"As for what light is, keep in mind that we do know (with a very high 
degree of assuredness) that light consists of quantum particles, and that 
those particles move along geodesic paths through whatever medium they 
encounter. "

All that we know is what we infer from the instruments and materials that 
we use to measure what we assume is light traveling through space. If light 
were instead a sensory-motor capacity common to all matter, our results 
would look exactly the same. It seems like the speed of light slows in a 
medium, but it could be the medium itself which is slow to respond to its 
neighbors. Light may not a particle at all, any more than news is a 
particle. What we have seen is that matter acts like we think it would act 
if there were particles or waves present, but we would guess the same thing 
if we observed the behavior of card at intersections, imagining the red, 
green, and yellow lights were exotic entangled particles jumping and 
radiating across the city in geometric patterns.

"until one understands those issues, talking about reality as a 
philosophical issue is just BSing.  Lots of homework here needed first!"

It depends if you are trying to describe and understand a reality which 
includes yourself or not. From my perspective, it is the physicist who may 
just be BSing and adding epicycles. There is much more understanding that 
needs to be factored into the universe than just quantitative systems - 
lots of philosophical, psychological, and semiotics homework is needed 

"It is just a great mistake to develop models that lack the centuries of 
developed mathematical tools we have today as it is to try to fix a complex 
problem with a modern car with no tools but your mind. "

It is just as great a mistake to consider mathematical models as meaningful 
without integration with the universe that we actually perceive and 
participate in. Science is a branch of philosophy, not the other way 
around. The only reason that we care about physics at all is because it 
informs us about the universe in which *we* live. If not for consciousness 
of some kind, it seems that the universe would be a meaningless collection 
of debris, unworthy of more than brief curiosity (if you could smuggle in 
some brief curiosity)


On Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:26:25 AM UTC-5, rclough wrote:
>  Hi David Bonnell 
> Anything that moves through spacetime is physical. Simple as that.
> [Roger Clough], [rcl...@verizon.net] <javascript:>
> 1/17/2013 
> "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen
> ----- Receiving the following content ----- 
> *From:* David Bonnell <javascript:> 
> *Receiver:* dfine <javascript:> 
> *Time:* 2013-01-16, 15:44:10
> *Subject:* Re: Are EM waves and/or their fields physical ?
>   The speed of light is altered when photons move in a medium whose index 
> of refraction is greater than that of the vacuum ("raw" space).  This 
> change is what causes alterations in the movement of light as it passes 
> through, for instance, lenses.   is the relation, where n is refractive 
> index, c is the (maximal) speed of light in vacuum, and v is 
> the propagation velocity on a medium of refractive index n.  The SIMPLEST 
> internet search can uncover lots more about the simple physics involved. 
>  The fact that light speed can be retarded by its passage through a medium 
> has little to do with the fundamental reality that the speed of light is a 
> constant in free space.  The idea of "light" (EM fields) as waves is the 
> result of the great successes of Maxwell's equations, which deal with 
> EM phenomena as continuous fields.  That theory, as successful as it was, 
> is not the final word, and has been superseded  by Quantum Electrodynamics 
> (QED), which yields Maxwell's equations on scales where the underlying 
> quantum effects are negligible. QED is also a field theory, and there are 
> philosophical issues to be considered when wondering whether fields are in 
> fact "real" or are just another level above the "true" underlying reality. 
>  But that sort of philosophical musing is not something that words will 
> handle - there are strong physical and mathematical reasons 
> why gauge theories (QED and the other model equations of the Standard Model 
> are all gauge theories - not to mention current work in areas such as 
> string theory) are thought at present to be the "real" way the world works, 
> and until one understands those issues, talking about reality as a 
> philosophical issue is just BSing.  Lots of homework here needed first! As 
> for whether photons are real or not, look up the photoelectric effect, and 
> read some of the original papers in the field before you try to decide if 
> you can even consider the question.  Einstein's Nobel prize was given for 
> his work here, which is, by most, considered to be the definitive proof of 
> the quantum nature of light (EM particles).  The problem with waves is tied 
> up in older thinking about wave-particle duality.  The particles do not 
> have any confusion, and obey both behaviors at the same time.  It is our 
> mathematical weaknesses that at the scales we can deal with, we often have 
> to use whichever model is easiest, for the phenomena we are exploring.  Not 
> the fault of the underlying reality, just our limitations.
> As to whether space is some sort of fabric (the general idea is whether 
> space itself is quantized, that is whether the closest adjacent points have 
> some physical separation [a popular idea is that the Planck distance is 
> that minimum separation]) or whether space is continuous (fabric, sort of 
> by definition is NOT continuous), that is a deep subject linked to current 
> theoretical research.   We do *NOT* "know" that it is a fabric. 
>  Experimental testing of the concept is so far away, many researchers in 
> the field consider that any direct detection of quantized space may be 
> impossible.  Our current highest resolution probe is working at something 
> like the order of 10^-18 m, I think, and the Planck length is of the order 
> of 10^-43 m.  Most experimentalists think we would need an accelerator of 
> interstellar size to resolve that depth.  Astrophysics, which does explore 
> physics on galactic and larger sizes may be our best hope of some sort 
> of phenomenon that deals with energies on that scale.  After all, we do see 
> cosmic rays (protons, mostly) that carry energies higher than current 
> theory suggests is possible.  Certainly very much higher energies than we 
> can create in the lab.  But not a very tractable tool, by today's standards. 
> As for what light is, keep in mind that we do know (with a very high 
> degree of assuredness) that light consists of quantum particles, and that 
> those particles move along geodesic paths through whatever medium they 
> encounter.  Among other things, this implies that from the photon's point 
> of view, it is everywhere it travels in zero time, and to some extent can 
> be thought of as a standing wave.  Thus, even though photons can be 
> annihilated and created, while they exist (for astronomical times in the 
> case of light from distant sources) they are a single entity.  While 
> current (general relativity) theory does treat space as a deformable medium 
> ("mass tells space how to curve, and space tells mass how to move"), the 
> question of the "density" of space is not part of that theory.  The closest 
> the equations treat is the concept of pressure, and that is an issue only 
> for very strong gravity situations, where general relativity probably is 
> not the "real" theory.  Most expect that General Relativity (GR) is an 
> excellent continuous approximation to a deeper quantum relativistic theory 
> that we have only vague clues about at present.  As for whether GR brought 
> the aether back, that is pretty much nonsense.  Photons do NOT need medium 
> to propagate in, and nature of the curvature of "space" is all about its 
> intrinsic geometric properties, not about its structure or physical nature. 
>  There is no particular need for space to have any kind of physical reality 
> )like a fabric) to have non-euclidian geometry ("warpage").  And, we are 
> pretty sure from astrophysics at present that on large scales, space is 
> really, REALLY flat (something of the orders of less than one part in 10^60 
> warpage on the largest scales).  Just because the math deals with geometry, 
> there is no more need for a physical material to be involved than there is 
> in the formalism of Euclidean geometry for there to be a piece of paper on 
> which to construct the theorems and objects dealt with in the theory. 
>  Think about it.
> Trying to use analogies, as the author below is doing, is way too far from 
> reality to even be useful as a model.  Physics as a science has developed 
> really sophisticated mathematical models and tools for exactly the kinds of 
> questions being dealt here, and until you all delve deeply enough into 
> these tools to know what we know (and don't know) you might as well be 
> consulting crystal balls for insight.  It is just a great mistake to 
> develop models that lack the centuries of developed mathematical tools we 
> have today as it is to try to fix a complex problem with a modern car with 
> no tools but your mind.  Without a code reader, you can't even tell the 
> general area of the trouble, much less disassemble it and fix it.
> ------------------------------
> *From: *"dfine" <dfi...@charter.net <javascript:>>
> *To: *"makoilaci" <mako...@gmail.com <javascript:>>, "derek abbott" <
> bu...@hotmail.com <javascript:>>
> *Cc: *"Roger Clough" <rcl...@verizon.net <javascript:>>, 
> everyth...@googlegroups.com <javascript:>, 
> mind...@yahoogroups.com<javascript:>, 
> "Yuksel Altinok" <yuksel....@gmail.com <javascript:>>, 
> wstu...@gmail.com<javascript:>, 
> "The Zapster" <rsz...@gmail.com <javascript:>>, 
> rffa...@gmail.com<javascript:>, 
> "Robert King" <rak...@sbcglobal.net <javascript:>>, 
> ko...@consolidated.net<javascript:>, 
> "John Wagner" <johnw...@verizon.net <javascript:>>, 
> far...@hotmail.com<javascript:>, 
> "Eric Stroud" <eric_...@email.com <javascript:>>, 
> aki...@ag.tamu.edu<javascript:>, 
> dwbo...@bigfoot.com <javascript:>, dwbo...@comcast.net <javascript:>
> *Sent: *Monday, January 14, 2013 11:09:19 AM
> *Subject: *RE: Are EM waves and/or their fields physical ?
>  *Did they not a few years ago prove light is NOT constant? They did slow 
> it and actually stop it going thru different mediums. Thus light is not 
> constant.*
> *Consider, we know Space is not empty, there is a fabric or something. At 
> least we know this for the Galaxy. But what about the Universe? Is there 
> the same fabric all thru the universe? But when compressed does it 
> effectlight differently?
> *
> *Does this fabric have an effect on light when compressed? Or does light 
> simply follow the path of the fabric? Does gravity compress the fabricateor 
> simply bend it?
> *
> ** 
> *If it is gravity that effects light without affecting the Fabric, then 
> light here on the planet is not the same as light far between the Stars. *
> *Maybe it is the fabric that is around all planets and stars which bends 
> light and slows it. If it is, then light far from gravitational sources 
> should travel at different rates thru the fabric assuming the fabric is 
> denser in some places.*
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* makoilaci [mailto:mako...@gmail.com <javascript:>] 
> *Sent:* Wednesday, January 09, 2013 8:54 PM
> *To:* derek abbott
> *Cc:* Roger Clough; everyth...@googlegroups.com <javascript:>; 
> mind...@yahoogroups.com <javascript:>; Yuksel Altinok; 
> wstu...@gmail.com<javascript:>; 
> The Zapster; rffa...@gmail.com <javascript:>; Robert King; 
> ko...@consolidated.net <javascript:>; John Wagner; 
> far...@hotmail.com<javascript:>; 
> Eric Stroud; Doug Fine; aki...@ag.tamu.edu <javascript:>; 
> dwbo...@bigfoot.com <javascript:>; dwbo...@comcast.net <javascript:>
> *Subject:* Re: Are EM waves and/or their fields physical ?
> only in gravitation curved and the curve itself is debated; not enough 
> experimental proof. Read Brillouin.
> --
> On Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 2:18 PM, derek abbott <bu...@hotmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote:
> Curved space-time [image: Smile]  Though I wouldn't like to call it 
> aether.
>  > Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2013 11:15:42 -0600
> > Subject: Re: Are EM waves and/or their fields physical ?
> > From: mako...@gmail.com <javascript:>
> > To: rcl...@verizon.net <javascript:>
> > CC: everyth...@googlegroups.com <javascript:>; 
> > mind...@yahoogroups.com<javascript:>; 
> yuksel....@gmail.com <javascript:>; wstu...@gmail.com <javascript:>; 
> rsz...@gmail.com <javascript:>; rffa...@gmail.com <javascript:>; 
> rak...@sbcglobal.net <javascript:>; ko...@consolidated.net <javascript:>; 
> johnw...@verizon.net <javascript:>; far...@hotmail.com <javascript:>; 
> eric_...@email.com <javascript:>; dfi...@charter.net <javascript:>; 
> bu...@hotmail.com <javascript:>; aki...@ag.tamu.edu <javascript:>; 
> dwbo...@bigfoot.com <javascript:>; dwbo...@comcast.net <javascript:>
> > 
> > just the opposite. general relativity brought aether back, but it is
> > 4-dimensonal.
> > 
> > --
> > 
> > On Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 6:04 AM, Roger Clough 
> > <rcl...@verizon.net<javascript:>> 
> wrote:
> > > Bruno,
> > >
> > > Another matter is that since the michaelson-morley experiment,
> > > space itself does not exist (is nonphysical). There is no aether.
> > > Electromagnetic waves propagate through nothing at all,
> > > suggesting to me, at least, that they, and their fields, are
> > > nonphysical.
> > >
> > > [Roger Clough], [rcl...@verizon.net <javascript:>]
> > > 1/9/2013
> > > "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen
> <SNIP>

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit 
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to