw a little wrench into Newton's machinery. Einstein showed us that when considering objects moving with high velocity, Newton's Laws need an adjustment. Of course, within the world of natural experience that adustment is negligible.  But as matter moves through what Einstein called the space time fabric with a velocity approaching that of light, his adjustment becomes much more significant.

We could dismiss Einstein's adustment and still understand most of the universe pretty well.  But if we want to really understand nature, we have to understand what makes that adjustment necessary.

Einstein's general theory of relativity adjusts Newton's laws to describe the graviational effects of matter within our solar system nearly perfectly. So far so good for the relativistic approach to the macro world.  But when we consider the sub-microscopic (or quantum) world, relativity doesn't fair so well.  At least, the theories we've developed to understand and describe the quantum world have not been reconciled with general relativity. That's a gaping hole in our understanding that is widely recognized. The trouble is that on a quantum scale, matter behaves quite differently than it does on a macro scale.  

On the quantum scale, matter behaves much less like out natural conception of matter and much more like our natural conception of light.  If we search for one word that encapsulates our theoretical conception of quantum matter behavior, we would have to choose a synonym of the word "elusive".  That is to say, when we examine matter closely, it apears fleeting -- like light.  Matter at the quantum scale, refuses to be pinned down for observation.  When we try to get a close look at it, the indeterminacy principle gets in our way.  And we can only catch glimpses of its reactions to our experimental methods that tell us very little about its composition.  This is the crux of the problem we face in trying to understand what matter is made of and how it operates.  

Our modern theories are based on the idea that because quantum matter appears indeterminate, we have to assume that matter actually has an indeterminable nature.  We sort of believe that because we can't "see" and pin down matter's underlying physical structure, that structure doesn't exist. Some modern physists would contend that atomic nuclei and electrons in, let's say a rock, don't even have a definable physical presence at a given moment -- matter itself is effectively considered to be a probability function, because we can't see where it is and what it's doing, experimentally.  This indeterminate conception of matter's nature is the fundamental basis of modern quantum mechanics.  

If we could just peek under the indeterminacy hood, the source of the physical forces might become obvious.  But experimentation and our indeterminate theories have taken us only to the point of accuracy that can be described by statistical methods.  They haven't revealed the underlying physical processes that must be present to make matter work the way it does. Quantum theory remains today, as we'll see Einstein describe it in his own words below, "an incomplete description of physical systems".

We have names for the components of matter.  Protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks etc.  And we have rules that accurately describe the interactions among those components in a probabalistic way.  But we don't really understand HOW those components interact with each other.  At least not in an intuitive way.  And we certainly don't have a satisfactory understanding of what sort of "substance" atomic particles are made of.  But clearly, the standard model components of matter are made of something real. Something that must have a form more concrete than a probablitiy function.  And that something MUST be a form of energy.

When the energy contained in matter is released, in for example a nuclear reaction -- where some of matter's mass is "converted" into energy, what types of energy come out?  Just one type -- electromagnetic radiation, or light.  This fact begs the question: Where does that light energy come from?  Is matter really converted INTO light, from something DIFFERENT THAN light?  If there is a "substance" different than light, in matter, why do we never see anything other than light come out of it?  Doesn't the fact that matter sometimes undergoes transformations that can be accurately described as matter "turning into light", imply that matter could simply be a contained quantity of light energy?  These questions remain unasked and unanswered by modern science.  But the questions themselves point directly to the hypothesis that matter is made of light.

Under the light matter point of view, when a Uranium nucleus is split, and some of the matter (that used to be a part of the original nuclear structure), is released from its attachment to that structure, some of the light energy composing that "structure" is simply released in its root form.  The  energy given off in any chemical or nuclear reaction is not so much a conversion FROM matter INTO light, as it is a release of light energy that the matter already contained.  

If we explore the possibility that matter and light are different forms of the same thing, that matter is a manifestation of light energy that we haven't yet figured out, then the whole puzzle of matter/energy behavior is easily resolved.  And what emerges is a picture of atomic structure and function that is much more concrete and mechanistic than our current "indeterminate" one.  The light-matter model of atomic constitution that I mean to describe here is easily understood, once you take the first step of accepting the possibility that the energy matter contains is light energy.

Perhaps the reason science hasn't recognized and explored the light matter hypothesis is that our current models have allowed us to understand so much about how nature operates, that our indeterminate conception of matter in those models doesn't appear as a problem to be resolved. It's just part of matter's nature. So the idea that we're missing something and should look outside the box of our how we coneptualize matter doesn't even occur to a trained scientific mind. Parodoxically, scienctific theory provides many clues about the nature of matter, that point to this hypothesis.  I'm going to describe a few well known scientific ideas that led me to think about the possibility of light matter.  They're ideas that you're likely familiar with. These are aspects of accepted physical theory that can be seen to reflect light in matter's nature.  

1 - Matter emits and absorbs light

Matter does both of these things all the time. For example, in photosynthesis, radio transmission, combustion etc.  Matter hardly does anything that doesn't involve emitting or absorbing light energy.  So, even if matter is made of something different than light, it's clear that the energy matter contains can be converted into light.  And that the light energy matter absorbs can be converted into matter.  So matter and light are at the very least, interconvertible.  But if on the other hand, matter is composed of light, then no conversion would even be necessary in the ordinary processes of light emmission and absorption.  They would both be a simple matter of matter releasing or capturing a piece of something no different than itself.        

2 - Quantum matter behaves like light

The parallel behaviors of light and matter are most clearly seen in the results of the well known double slit experiment.  Where a photon (light) or an electron (matter) moves at high speed through a set of closely spaced slits in a screening material.  And both forms of energy move through the experimental apparatus in a similar pattern that reveals a wave-like behavior in both types of particles as they move in the (otherwise vacuous) space time fabric medium containing the experiment.  Here, 2 clearly different forms of energy -- a photon and an electron (light and matter), behave in nearly identical ways.  If matter is made of light, then it seems natural that on a quantum scale, light and matter would sometimes behave simlarly.  Especially in this particular experimental result, which captures the essence of the shared -- wave/particle duality -- behavior of light and matter, so clearly.

3 - Matter can be defined as a quantity of energy that is described in terms of an aspect of light behavior -- the velocity of light.

E=MC(2).  This equation tells us that a fantastic amount of energy is contained in matter.  And we calculate that amount by multiplying matter's mass by the velocity of light (squared).  This equation implies that if we had, for example, 1 gram of matter, it would contain the amount of energy needed to accelerate a 1 gram mass to the speed of light. Under Newtonian or "non-relativistic" mechanics.  

To quantify this idea more specifically, we could say that the energy contained in our 1 gram sample of matter is equivalent to the energy required to apply a force that would accelerate a still 1 gram mass, at the rate of 186,000 miles per second per second, for 1 second, over a distance of 186,000 miles.

1 gram X 186,000 miles/sec(2) X 186,000 miles = 1gram X C(2)

And if relativistic effects didn't resist the acceleration of our sample of matter, the energy contained in that matter (appropriately applied) could accelerate our 1 gram sample of matter to the velocity of light.

In a way, this is what actually happens experimentally when an electron and a positron anihilate.  This reaction can be viewed as a change of state, from matter into light.  Where the "matter energy" the 2 particles originally contain, is instantaneously accelerated to C in the form of a quantity of "light energy", equivalent to the "matter energy" that existed before the reaction began.  And as the law of conservation of energy would prescribe, no energy is lost in this reaction -- the original energy contained in the two particles of matter, continues to exist in a different form after the reaction has taken place.  That is, a quantity of matter energy has become an equivaltent quantity of light energy moving at C, according to Einstein's equation.

The relationship between matter, energy and the square of the velocity of light, described by Einstein's most famous equation stands out as the most obvious signpost pointing toward the light matter hypothesis.  

4 - Matter is altered, in terms of space, time and mass, as its movement in the space time fabric approaches the unatainable (limiting) velocity of light.

The 2 equations from special relativity that describe how these 3 aspects of matter are altered as matter approaches C, are really just 1 equation and its inverse.

Space and time dilation are both described by:

square root of [1 - v(2)/c(2)]

And matter's mass is simply the inverse of that equation.  

Or 1/space (or time) dilation.  

To put the meaning of those equations into words, we could say that the physical space matter occupies, and the passage of time for matter, both decrease toward an infinitessimal quantity as matter approaches C.  While simultaneously, matter's mass (that is, the power of its inertial effect on the space time fabric governing matter's movement) increases toward an infinite quantity.  These equations describing how matter changes approaching C, also imply the impossibility of matter actually moving at or beyond C.  The most obvious point to be gleaned from these equations is that there is an observable relationship (thoroughly verified by experiment) between both matter's (space/time) state, and its inertial power (mass), vs the velocity of its movement in the space time fabric. And this relationship is described in terms of, and is fundamentally bounded by, the velocity of light.

This last idea is perhaps the most subtle of the 4 I've described.  But it points most directly toward the idea of light energy composing not just matter, but also Einstein's space time fabric.  If Einstein's conception of the space time fabric governinging matter's movement and condition within it, is a "real" phenomenon, and is effected by a form of light energy.  And if Einstein's light fabric is the source of energy altering matter's state as it interacts with this fabric at high speed, then the fact that the speed of light is the limit to how fast matter can be made to move within that fabric, points toward the idea that both matter and the space time fabric operate, and interact with each other, with the power and mechanisms of light energy.

We know that the 4 ideas briefly described above are about as close as we ever come to "scientific facts".  Each of them has been thoroughly verified by experiment.  The more accurate our experimental methods and instruments become, the more precisely these ideas prove themselves to describe matter's behavior correctly.  That is, the more they appear to reflect matter's true nature.  And the possibility that matter is made of light, can easily be seen in each of these ideas individually.  But when all of these "scientific facts" are considered together, the possibility that matter is composed of light seems even more natural and obvious.

The idea that matter contains (and is composed of) light energy has been staring humanity in the face for more than a century.  Ever since "the miracle year", 1905.  When Albert Einstein published 5 important papers that included the revolutionary ideas he would later call the special theory of relativity.  In describing his newfound understanding of the relationship between the mass and energy in matter, Einstein revealed what has become our most universally known, most experimentally tested and verified, most fundamental scientific equation.

            E=MC(2)

Einstein once described the essence of this equation in a simple, profound statement.  He said, "mass and energy are both different manifestations of the same thing".  That is probably the most concise and meaningful description of nature ever expressed.  It implies that everything we know is a manifestation of just one thing -- the same thing -- energy. So, if energy is just one thing, what is it?

It has to be significant that C (the velocity of light -- in a matter vacuum) figures so prominently into our fundamental equation describing the amount of energy matter contains.  C is not just an ARBITRARILY large numerical value.  It is a manifestation of light's energy -- its speed -- which remains constant across the whole spectrum of photons as they move through Einstein's space-time fabric.  If we consider that light matter would be "light acting on light" to contain its energy in the form of atoms, then the presence of the figure c(2) in our fundamental equation of matter makes perfect intuitive sense.  And the fact that our fundamental equation describing the amount of energy contained in matter, is based on the square of the SPECIFICALLY large numerical value C, should lead one to ponder whether matter might actually be constructed of a form of light. If this hypothesis were found to be true, it would go a long way toward explaining why the velocity of light is so pervasive in the mathematical equations we use to describe the physical laws governing matter's behavior.

Given our understanding of the interactions and similarities between matter and light, I'd posit that understanding light is the missing key to understanding matter.  And we don't even have a decent model for how light works.  We don't understand how light operates "mechanically" at all.  Can you imagine how light moves through the space time fabric at its tremendous speed?  Or how it transfers energy between massive particles in the quantum-model as depicted in a Feynman diagram? Probably not. That's because our science hasn't developed an understanding of the mechanical nature of light -- yet.

I'm going to quote a few authors who have written about some related ideas that led me to think seriously about the possibility of light-constucted matter.  None of these authors will suggest this idea. But they all point out the incomplete nature of our physical theories. These "holes" in our current understanding of nature can be seen as a clue that we are still missing something fundamental in our understanding of what matter is. And how light matter operates.  

First, Richard Feynman, in his "Six Easy Pieces" lecture on the theory of gravitation, describes his desire for (and his frustration with the lack of) a mechanical explanation for the cause of gravity.  Toward the end of this lecture, having explained how the inverse square law of gravitation describes the movement of the planets, Feynman says:

But IS THIS such a simple law?  What about the MACHINERY of it?  After all, that's all very well.  The force is inverse as the square of the distance, et cetera.  And the acceleration goes.  SO it's NICE.  But it's mathematical!  

What I want to know is THIS:  Suppose THAT'S the sun, HERE'S the earth. NOW what does the earth DO? It says to itself... "Let me see, how far am I from the sun? And then I take an inverse square of the distance. And THAT tells me how much to accelerate!"  

In other words, no MACHINERY is given here! All we're describing is how it MOVES. But we don't say (HOW) WHAT makes it GO!

Now Newton himself made no hypotheses about how it went. He was satisfied to find out WHAT it did, without giving any machinery. NO ONE, has SINCE, given any MACHINERY! It is characteristic of the physical laws that they have this ABSTRACT character! Just like The Conservation of Energy, is a theorem about quantities which you have to add together without a machinery... So, the great laws of mechanics, are quantitative MATHEMATICAL laws, for which no MACHINERY is available.

WHY can we use MATHEMATICS to describe NATURE without a MECHANISM behind it? NOBODY knows! But we have to keep going. We find out more if we just keep going... So we keep going.

The lack of what Feynman called a "machinery" in our understanding of physical laws persists today. And it seems clear that Einstein also believed there was an underlying mechanistic explanation for matter's behavior. Einstein had taken unprecedented leaps in solving the puzzle of nature's behavior. But, in the wake of Einstein's insights, science began to focus primarily on a statistical description of matter/energy behavior, as quantum theory developed. Einstein saw this as a mistake.

Following is an excerpted portion of what Einstein wrote in reply to some of the essays written about his life's work in the book, Albert Einstein -- Philosopher-Scientist. In his response, which he titled: "Reply to Criticisms", Einstein describes in some detail, the viewpoint that led him to depart from mainstream physics, as quantum theory developed.

I now come to what is probably the most interesting subject which absolutely must be discussed in connection with the detailed arguments of my esteemed colleagues Born, Pauli, Heitler, Bohr and Margenau.  They are all firmly convinced that the riddle of the double nature of all corpuscles (corpuscular and undulatory character) has in essence found its final solution in the statistical quantum theory. On the strength of the successes of this theory, they consider it proved that a theoretically complete description of a system can, in essence, involve only statistical assertions concerning the measurable quantities of this system. They are apparently all of the opinion that Heisenberg's indeterminacy-relation (the correctness of which is, from my own point of view, rightfully regarded as finally demonstrated) is essentially prejudicial in favor of the character of all thinkable reasonable physical theories in the mentioned sense. In what follows, I wish to aduce reasons which keep me from falling in line with the opinion of almost all contemporary theoretical physicists.  I am, in fact, firmly convinced that the essentially statistical character of contemporary quantum theory is solely to be ascribed to the fact that this [theory] operates with an incomplete description of physical systems.

Above all, however, the reader should be convinced that I fully recognize the very important progress which the statistical quantum theory has brought to theoretical physics. In the field of mechanical problems -- i.e., wherever it is possible to consider the interaction of structures and of their parts with sufficient accuracy by postulating a potential energy between material points -- [this theory] even now presents a system which, in its closed character, correctly describes the empirical relations between stable phenomena as they were theoretically to be expected. This theory is until now the only one which unites the corpuscular and undulatory dual character of matter in a logically satisfactory fashion; and the (testable) relations, which are contained in it, are, within the natural limits fixed by the indeterminacy-relation, complete. The formal relations which are given in this theory -- i.e., its entire mathematical formalism -- will probably have to be contained, in the form of logical inferences, in every useful future theory.

What does not satisfy me in that theory, from the standpoint of principle, is its attitude towards that which appears to me to be the programmatic aim of all physics: the complete description of any (individual) real situation (as it supposedly exists irrespective of any act of observation or substantiation). Whenever the positivistically inclined modern physicist hears such a formulation his reaction is that of a pitying smile. He says to himself: "there we have the naked formulation of a metaphysicial prejudice, empty of content, a prejudice, moreover, the conquest of which constitutes the major epistemological achievement of physicists within the last quarter-century. Has any man ever perceived a 'real physical situation'?  How is it possible that a reasonable person could today still believe that he can refute our essential knowledge and understanding by drawing up such a bloodless ghost?" Patience! The above laconic characterization was not meant to convince anyone; it was merely to indicate the point of view around which the following elementary considerations freely group themselves.

We'll skip over Einstein's "elementary considerations" concerning the extent to which quantum theory accurately describes an individual physical system vs. postulated ensembles of physical systems, and proceed to his conclusion.
I now imagine a quantum theoretician who may even admit that the quantum-theoretical description refers to ensembles of systems and not to individual systems, but who, nevertheless clings to the idea that the type of description of the statistical quantum theory will, in its essential features, be retained in the future. He may argue as follows: True, I admit that the quantum-theoretical description is an incomplete description of the individual system. I even admit that a complete theoretical description is, in principle, thinkable. But I consider it proven that the search for such a complete description would be aimless. For the lawfulness of nature is thus consitituted that the laws can be completely and suitably formulated within the framework of our incomplete description.

To this I can only reply as follows: Your point of view -- taken as a theoretical possibility -- is incontestable.  For me, however the expectation that the adequate formulation of the universal laws involves the use of all conceptual elements which are necessary for a complete description, is more natural. It is furthermore not at all surprising that, by using an incomplete description, (in the main) only statistical statements can be obtained out of such description. If it should be possible to move forward to a complete description, it is likely that the laws would represent relations among all the conceptual elements of this description which, per se, have nothing to do with statistics.

We can gather from his argument above that even though Einstein recognized the great value of quantum theory in describing nature's behavior, he still found it lacking in camparison to the complete theory that he imagined would eventually develop.  And he felt so strongly that a different, and more complete theory was possible, that he turned away from quantum theory and continued to seek an understanding of nature at a deeper level, on his own. Einstein never found the unified theory he hoped for. But he sought it for the rest of his life. Still, he left us with a wealth of theoretical understanding of how energy and matter interoperate -- and the extent to which the velocity of light describes that interoperation. And I believe it will be his profound insights that will likey guide us (eventually) toward the complete description of nature that he dreamed was inevitable.  

In the preface to the book, Einstein's Miraculous Year (published in 1998; and edited by John Stachel), Roger Penrose beautifully summarizes Einstein's struggle with the statistical nature of quantum theory and, unlike most modern physicists, Penrose finds himself in agreement with the viewpoint Einstein described above. Penrose writes:

The question is often raised of another seeming paradox: Why, when Einstein started from a vantage point so much in the lead of his contemporaries with regard to understanding quantum phenomena, was he nevertheless left behind by them in the subsequent development of quantum theory? Indeed Einstein never even accepted the quantum theory, as that theory finally emerged in the 1920's. Many would hold that Einstein was hampered by his "outdated" realist standpoint, whereas Niels Bohr, in particular, was able to move forward simply by denying the very existence of such a thing as: "physcical reality" at the quantum level of molecules, atoms, and elementary particles. Yet, it is clear that the fundamental advances that Einstein was able to achieve in 1905 depended crucially on his robust adherence to a belief in the actual reality of physical entities at the molecular and submolecular levels. This much is particularly evident in the five papers presented here [in Einstein's Miraculous Year].

Can it really be true that Einstein in any significant sense was as profoundly "wrong" as the followers of Bohr might maintain? I do not believe so. I would, myself, side strongly with Einstein in his belief in a submicroscopic reality, and with his conviction that present-day quantum mechanics is fundamentally incomplete. I am also of the opinion that there are crucial insights to be found as to the nature of this reality that will ultimately come to light from a profound analysis of a seeming conflict between the underlying principles of quantum theory and those of Einsteins's own general relativity. It seems to me that only when such insights are at hand and put appropriately to use will the fundamental tension between the laws governing the micro-world of quantum theory and the macro-world of general relativity be resolved. How is this resolution to be achieved? Only time and, I believe, a new revolution will tell -- in perhaps some other Miraculous Year!

What Penrose and Einstein share, is a belief that underlying matter's apparently inderterminate behavior, as described in the statistical quantum theory, is a physical reality that will one day be understoood. And that by understanding this reality, we might understand not just how matter BEHAVES. But more importantly, how it OPERATES.  

Below, John Stachel, editor of The Miraculous Year, comments further on Einstein's pursuit of a unified theory, Pointing out that Einstein  believed, that the solution to such a theory will include a more complete description of light mechanics.

Einstein was far from considering his work on the quantum hypothesis as constituing a satisfactory theory of radiation or matter. As noted he emphasized  that a physical theory is satisfactory only "if its structures are composed of elementary foundations." Adding that "we are still far from having satisfactory elementary foundations for electrical and mechancial processes." Einstein felt that he had not achieved a real understanding of quantum phenomena because (in contrast to his satisfactory interpretation of Boltzman's constant as setting the scale for statistical fluctuations) he had been unable to interpret Panck's constant "in an intuitive way". The quantum of electric charge also remained "a stranger" to theory.  

He was convinced that a satisfactory theory of matter and radiation must constuct these quanta of electricity and of radiation, not simply postulate them.

As a theory of principle, the theory of relativity provides important guidelines in the search for such a satisfactory theory. Einstein anticipated the ultimate construction of "a complete worldview that is in accord with the principle of relativity." In the meantime, the theory offered clues to the construction of such a worldview. One clue concerns the structure of electromagnetic radiation. Not only is the theory compatible with an emmission theory of radiation, since it implies that the velocity of light is always the same relative to its source: the theory also requires that the radiation transfer mass between an emitter and an absorber, reinforcing Einstein's light quantum hyposthesis that radiation manifests a particulate structure under certain circumstances. He maintained that

"The next phase in the development of theoretical physics will bring us a theory of light, which may be regarded as a sort of fusion of the undulatory and emission theories of light"
To progress physical theory beyond our probablistic understanding of nature, we need to develop a model describing light's seemingly dual-natured behavior, based on realistic physical interaction mechanisms between light particles, that explain how light can operate in two apparently contradictory ways.

Simply, we need what Einstein anticipated. "a theory of light".

The model of light matter I'll describe in the next 2 diaries, is much simpler than you might imagine. It treats light as the "elementary foundation" for all physical effects. And it leads to an obvious solution as to how light operates, and how light matter is contructed. That is, how light energy becomes bound together to make up the standard model components of matter -- protons, neutrons, electrons etc. And how light matter, in the composite forms of atoms and molecules, operates mechanically through the interaction and exchange of light energy.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  I had to split this diary in to 3 parts (4+ / 0-)

    Because it wouldn't fit in 1. The other 2 parts will follow soon. Likely tomorrow.

  •  Sounds like a very New Age interpretation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sneelock, AnotherAmericanLie

    of particle physics. Not that I don't like New Age, just not in connection with particle physics. I'll wait to ask what your point is until I've read the other parts. Haven't seen anything either obvious or simple (simplified, yes) in this part.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 05:08:32 PM PDT

  •  You lost me at electron-positron annihilation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch, Sneelock

    Seems to me they produce Mesons:
    Particle Adventure

    Maybe those better well-versed in particle physics might be consulted.

    •  It's not just electrons and positrons (0+ / 0-)

      that turn into light.  Nuclear reactions convert matter into light too.

      •  a problem with your hypothesis (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sneelock

        is that there are conserved quantities outside the purview of light.

        E.g., no matter what you do with light, the result will always have zero net charge. In the universe some things do not, like electrons (or protons).

        Similarly, light is outside the purview of the weak force and the strong force.

        Ultimately, light is how charged objects interact with each other (i.e., by exchanging photons). Until a theory can explain charge -- and that isn't possible in a theory founded on light -- it will be incomplete.

        The speed of light is also the limit of the speed of gravity and all other primitive fields (not just light). A theory based on light can't explain that either.

        •  Let me get this straight (0+ / 0-)

          You say

          no matter what you do with light, the result will always have zero net charge...Until a theory can explain charge -- and that isn't possible in a theory founded on light -- it will be incomplete
          I think you're saying light doesn't have charge and therefore can not become something with charge. Like a positron, electron, etc.

          Then in your comment below, you say

          photons created by the charged nuclei in the star that keep its pressure up become energetic enough to turn into electron/positron pairs
          Do those photon-created pairs have charge? Or not, because they're coupled?

          Is an electron/positron pair matter?

          Enlighten me please eyesoars.

          •  ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sneelock

            What I'm saying is that photons do not have intrinsic charge. Nor can they be made to have intrinsic charge -- although they carry the 'charge force', they are not themselves charged.

            Other things in the universe do have intrinsic charge. Things "made out of photons" should not be capable of having intrinsic charge. This implies that there must be "other things" than photons to make up the matter of the universe, particularly those bits that are themselves charged.

            (The obvious counter-argument, that light contains within it electrical charges, that can become separated to create electron and positron, implies that something is necessarily more primitive than light. Which contradicts the premise of your theory.)

            This should also apply to other conserved quantities (weak charge, strong charge, parity) that light does not interact with. If light doesn't interact with them, how can they be composed of light?

            •  Think I see what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

              Light isn't positive or negative in itself. But it can carry "charged" energy.  Agreed. If we limit our model to only one flavor of light - photons. Which I don't.

              Imagine another type of light. Backwards light or anti-light. Call it what you will. I call it magnetic light. The energy around a ferro magnetic source, or the sun or earth. Or around an electically generated magnetic field. What is it in the space around these magnetic sources that affects a charged particle so that it reacts to them?

              If we hypothesise that there is another sort of light, then that, along with normal light, could be used to create a model of light-composed-matter that could include charged matter particles.

              And it would be natural for those particles to sometimes behave like, and sometimes turn into... light.

              That's what I'm saying.  

              Thanks eyesoars

              •  Not a good example... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sneelock

                electric and magnetic forces are both transferred by photons. Given Maxwell's equations, you can derive special relativity; conversely, given relativity and electrostatics, you can derive magnetism. (Thus, even though we've never seen it, we pretty much know how dynamical, relativistic gravitational fields must work ("gravitomagnetism"). In classical mechanics, tho', not quantum.)

                Re: your 'other sort of light', isn't it then not light any more? And it doesn't explain fields yet.

                Does your theory require a new flavor of light for every conserved quantity (electric charge, weak charge, strong charge, gravitational charge)? If yes, why are they still photons? If no, how can a photonic theory be useful?

    •  Also... (0+ / 0-)

      they can produce mesons as you say, when they collide at high energies in a particle accelerator.  But when they meet at normal energies, they produce gammar rays which are just high energy photons -- light.

  •  thanks - that was a really good read.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sneelock

    I think about the sun.. we know it is converting (sorry if I get this wrong) Hydrogen to Helium..

    to me, this is a simple equation:

    More matter = less matter + energy

    now then, scientists love to "put things in reverse"  kinda like rewinding to the Big-Bang theory..right?

    so, simply, I see

    less matter + energy = more matter

    problem is, we can see matter converting with energy being released (our sun), but we can't seem to observe the other, but clearly the above equation suggests, given the right circumstances,we ought to be able to add energy to matter, and get more of a different type of matter.. ie create matter from energy so-to-speak..

    perhaps at the quantum level we are observing this kind of conversion back and forth from energy..

    as a curiosity from a layman.. does light ever slow down? It obviously grows dimmer..is that weakening? .. and what would happen if it did slow to a stop, or if it can't do that.. dissipates to its "limit".. I just get the feeling matter is "cold or stopped energy"..whatever that means.

    looking forward to the next parts.

    •  I don't think there is evidence energy turns into (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnotherAmericanLie

      matter.  Matter combines and changes state -- like in the Hydrogen to Helium reaction in the sun. Though what  happens in the big bang theory is similar to what you are describing.  Initially there is just energy which combines into atoms.

      I've read about light slowing down in some experiments.  But I don't understand them. Maybe some of the scientists around here can comment on that.

      The idea I'll present in the next diaries is similar to what you said. 'matter is "cold or stopped energy"'. I would call it contained energy. Not stopped in the sense that it isn't active.  But stopped in the sense that in can stay in one place.

      •  matter as contained energy. come to think of it, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sneelock

        the very first thing needed for life is a sheath, ie a container.

        as a matter of fact (pun intended), matter itself needs a container..doesn't it?

        Matter = energy in a container..

        I like it

        I like it alot

        but if the container isn't matter itself, than something else must force the containment of the energy..perhaps the sheath is something like electromagnetic force or something or another.. since I know nothing from which I speak it is at least fun to imagine..

      •  light does turn into matter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sneelock

        Just like an electron and a positron can turn into an X-ray w/ 511 keV energy, an X-ray photon can, if bounced off a nucleus, turn into an electron and a positron.

        There's also a particular kind of supernova, called a pair instability supernova where this happens on a massive (heh, heh) scale (photons created by the charged nuclei in the star that keep its pressure up become energetic enough to turn into electron/positron pairs, causing the collapse of the star), creating the most energetic type of supernova known.

  •  Sorry, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sneelock, GDbot

    There's something new here?  My high school chemistry teacher in 1975 taught us firmly that "Matter is just sticky energy."  Light is just one form of energy.  Or matter is frozen energy.  Nothing new there.  Been accepted by all my friends who were physics grad students for thirty years.

    Now what IS interesting is the new proposition that matter AND energy (light) are emergent properties of the geometrical shape of the universe, the amplitudhedron idea(link).  I'm waiting to see where that goes as intuitively it seems like the breakthrough that will finally provide what Einstein and Feynman were looking for -- a fundamental theory underlying the statistical approaches.

    •  Thanks for the link, that is a fun article to read (0+ / 0-)

      I especially liked this sentence

      The object is basically timeless
      at the end of a long science popularization piece...

      There is no they, We will sink or swim together.... We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness

      by GDbot on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 03:28:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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