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Old 11-02-2010, 08:00 AM
galexander galexander is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bucks, UK
Posts: 405
Talking Is Light Really Made of Photons?

Much is made of Albert Einstein’s disputes with the Quantum physicists over theoretical differences of opinion between Relativity and Quantum Theory. However what is probably less widely accepted is that it was actually Einstein himself who was the FOUNDING FATHER of Quantum Physics.

It was Einstein who first suggested that energy was not continuous and came in ‘quanta’ and indeed Albert Einstein obtained his Nobel Prize not for his work on Relativity but for his work on the Photoelectric Effect, an effect which is at the very heart of Quantum Physics.

But do such ‘quanta’ really exist? More specifically for this brief article, does Light itself come in quanta, the quanta of Light being more commonly known as a Photon?

Everyone seems to take for granted these days the scientific certitude of the fact that light is actually made of photons but consider the following: Visible light forms only a comparatively small fragment of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. On the same spectrum are ultraviolet light, X-rays, gamma rays, infrared, microwaves and radio waves. Both gamma rays and radio waves, for example, are therefore made of exactly the same stuff as visible light is.

But are radio waves really comprised of photons as well?

Some radio waves have wavelengths measured in kilometres. If the wavelengths are measurably this long then how extensive are these ‘photons’ the radio waves are made from? Are they also kilometres in length?

Also when you turn your radio on first thing in the morning you may be interested to know that the aerial attached to the radio is actually a ‘photon capturing device’, photons which are in turn carrying the signal transmitted from the local radio station.

And how do these photons induce a current in the length of a conducting aerial which is amplified and sent to the speaker to produce the sound you can then hear? The length of the aerial usually has to bear some relation to the wavelength being captured, typically it has to be one quarter of a wavelength in length. And then there has to be an oscillating charge along the length of the aerial so as to induce an alternating current within it. But if radio waves are made of photons then how do the photons produce this effect within the radio aerial unless of course they are very large spatially?

I think you’ll agree the whole thing is nonsense.

Radio waves cannot possibly be made of photons at all. Radio waves are created by a rapidly oscillating charge within a conductor, the frequency of this oscillation being identical to the frequency of the radio waves produced, and a rapidly oscillating charge within a conductor does not emit photons.

But if radio waves are not made of photons then neither is visible light either.

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