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Saturday, October 29, 2011

171 - when energy does not equal mass x the speed of light squared

Dear Reader,

The next point is this. We're all familiar with the equation that E=mc^2. That knowledge is also courtesy Einstein and is, therefore, 'classical'. Now. Here's the thing. A photon has zero mass. That 'c' is the definitive constant that correlates to the speed of light. In effect the equation stipulates that if you want to find out the amount of potential energy in any given material - then establish its mass and multiply it by that constant - which is the speed of light. There it is again. That - HUGE light speed number. And then. Multiply that product by the speed of light AGAIN. Well. Who am I to argue? I can barely get my head around light speed - let alone a squared product. It's all a bit mind bending.

However. What do we do with this puzzle? Photons, according to my understanding - have NO MASS. Yet their velocity is light speed. So. If you then take the speed of light and multiply it with the mass of a photon - ZERO - then the product is ZERO - whether or not it's Squared or Cubed - or Quadrupled - or multiplied by any number at all. How then does one explain the energy in a photon? In truth, unless the photon has a mass of something marginally greater than zero - then it has no energy in itself to travel at any speed at all.

It's a question that - presumably - our boffins have addressed. But the explanation for this is not in layman's literature - and it is, therefore, outside of my own reference. But here's what I do know. IF light were, in fact, without any energy at all - and IF it were simply moved by some hidden force - then it would appear to be very energetic and yet it would not, necessarily, and of itself - have any innate velocity to move anywhere at all. In other words - light may, indeed be MOVED by a hidden force - and that may, by the same token account for it's extraordinary velocity. I use this analogy. We live in a box with a window and no doors. Then one day we see a balloon drift past the window - being blown by the wind. Without knowing about the wind we'd be inclined to think that the balloon has it's own energy to move it across the sky. We'd be wrong of course. In the same way? Just maybe we're also wrong about the photon. Perhaps it is moved by a hidden force. We just don't know about that force.

These comments are not meant to be frivolous. The question is out there. How do the forces interact with material and yet remain entirely hidden? Well - it all goes back to that boundary constraint 'thing'. If a photon or anything at all - responds to the hidden forces - then there must be some shared 'dimension' in space and in time - where they interact that they can respond to the forces.

That's the next subject. Hopefully I can explain it.

Kindest regards,
Rosemary